Vertigo Linked to Osteoporosis

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By Cile Waller

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- People with osteoporosis are much more likely to experience vertigo, an inner ear disorder that causes dizziness. This suggests a problem with calcium metabolism in vertigo sufferers, according to a new study.

Doctors believe loose calcium carbonate crystals that move in the sensing tubes of the inner ear cause vertigo.

For the study, Korean researchers recruited 209 people with vertigo with no known cause such as head trauma or ear surgery and 202 people with no history of dizziness.

They found that people with osteoporosis, or low bone density, were three times more likely to have vertigo and those with osteopenia -- the stage before osteoporosis -- were twice as likely to have vertigo compared to people who had normal bone density.

"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 estrogen. Estrogen is one of the main hormones that influence calcium and bone metabolism," study author Ji Soo Kim, M.D., Ph.D., of Seoul National University College of Medicine in Korea was quoted as saying.

Since the link between osteoporosis and vertigo was also found in men in this study, other factors must also play a role, Kim said.

SOURCE: Neurology, March 24, 2009

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