Migraine and Association of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: A Large Tertiary University Medical Center Review
Sarah Goh1, Natalia Murinova1, Ami Cuneo1, Daniel Krashin2
1Neurology, University of Washington, 2Pain and Psychiatrist, Seattle VA Medical Center

Describe the characteristics of patients diagnosed with migraine and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) at University of Washington Medical System.


Migraine and vertigo are common complaints in general population. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo in adults. In a cohort study in South Korea, the incidence of BPPV was higher in individuals with migraine than those without (6% vs 2.3%), and a Taiwan population-based study showed that migraine patients had 2.03 times increased risk for BPPV. The prevalence of migraine in a BBPV positive study population of a large U.S neurology clinic was 25.8%. We investigated the prevalence of BBPV in migraine patients within our University of Washington patient population.
The Leaf research database was used to obtain retrospective data for all patients with ICD-10 code diagnoses for migraine (using ICD 10 G43.001-G43.D1), disorders of vestibular function (using ICD 10 H81.01-H81.93), and BPPV (using ICD 10 H81.10-H81.13) at the University of Washington.  Demographics were analyzed.

The total number of patients with migraine and vestibular dysfunction were 36,498 and 9,639 respectively. 61% (5,890) of patients with disorders of vestibular function had diagnosis of BPPV. 12.2% (718) of BPPV patients were diagnosed with migraine. These 718 patients represented only 1.96% of migraine patients. Of this group, 85.2% were females and 74.1% were under 65 years old. 11.6% of this group had an Asian language as their native tongue.


In our study population BPPV was the most common diagnosis among patients with disorders of vestibular disorders. Over ten percent of these had comorbid migraine headache. While BPPV was diagnosed in only about one percent of migraine patients in this study, it should be considered in the differential for vertigo, particularly in female patients under 65, especially since BPPV is easily diagnosed and treated.