Elderly people with weak sense of smell die 50% more often

Scientists from Michigan State University warned that a bad sense of smell at retirement may be a warning about early death.The study showed that over the next 10 years, the probability of death among people experiencing problems with the recognition of odors, is almost 50% higher than among people with sensitive smelling. Experts emphasize that even healthy people at the beginning of the study had a higher risk of death if their sense of smell was impaired. This suggests that the problem with odor recognition may indicate a deterioration in health many years before more serious problems appear.

To come to such conclusions, experts studied the sense of smell of 2,300 people aged 71 to 82 years. Each person was asked to evaluate 12 odors, for each of which four options were proposed for identification. Subsequently, participants were classified into groups according to the quality of their sense of smell — good, moderate, or bad — and were tracked for the next 13 years. According to the data obtained, people with poor sense of smell were 46% more likely to die in the next 10 years and 30% more likely to die in 13 years.

According to doctors, poor sense of smell is considered an early sign of Parkinson’s disease and dementia, and is also associated with weight loss. However, this explains only 28% of the increased risk of death among the elderly, while most of the increased risk of death cannot be attributed to any specific diseases. “Older people with impaired sense of smell are likely to have serious health problems. Which ones — we have yet to figure out, ”says Dr. Honglei Chen. “Turning on olfactory screening in regular doctor visits can be a good idea.”

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