Decreased sense of smell in old age may indicate imminent death

3년 전

In a new large-scale study, scientists from several research centers confirmed that the acuity of smell in older people allows you to predict how many years they have left to live, and tried to figure out why this happens.

"As people age, their sense of smell deteriorates more often, and this leads to an increased risk of death. Our study is the first attempt to find out why poor sense of smell "predicts" increased mortality, " says study co-author epidemiologist Honglei Chen

Previous research in this area did not cover a sufficient period of time and did not analyze the possible origins of this phenomenon.

The Chen group study, which began in 1999, involved 2,289 people aged 71 to 82. At the first stage, the researchers tested the participants ' sense of smell and then, 3, 5, 10 and 13 years after the test, assessed mortality in the study group.

It was found that over the next ten years, mortality in older people with reduced sense of smell was 46 percent higher compared to those with normal sense of smell. Factors such as gender, race, and other demographics had minimal impact on the results of the study. Surprisingly, in the group with an increased risk of mortality, the majority were those who at the time of the study was relatively healthy, but had a poor sense of smell.

Reduced ability to distinguish odors is known to be an early symptom of Parkinson's disease. However, this only partly explains the increase in mortality in the long run. Identifying other causes is a matter for the future. Chen plans to pursue the matter further.

"The deterioration of the sense of smell in older people has more serious consequences than we thought. The test for the ability to distinguish smells makes sense to include in regular medical examinations, " he says in the material of the publication Medical Xpress.

The scientific work of the authors was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine (Source).

We will remind that earlier "News.Science " ( wrote about the impact on life expectancy of a known painkiller, as well as the mental state of a person. And we talked about whether it is possible to accurately predict life expectancy and why it is important to be happy in family relationships.

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