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Priorities in Management of the Geriatric Patient With Dizziness

  • Philip D. Sloane
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Philip D. Sloane, MD, MPH, Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
    Affiliations
    Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

    Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Otto Maarsingh
    Affiliations
    Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, the Netherlands
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  • Mallory Mcclester Brown
    Affiliations
    Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
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      The symptom of dizziness reflects a variety of sensations related to disturbances of the individual's sense of equilibrium, which have variously been described or subclassified by terms such as vertigo, presyncope, disequilibrium, wooziness, imbalance, falling sensation, spinning, and disorientation.
      • Bowker L.K.
      • Price J.D.
      • Smith S.C.
      Falls and funny turns.
      In its various forms, dizziness is one of the most common symptoms in older persons, increasing in prevalence as age advances.
      • Gassmann K.G.
      • Rupprecht R.
      Dizziness in an older community dwelling population: A multifactorial syndrome.
      • Jonsson R.
      • Sixt E.
      • Landahl S.
      • et al.
      Prevalence of dizziness and vertigo in an urban elderly population.
      • Maarsingh O.R.
      • Dros J.
      • Schellevis F.G.
      • et al.
      Dizziness reported by elderly patients in family practice: Prevalence, incidence, and clinical characteristics.
      This increasing prevalence with age reflects the fact that a variety of body systems interact to support one's sense of equilibrium, and that with age the breakdown of multiple systems is common, and hence the increase in dizziness. Because of its multisystem nature and its increasing prevalence in older persons, dizziness meets the characteristics to be classified as a geriatric syndrome.
      • Gassmann K.G.
      • Rupprecht R.
      Dizziness in an older community dwelling population: A multifactorial syndrome.
      ,
      • Tinetti M.E.
      • Williams C.S.
      • Gill T.M.
      Dizziness among older adults: A possible geriatric syndrome.
      • Gomez F.
      • Curcio C.L.
      • Duque G.
      Dizziness as a geriatric condition among rural community-dwelling older adults.
      • Maarsingh O.R.
      • Stam H.
      • van de Ven P.M.
      • et al.
      Predictors of dizziness in older persons: A 10-year prospective cohort study in the community.
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      • Erratum
        Journal of the American Medical Directors AssociationVol. 22Issue 2
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          Regarding the March 2020 article, Sloane PD, Maarsingh O, Mcclester Brown M. Priorities in Management of the Geriatric Patient with Dizziness. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2020;21(3):297-299
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