Epidemiology and environmental risk factors associated with vestibular schwannoma

Oren Berkowitz, Aditya K. Iyer, Hideyuki Kano, Evelyn O. Talbott, L. Dade Lunsford

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26 Scopus citations


Objective Vestibular schwannomas (VS) are tumors originating from the eighth cranial nerve. The etiology and environmental risk factors for VS remain unclear. The goal of this study was to explore some potential environmental risk factors associated with vestibular schwannoma (VS). Methods A hospital-based case-control study with 1:1 matching based on age and sex was designed. A written questionnaire was administered. Multiple conditional logistic regression models were created to determine odds ratio (OR). Results There were 353 matched pairs with an average age at diagnosis of 53 years (SD ± 12), 50% of participants were female, and >90% were white. Multivariate models revealed significantly increased OR with a history of hay fever (OR = 3.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.35-11.30) and managerial/professional occupations (OR = 4.41, 95% CI = 2.07-9.40). Tobacco use had a decreased association with VS (<20 pack-years OR = 0.10, 95% CI = 0.04-0.28; ≥20 pack-years OR = 0.03, 95% CI = 0.01-0.12). Conclusions The profile of patients with VS includes white race, age 50-60 years, either sex, and working in a professional occupation. Better access to health care and diagnostic imaging likely plays a role in the diagnosis of this tumor. Hay fever is strongly associated with VS. Tobacco use demonstrates an inverse relationship with VS, but the possible biologic mechanism for this is poorly understood, and tobacco remains a significant public health problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1674-1680
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Cranial nerve neoplasm
  • Epidemiology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Radiosurgery


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