Dizziness in 10 year old children: an epidemiological study

Rachel L. Humphriss, Amanda J. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Current data about the prevalence and characteristics of dizziness in the paediatric population is very limited and the generalisability of extant studies to the UK population has not been explored. Our study aims to provide a robust estimate of the prevalence of dizziness in 10 year old children in the UK, to describe the characteristics of this dizziness and to explore whether this dizziness is socially patterned.

METHODS: Data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) was analysed (N=13,988). A total of 6965 of these children attended for a balance assessment session at age 10. Those who reported rotary vertigo were interviewed about their symptoms. Logistic regression was used to explore whether dizziness at age 10 is socially patterned.

RESULTS: A total of 400 children reported rotary vertigo, giving a prevalence estimate of 5.7% [CI 5.2, 6.3%]. 13.1-20.6% of children reported experiencing their dizziness between 1 and 4 times a week (depending on the symptom). 51.5% of children had to stop what they were doing because of the dizziness making them feel unwell. A total of 60% of children reported headache as an accompanying symptom, tentatively suggesting a diagnosis of migraine, although there was no association between reports of headache and a maternal family history of migraine. 20.3% of children with dizziness also reported tinnitus and 17.3% reported that their hearing changed when they were dizzy.

CONCLUSIONS: Dizziness in 10 year old children is not uncommon and in about half limits current activities. Rotary vertigo is commonly accompanied by dizziness of another description and also by headache. There is no evidence that dizziness at this age is socially patterned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-400
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • child
  • dizziness
  • Great Britain
  • headache
  • logistic models
  • prevalence
  • tinnitus
  • unconsciousness
  • vertigo


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