This study aimed to determine the etiologic distribution of dizziness and vertigo in a referral-based dizziness clinic in South Korea. We analyzed the diagnoses of 21,166 consecutive dizzy patients (12,691 women, mean age = 57.9 ± 15.7, age range = 3–97) seen from 2003 to 2019 using a registry and medical records. Overall, dizziness and vertigo were more common in women (60.0%, CI 0.59–0.61) than in men without a difference in age (57.7 ± 15.5 vs. 58.1 ± 16.1, p = 0.094). Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV, 24.1%) was the most common cause of dizziness/vertigo, followed by psychiatric or persistent postural perceptual dizziness (20.8%), vascular disorders (12.9%), vestibular migraine (10.2%), Meniere’s disease (7.2%), and vestibular neuritis (5.4%). These six disorders comprised more than 80% of all disorders. The etiology could not be determined in 5.0%, and more than one etiology was found in 14.1%. Vestibular migraine was the most common disorder in children and adolescents (< 19 years), psychiatric or persistent postural perceptual dizziness (26.3%) in the adults (19–64 years), and BPPV (28.2%) in the elderly (≥ 65 years). This etiologic distribution is similar to that reported in another country, and indicates no significant differences in the proportion of diseases causing dizziness and vertigo across different ethnic groups. This study provides valuable information to establish healthcare policy for dizziness and vertigo.
- South Korea