The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of Ménière’s disease and investigate its relationship with: demographic factors; symptoms and conditions that are known or hypothesized to be associated with Ménière’s disease; other physical diseases; mental health.
The authors used cross-sectional data from the UK Biobank to compare 1376 self-reported Ménière’s participants with over 500,000 without Ménière’s. The data set has comprehensive anthropometric measures, questionnaire data investigating health, well-being, diet, and medical and drug-prescribing history for each participant. The authors used logistic regression models to investigate the relationship of Ménière’s disease with: demographic factors; symptoms and conditions that are known or hypothesized to be associated with Ménière’s disease; other physical diseases; and mental health.
Ménière’s disease was more common in participants who were older (adjusted odds ratio per 10-year increase: 1.5 [95% confidence interval:1.4–1.6]), white (odds ratio: 1.7;1.2–2.3), female (1.4;1.3–1.6), and having higher body mass index categories (p < 0.001). The Ménière’s group had greater odds of hearing difficulty (10.9;9.6–12.5), current tinnitus (68.3;47.8–97.5), and had fallen more than once in the last year (2.1;1.8–2.5). Ménière’s participants had greater odds of reporting at least one disease from each grouping of allergic, immune dysfunction, or autonomic dysfunction (2.2;1.8–2.6), and poor mental health (2.1;1.8–2.5).
This study provides an evidence base that improves understanding of Ménière’s disease. Associations were noted with a number of diseases, and the authors hypothesize a role for the autonomic nervous system and immune system dysfunction in Ménière’s etiology. The study also highlights the physical and mental health correlates of the condition.