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Association of Traumatic Brain Injury With Vestibular Dysfunction and Dizziness in Post-9/11 Veterans.

Swan AA, Nelson JT, Pogoda TK, Akin FW, Riska KM, Hall CD, Amuan ME, Yaffe K, Pugh MJ, Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium. Association of Traumatic Brain Injury With Vestibular Dysfunction and Dizziness in Post-9/11 Veterans. The Journal of head trauma rehabilitation. 2020 May 1; 35(3):E253-E265.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence and impact of vestibular dysfunction and nonspecific dizziness diagnoses and explore their associations with traumatic brain injury (TBI) severity, mechanism, and postconcussive comorbidities among post-9/11 veterans. SETTING: Administrative medical record data from the US Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs (VA). PARTICIPANTS: Post-9/11 veterans with at least 3 years of VA care. DESIGN: Cross-sectional, retrospective, observational study. MAIN MEASURES: International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis codes for TBI, vestibular dysfunction, dizziness, and other commonly associated postconcussive conditions; Neurobehavioral Symptom Inventory. RESULTS: Of the 570 248 post-9/11 veterans in this sample, 0.45% had a diagnosis of vestibular dysfunction and 2.57% had nonspecific dizziness. Those with either condition were more likely to have evidence of TBI (57.11% vs 28.51%) and reported more disruption from neurobehavioral symptoms. Blast and nonblast injuries were associated with greater symptom disruption, particularly in combination. CONCLUSIONS: There was a consistent, significant association between TBI and vestibular dysfunction or nonspecific dizziness, after controlling for sociodemographic factors, injury mechanism, and comorbid conditions. Given that most deployed post-9/11 veterans report blast and/or nonblast injuries, the need for prompt identification and management of these conditions and symptoms is clear.





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