Balance and Dizziness Disorders: By the Numbers
You are not alone. Balance and dizziness disorders affect people of all ages. Here are some facts about the prevalence and impact of imbalance and dizziness.
- Many children with vestibular disorders face developmental and learning challenges.1
- Mild to severe head trauma is a leading risk factor for dizziness – 100,000 Canadians will experience a brain injury each year.2
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), considered the most common vestibular disorder, is most often treatable.3
- Up to 35% of adults 40 years and older – over 6 million Canadians – have a vestibular problem at some point in their lives.4
- An estimated 33% of all adults with chronic imbalance have problems performing basic activities of daily living.5
- 1 in 3 Canadian seniors have a fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of hospitalization for seniors. 20% of injury-related deaths in Canada can be traced back to a fall.6
- In Canada, falls are the leading cause of injuries resulting in permanent partial disability (45%) and permanent total disability (44%).7
- Fall-related injuries cost the Canadian economy about $8.6 billion a year. By reducing seniors’ falls by 20% between 2010 and 2035, it is forecasted that 4,400 lives and $10.8 billion in health-care costs can be saved.7
- Adults with some form of inner-ear dysfunction are up to 12 times more likely to have a serious fall.8
1 Wiener-Vacher SR, Hamilton DA, Wiener SI. (2013). Vestibular activity and cognitive development in children: perspectives. Frontiers in integrative neuroscience, 7, 92. Available from: http://bit.ly/2CLAetL
2 Brain Injury Association of Canada Acquired Brain Injury Information. Eye-opening facts and figures [PDF]. Available from: http://bit.ly/2I0R637
3 Thompson TL, Amedee R. Vertigo: a review of common peripheral and central vestibular disorders. The Ochsner Journal. 2009. 9(1), 20–26. Available from: http://bit.ly/2uykR3j
4 Extrapolated from Agrawal Y, Ward BK, Minor LB. Vestibular dysfunction: prevalence, impact and need for targeted treatment. Journal of vestibular research: equilibrium & orientation. 2013. 23(3), 113–117. Available from: http://bit.ly/2FHj1lC
5 Vestibular Disorders Association. Facts, figures & trivia. September 2013. Available from: http://bit.ly/2UmsfgN
6 Seniors’ Falls in Canada. Second Report. Public Health Agency of Canada. 2014. Available from: https://bit.ly/2r7gU36
7 The Cost of Injury in Canada. Parachute Canada. June 2015. [WWW document] Available from: https://bit.ly/3i3hKYM (Accessed 10 January 2021)
8 Johns Hopkins Medicine. Survey suggests higher risk of falls due to dizziness in middle-aged and older Americans. 2009. Available from: http://bit.ly/2uwgs0z
Page updated September 2019.
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