The Seasonal Variation of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is characterized by recurrent episodes of positional vertigo due to dislodged otoconia debris within the semicircular canals. Many studies have proposed a correlation between Vitamin-D deficiency and recurrent BPPV. In the UK, serum Vitamin-D falls during the winter, reaching its lowest level in May and it is highest level in September. We hypothesize that if there is a relationship between BPPV and Vitamin-D levels, one would expect to see a seasonal variation in the incidence of BPPV among UK residents.Methods:
A retrospective review of clinic letters and general practitioner referrals for patients presenting to a University Otolaryngology department over a 4-year period. Patients were divided into two groups: those presenting during the months associated with low serum Vitamin-D levels, and those presenting during the months associated with high serum Vitamin-D levels.Results:
Three hundred thirty-nine patients were identified with posterior canal BPPV as a consequence of having had a positive Dix-Hallpike maneuver recorded in the clinical notes between October 2012 and October 2016. A Wilcoxon rank-sum test demonstrated there to be a statistically significant difference between the low serum Vitamin-D group and the high serum Vitamin-D group (p = 0.0367).Conclusion:
The results confirm that there is a seasonal variation in the incidence of BPPV. This study is important as it adds to the mounting literature suggesting an association between serum Vitamin-D levels and BPPV. Second, it suggests a therapeutic strategy to improve outcomes in affected patients. Third, it adds significance to the hypothesized role of calcium metabolism for the development of inner ear disease.