Poor sense of smell in old age, a note on the increased risk of death

Sense of smell as an indicator for increased mortality risk

Older people have a poorer sense of smell than their years, die a greatly increased risk, within the next ten years. This was the result of an American research team in a current investigation. The researchers suggest that a smell test as the standard examination for seniors.

A new study by Michigan State University indicates that, for the first time that older people with a below-average sense of smell, they have a roughly 50 percent increased risk of dying within the next ten years, compared with seniors who have a good sense of smell. The results of the research were recently published in the journal “Annals of Internal Medicine”.

The expiration of the study

The research team led by epidemiologist Honglei Chen reviewed the data of around 2,300 Participants between the ages of 71 and 82 years over a period of 13 years. All of the subjects, and subjects had to complete a smell test with twelve odors, and were then classified into the categories of good, moderate or poor sense of smell. In the comparison of these groups showed that older adults had a poor sense of smell after 10 years, a 46 percent higher risk of death than those with a good sense of smell.

Sense of smell depends on the risk of death

“A bad sense of smell with increasing age, more and more frequently, and there is a connection with a higher Todesrisiko&#8220 exists;, summarizes Honglei Chen, the study results in a press release. Factors such as gender and life style influence according to the study, the result only slightly. The study is the first study that investigated possible relationships between the sense of smell and increased mortality in old age.

Exact causes only partly known

A bad sense of smell is also an early sign of Parkinson’s disease and dementia, known and associated with Weight loss, stress the researchers. These impairments, however, could explain only 28 percent of the increased mortality risk. “We do not know the reasons for more than 70 percent of the increased risk,” explains Chen, who wants to solve the mystery in future studies.

The sense of smell of the health condition?

Chen believed that a poor sense of smell is an early and sensitive sign of deterioration of health, before it comes to ailments that can be diagnosed by a doctor. “An impaired sense of smell in older adults could have more impact on health than we previously wussten“, as the head of research. He proposes that a smell test during their routine visit to the doctor after a certain age. (vb)