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15 December 2018

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Int J Med Sci 2012; 9(2):126-128. doi:10.7150/ijms.3447

Short Research Communication

Potential Impact of the Financial Crisis on Outpatient Hospital Visits due to Otorhinolaryngologic Disorders in Crete, Greece

Alexander D. Karatzanis, Emmanouil K. Symvoulakis, Vasilios Nikolaou, George A. Velegrakis

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Crete Medical School, Heraklion, Crete, Greece.


The public health effect of financial crises has been emphasized in previous studies. In addition, a series of otorhinolaryngologic disorders and manifestations has been related to psychological factors in the literature. Such conditions include temporomandibular joint disorders, laryngopharyngeal reflux, chronic tinnitus, and vertigo. Focusing on the outpatient database records of a large hospital in Crete, Greece, the objective of this retrospective study was to explore possible occurrence variations within the prementioned otorhinolaryngologic morbidity which may be potentially attributed to increased levels of socioeconomic stress. Results revealed that although the total number of visits between two periods - before and after the beginning of the financial crisis in Greece - was comparable, a significant increase in the diagnosis of two disorders, namely vertigo and tinnitus was found. In addition, a trend toward increased rate of diagnosis for reflux and temporomandibular joint disorders was noted. Potential implications of these findings are discussed. In conclusion, health care providers in this as well as in other countries facing similar socio-economic conditions should be aware of potential changes in the epidemiologic figures regarding specific medical conditions.

Keywords: Financial crisis, socioeconomic stress, anxiety, temporomandibular joint, depression, tinnitus, vertigo, reflux

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How to cite this article:
Karatzanis AD, Symvoulakis EK, Nikolaou V, Velegrakis GA. Potential Impact of the Financial Crisis on Outpatient Hospital Visits due to Otorhinolaryngologic Disorders in Crete, Greece. Int J Med Sci 2012; 9(2):126-128. doi:10.7150/ijms.3447. Available from