Loss of smell linked to increased risk of early death

March 22, 2017
smell
Credit: Petr Kratochvil/public domain

In a study of adults aged 40 to 90 years who were followed for 10 years, poor smell was linked with an increased risk of dying.

During the study, 411 of 1774 participants (23%) died. After controlling for demographic, health-related, and cognitive confounders, each additional correctly identified odor lowered the risk of mortality by 8%. Individuals who performed at chance level on tests (indicating complete olfactory loss) were at a 19% higher risk of death than individuals with normal smell function.

The results contribute to the growing evidence that olfactory assessments might provide insights on the aging brain.

"Our results were not explained by dementia, which was previously linked to smell loss. Instead, was uniquely predicted by ," said Dr. Jonas Olofsson, senior author of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study. "In our future research, we will try to pinpoint the that can explain this phenomenon."

Explore further: Poor odor identification may be early warning for dementia

More information: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, DOI: 10.1111/jgs.14770

Related Stories

Poor odor identification may be early warning for dementia

February 3, 2017
Poor performance on a simple odor identification test was associated with a significantly increased risk of developing dementia years later, in a study of more than 2,400 older black and white adults led by Kristine Yaffe, ...

Tooth loss linked to an increased risk of dementia

March 8, 2017
In a study of 1566 community-dwelling Japanese elderly who were followed for 5 years, the risk of developing dementia was elevated in individuals with fewer remaining teeth.

New PET imaging technique may help monitor neurological disease progression

January 23, 2017
Olfactory neurons in the nasal cavity are the primary source of our sense of smell. Unlike many types of neurons, olfactory neurons are continuously generated throughout the adult lifespan. This uniquely high rate of neuronal ...

Common problem for older adults: Losing the five key senses

February 19, 2016
It's a well-known fact that aging can lead to losing one's senses: vision, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. In previous studies, researchers have learned about the consequences of experiencing a decline in a single sense. ...

Study confirms 'sniff test' may be useful in diagnosing early Alzheimer's disease

December 20, 2016
Tests that measure the sense of smell may soon become common in neurologists' offices. Scientists have been finding increasing evidence that the sense of smell declines sharply in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and now ...

Study investigates risk of hazardous events for patients who can't smell

April 10, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—From the next room, you smell something burning in the kitchen. Rushing in, you see a smoking pot left on the stove. You quickly turn off the burner, averting a more serious situation. But what if you couldn't ...

Recommended for you

Poor sleep could lead to heavier drinking in young adults, study finds

December 8, 2017
A shortened night of sleep may increase young adults' risk of heavier drinking, according to a new Yale study that assessed reciprocal variations in sleep and drinking over time in young adults.

Researchers say nutritional labeling for sodium doesn't work

December 8, 2017
Potato chips, frozen pizza, a fast food hamburger-these foods are popular in the American diet and saturated with sodium. Though eating too much can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease, 90 percent of Americans eat ...

Observation care may save more than thought

December 8, 2017
In the world of health care spending policy, it usually works that as Medicare goes so goes private insurance on matters of managing the cost and quality of care.

Screen time before bed linked with less sleep, higher BMIs in kids

December 7, 2017
It may be tempting to let your kids stay up late playing games on their smartphones, but using digital devices before bed may contribute to sleep and nutrition problems in children, according to Penn State College of Medicine ...

Mindful yoga can reduce risky behaviors in troubled youth, says research

December 7, 2017
For some young people, dealing with life stressors like exposure to violence and family disruption often means turning to negative, risky behaviors—yet little is known about what can intervene to stop this cycle.

Teen girls 'bombarded and confused' by sexting requests: study

December 7, 2017
Adolescent women feel intense pressure to send sexual images to men, but they lack the tools to cope with their concerns and the potential consequences, according to new Northwestern University research published Wednesday, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.