The study, published in the scientific journal Annals of Internal Medicine, reports that a deteriorating odor is associated with a 46% higher risk of death in the next ten years and a 30% higher risk of death in 13 years.
The study involved 2,289 American adults between the ages of 71 and 82 years. All participants were asked to smell 12 common scents. The participant received one point for each correctly stated odor. The scientists later divided the participants into three categories: participants with a good, medium or weak odor. It was also considered whether the participants smoked, consumed alcohol and were physically active. Participants were visited after 3, 5, 10 and 13 years to see if they were still alive.
At the end of the study, 1211 participants had already died.
The relationship between poor sense of smell and a higher risk of death existed regardless of gender, race and lifestyle of participants. The most pronounced link was seen in people who were in good health at the start of the study. Of the people with a weakened odor, 22% died of neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia or Parkinson's disease, while 6% of the deaths were associated with rapid weight loss.
"The study shows clear evidence for the link between the weakened odor and mortality in the elderly," noted the study authors.
In future studies, a weakened sense of smell should be seen as an important characteristic of human aging.
"We have known for many years that the loss of human life at the end of life is often followed by other symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, and that the loss of smell is associated with weight loss, which is no surprise because the smell is also associated with taste ," he said. research that is not related to Robert Howard.