Osteoporosis raises risk of vertigo
People with osteoporosis are much more likely to have vertigo than people with normal bone density.
Vertigo is an inner ear disorder that's a common cause of dizziness. It's believed to be caused by loose calcium carbonate crystals in the inner ear.
Researchers from Korea compared 209 people with benign positional vertigo with no known causes such as ear surgery or head trauma with 202 people with no history of dizziness. Compared to participants with normal bone density, those with osteoporosis (low bone density) were found to be three times more likely to have vertigo and those with osteopaenia (the stage before osteoporosis) were two times more likely to have vertigo.
Among women, 25 percent of those with vertigo had osteoporosis, compared to 9 percent of those without vertigo, and 47 percent of those with vertigo had osteopaenia, compared to 33 percent of those without vertigo. Among men, 12 percent of those with vertigo had osteoporosis, compared to 6 percent of those without vertigo, and 40 percent with vertigo had osteopaenia, compared to 27 percent of those without vertigo.
According to the researchers the findings suggest a problem with calcium metabolism in people with vertigo. Women most often have their first case of vertigo in their 50s, when they are also having a drop in bone mass due to loss of oestrogen. Oestrogen is one of the main hormones that influence calcium and bone metabolism.
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