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Association Between Vestibular Vertigo and Motor Vehicle Accidents

Data From the 2016 National Health Interview Survey

Wei, Eric X.; Agrawal, Yuri

doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000602
Brief Report

Recent evidence has shown that individuals with vestibular impairment have higher rates of self-reported driving difficulty compared with individuals without vestibular impairment. However, it is unknown whether individuals with vestibular impairment are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents. We used data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey of U.S. adults to evaluate whether individuals with vestibular vertigo are more likely to experience motor vehicle accidents relative to individuals without vestibular vertigo. In multivariate analysis, vestibular vertigo was associated with an over threefold increased odds of motor vehicle accidents (odds ratio, 3.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.7–7.3). This study supports an association between vestibular dysfunction and driving impairment, and provides a relative risk of motor vehicle accidents associated with vestibular vertigo that clinicians may utilize in counseling patients on the potential safety hazards of driving.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Received December 5, 2017; accepted March 22, 2018.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address for correspondence: Eric X. Wei, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins, 601 N. Caroline Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. E-mail:

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