Prevalence of self-reported middle ear disease, hearing loss and vertigo in two adult population-based cohorts over a 20-year period in Greenland

A S Homøe*, N Thorup, CVL Larsen, P Homøe

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


To estimate the frequencies of self-reported middle ear and hearing complaints and vertigo/dizziness in adult Greenlanders. Furthermore, to examine if there has been a development in the frequency of these complaints within a 20-year period. A structured questionnaire concerning middle ear disease and related neuro-otological symptoms was mailed to 400 randomly selected adult Greenlanders between 18 and 60 years of age in 1995. In 2014, the questions were included for the same age group in the general Greenlandic Health Survey. The questionnaires contained a total of six identical questions. In 1995, 281 participants (70%) replied to the questionnaire. In 2014, 1,639 participants (78%) replied. We found that in 1995 the two youngest age groups (18-29- and 30-39-year-olds) had the highest relative number of ear discharge. Approximately one-third of the participants in these two age groups reported to have had ear discharge, while this was only reported by 17% of the 18-29-year-olds and 16% of the 30-39-year-olds in 2014 (95% CI [0.03, 0.3] and [0.1, 0.3], respectively). The oldest age group indicated the lowest relative number of experiences of ear discharge in both 1995 and 2014 (18% and 17%, respectively). In 1995, 30% in the age group 30-39-year-olds reported hearing loss, whereas only 18% reported hearing loss in 2014 (p < 0.05, 95% CI [-0.003,0.2]). There was no significant difference in reported ear discharge since childhood and otitis media in childhood among the age groups between 1995 and 2014. However, in 1995 significantly more females had experienced ear discharge in the age groups 18-29 and 30-39 year-olds compared to 2014. Females in the age group 18-29 year-olds also showed a significant difference in having experienced otitis media in childhood, where 32% answered "yes" in 1995, and 18% answered "yes" in 2014 (p < 0.05). In 2014, females reported more frequent complaints of vertigo compared to males, 16% and 9%, respectively (p < 0.05). In 1995, there was no significant difference in experienced vertigo between males and females. Ear and hearing health problems and vertigo are reported frequently in the Greenlandic population. Overall, a tendency of less complaints in 2014 compared to 1995 except for vertigo. It is important to follow this trend and increase the prophylactic efforts to reduce common health disabilities like early otitis media in childhood and noise created symptoms even more.

TidsskriftInternational journal of circumpolar health
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2023


Udforsk hvilke forskningsemner 'Prevalence of self-reported middle ear disease, hearing loss and vertigo in two adult population-based cohorts over a 20-year period in Greenland' indeholder.