Association of Traumatic Brain Injury With Vestibular Dysfunction and Dizziness in Post-9/11 Veterans.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence and impact of vestibular dysfunction and nonspecific dizziness diagnoses and explore their associations with traumatic brain injury (TBI) severity, mechanism, and postconcussive comorbidities among post-9/11 veterans. SETTING: Administrative medical record data from the US Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs (VA). PARTICIPANTS: Post-9/11 veterans with at least 3 years of VA care. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, retrospective, observational study. MAIN MEASURES: International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis codes for TBI, vestibular dysfunction, dizziness, and other commonly associated postconcussive conditions; Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory. RESULTS: Of the 570 248 post-9/11 veterans in this sample, 0.45% had a diagnosis of vestibular dysfunction and 2.57% had nonspecific dizziness. Those with either condition were more likely to have evidence of TBI (57.11% vs 28.51%) and reported more disruption from neurobehavioral symptoms. Blast and nonblast injuries were associated with greater symptom disruption, particularly in combination. CONCLUSIONS: There was a consistent, significant association between TBI and vestibular dysfunction or nonspecific dizziness, after controlling for sociodemographic factors, injury mechanism, and comorbid conditions. Given that most deployed post-9/11 veterans report blast and/or nonblast injuries, the need for prompt identification and management of these conditions and symptoms is clear.
Swan, AA; Nelson, JT; Pogoda, TK; Akin, FW; Riska, KM; Hall, CD; Amuan, ME; Yaffe, K; Pugh, MJ; Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium,
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