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Population-Based Study on the Epidemiology of Ménière's Disease.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Ménière's disease (MD) is a disorder of the inner ear typically showing recurrent acute episodes of vertigo, hearing loss, and tinnitus. Epidemiologic studies on MD are scarce. We assessed the incidence rates (IRs) of MD and describe the characteristics of MD cases, comparing them to control patients without recorded evidence of MD.

STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a retrospective population-based follow-up study and a nested case-control analysis using data from the UK-based Clinical Practice Research Datalink.

METHODS: We identified patients between 18 and 79 years of age with an incident MD diagnosis between January 1993 and December 2014. We assessed the IRs of betahistine-treated MD. In the nested case-control analysis, we matched 4 controls to each MD case on sex, age, general practice, years of active history in the database, and calendar time. We conducted a χ2 test to present p values in order to compare the prevalence of demographics, comorbidities, and co-medication between cases and controls.

RESULTS: We identified 5,508 MD cases and 22,032 MD-free controls (65.4% females). The overall IR for MD in the UK was 13.1 per 100,000 person-years. More cases were female, and the mean age at diagnosis was 55.4 ± 13.7 years. Smoking and alcohol consumption were less prevalent among MD cases. Depression, other affective disorders, sleeping disorders, anxiety, and migraine were more prevalent among MD cases than among controls.

CONCLUSIONS: MD is uncommon in primary care in the UK with a preponderance among females.

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