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Vestibular Schwannoma: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Quality of Life

Berkowitz, Oren (2012) Vestibular Schwannoma: Epidemiology, Risk Factors, and Quality of Life. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The goal of this study has been to describe the epidemiology of vestibular schwannoma and explore potential risk factors for this tumor. Other goals of this study have been to look at the function and quality of life of patients compared with the general US population as well as outcomes after radiosurgery treatment.

A 1:1 matched case-control study was designed. Odds ratios were established based on multivariate conditional logistic regression models. Quality of life was measured with the Short-Form 36 Item Health Survey v.2 and audiograms measuring the non-tumor ear were collected and analyzed for comparison with normative US population data.

Average age at diagnosis was 53 (StDev±12). More than 90% of the participants were Caucasian. Patients were evenly distributed by gender. Family history of cancer, a history of hay fever, managerial and professional occupations, and frequent dental x-rays were found to have an increased association with acoustic neuroma in multivariate models. Tobacco use and diabetes were found to have a significantly decreased association with acoustic neuroma in multivariate models. Patients did not have significantly different quality of life scores or audiogram measurements of their non-tumor ear when compared to age-matched US population norms.

Patients with (AN) have the profile of being Caucasian, either gender, in their 50-60’s, and working in managerial, professional jobs. Hay fever, family history of cancer, and frequent dental x-rays are strongly associated with an increase risk of acoustic neuromas. Tobacco use and diabetes demonstrate a protective effect, although the mechanism of this is poorly understood. Patients maintain a quality of life similar to the US population. Acoustic neuromas do not affect hearing in the non-tumor ear.

The epidemiology and risk factors of vestibular schwannoma are poorly understood. Continued research in this area will help to develop an understanding of brain tumor etiology and the role of potential carcinogens in the environment. Functional research will help to look at the role of surgical treatments and the degree of morbidity in these patients.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTalbott, Evelyn O.eot1@pitt.eduEOT1
Committee CoChairLaPorte,
Committee MemberLunsford, L.
Committee MemberChang, Yue-Fangchangy@upmc.eduYUC2
Committee MemberSharma, Ravi K.rks1946@pitt.eduRKS1946
Date: 30 January 2012
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 September 2011
Approval Date: 30 January 2012
Submission Date: 27 November 2011
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 91
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: acoustic neuroma, brain tumor, neurosurgery, radiosurgery, gamma knife, cell phone, audiogram, sf-36, NHANES
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2012 19:32
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2017 06:15


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