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ENT-VSL-15.1 Data Details

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ENT-VSL-15.1 Reduce the proportion of adults with balance and dizziness problems who have fallen in the past 5 years while experiencing symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, or imbalance

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

Data Source: 
National Health Interview Survey
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch: 
No
Measure: 
percent (age adjusted—see Comments)
Baseline (Year): 
55.6 (2008)
Target: 
50.0
Target-Setting Method: 
10 percent improvement
Numerator: 

Number of persons aged 18 years and over with dizziness or balance problems who have fallen in the past 5 years while having dizziness, vertigo, or imbalance just before or around the time they fell

Denominator: 

Number of adults (18+ years) with dizziness or balance problems in the past 12 months who have fallen in the past 5 years

Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective: 
Not applicable
Questions Used to Obtain the National Baseline Data: 

    From the 2008 National Health Interview Survey, Balance and Dizziness Supplement:

    [NUMERATOR AND DENOMINATOR:]

    DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you had a problem with dizziness or balance? Do not include times when drinking alcohol.

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know

    This next question is about symptoms of dizziness or balance problems. Please tell me if you have had any of these problems in the past 12 months. Please say yes or no to each.

    • A spinning or vertigo sensation, a rocking of yourself or your surroundings
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • A floating, spacey, or tilting sensation
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • Feeling lightheaded, without a sense of motion
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • Feeling as if you are going to pass out or faint
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • Blurring of your vision when you move your head
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • Feeling off-balance or unsteady
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know

    DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, which ONE of these feelings of dizziness or balance problems bothered you the most? [Read categories below.]

    1. Feeling a sense of spinning
    2. A floating or spacey feeling
    3. Feeling lightheaded
    4. Feeling like you are about to pass out
    5. Blurred vision
    6. Unsteadiness
    7. Refused
    8. Don't know

    These next questions are about falls or falling. By falls or falling, we mean unexpectedly dropping to the floor or ground from a standing, walking or bending position.

    DURING THE PAST 5 YEARS, have you fallen at least one time?

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know

    [NUMERATOR:]

    DURING THE PAST 5 YEARS, did any of your falls occur just before, or around the time.... Please say yes or no to each.

    • you were feeling a sense of spinning?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • you were having a floating or spacey feeling?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • you were feeling lightheaded?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • you were feeling like you are about to pass out?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • you were having blurred vision?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
  • you were having unsteadiness?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know

    DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, have you fallen at least once a month on average?

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know

    DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, how many times have you fallen?

    1. None
    2. 1 time
    3. 2 times
    4. 3-4 times
    5. 5-7 times
    6. 8 times
    7. Refused
    8. Don't know

    DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS, did you have an injury as a result of a fall? For example, with a bruise, cut or wound, sprain, dislocation; fracture, broken bones, back pain, head or neck injury?

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Refused
    4. Don't know
Data Collection Frequency: 
Periodic
Methodology Notes: 

    The denominator includes those persons who responded “yes” to having a problem with dizziness or balance in the past 12 months or “yes” to one or more of the six symptoms listed and “yes” to having fallen within the past 5 years. The numerator includes persons who responded “yes” to having a problem with dizziness or balance or “yes” to one or more of the six symptoms listed and "yes" to having fallen during the past 5 years AND who responded that they had experienced one of the six listed symptoms just before or around the time they had fallen.

    Dizziness and loss of balance are among the most common problems bringing patients to their doctor's office. As people get older, the onset of dizziness and falls from balance problems increases. These falls can lead to injury, hospitalization, surgery and even permanent disability. Every year, one-third to one-half of the population age 65 and over experience falls. Of all falls suffered by the elderly, about 50% are the result of vestibular problems. Complaints of dizziness and unsteadiness are frequent problems in accidental and job-related mild head injuries.

    Age Adjustment Notes: 

    This Indicator uses Age-Adjustment Groups:

    • Total: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
    • Sex: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
    • Race/Ethnicity: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
    • Educational Attainment: 25-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
    • Family Income (percent poverty threshold): 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
    • Family Type: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
    • Country of Birth: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
    • Disability Status: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
    • Geographic Location: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
    • Health Insurance Status: 18-44, 45-64
    • Marital Status: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+

References

Additional resources about the objective

  1. Gillespie LD, Gillespie WJ, Robertson MC, et al. 2004. Interventions for preventing falls in elderly people (Cochrane Review). In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 3. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  2. Nelson D, Holtzman D, Bolen J, et al. 2001. Reliability and validity of measures from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Int J Public Health. 46, S3-S35.
  3. Rubenstein LZ, Solomon DH, Roth CP, et al. 2004. Detection and management of falls and instability in vulnerable elders by community physicians. J Am Geriatr Soc. 52(9):1527–1531.