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Mental Health and Subjective Well-being of Individuals With Ménière’s

Cross-sectional Analysis in the UK Biobank

Tyrrell, Jessica*; White, Mathew P.*; Barrett, George; Ronan, Natalie; Phoenix, Cassandra*; Whinney, David J.; Osborne, Nicholas J.

doi: 10.1097/MAO.0000000000000732
Vestibular Disorders

Hypothesis Ménière’s disease significantly impacts on an individual’s mental health and subjective well-being (SWB).

Background Ménière’s disease is an unpredictable illness that impacts on mental health. The symptom triad of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss all contribute to the disabling nature of the condition. To date, limited research has investigated the mental health and SWB impact of Ménière’s disease.

Methods We investigated the mental health and SWB of 1,376 Ménière’s sufferers in the UK Biobank and compared this to over 500,000 controls. Participants in the Biobank were asked 38 questions pertaining to mental health and SWB. We utilized crude and adjusted linear and logistic regression to investigate the association between Ménière’s and mental health and SWB. We also investigated how mental health and SWB might be related to length of diagnosis to see whether people might adapt to Ménière’s over time.

Results Ménière’s was associated with increased frequency of depression, tiredness, tenseness, and unenthusiasm in the 2 weeks before recruitment. Ménière’s was associated with longer periods of depression than controls (10.2 wk [95% CI: 5.2–15.2 wk]). Reduced health satisfaction was associated with Ménière’s, but in other aspects of life (general happiness, work, family, friends, financial), individuals with Ménière’s were as happy as controls. Mental health and SWB in individuals diagnosed for longer was better than in those who were recently diagnosed suggesting at least partial adaptation.

Discussion This is the largest population study investigating the mental health impact of Ménière’s. Our findings suggest that Ménière’s adversely impacts on mental health, an individual’s emotional state, and their life satisfaction. However, our findings raise the importance of supporting social relations for people with Ménière’s and that although a cure is not currently available, we can still learn much about the adaptation strategies developed by long-term sufferers to help individuals with new diagnoses.

*European Centre for Environment and Human Health, The University of Exeter Medical School, The Knowledge Spa, Truro, Cornwall, U.K.; †Department of ENT Head and Neck Surgery, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, U.K.; ‡Department of ENT Surgery, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, Cornwall, U.K.; and §Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Jess Tyrrell, ECEHH, UEMS, Truro TR1 3HD, Cornwall, U.K.; E-mail:

The authors disclose no conflicts of interest.

This research has been conducted using the UK Biobank resource.

The European Centre for Environment and Human Health (part of the University of Exeter Medical School) is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013 and European Social Fund Convergence Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (J.T., M.P.W., C.P., and N.J.O.). The UK Meniere’s Society funded this work (J.T. and C.P.). N.J.O. was partly funded by MRC and NERC. N.J.O. and M.P.W. were partly funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Environmental Change and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), and in collaboration with the University of Exeter, University College London, and the Met Office. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health, or Public Health England.

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