A Study on the Frequency of Olfactory Dysfunction

Smell and Taste Clinic, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Dresden Medical School, Fetscherstrasse 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
The Laryngoscope (Impact Factor: 2.03). 11/2004; 114(10):1764-9. DOI: 10.1097/00005537-200410000-00017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Goals of the study were to evaluate the frequency of olfactory dysfunction in a large representative population without sinonasal complaints and to investigate the extent to which general pathological conditions, medications, and aging influence olfaction.
Results based on an odor identification test ("Sniffin' Sticks") were reported from 1240 subjects. The subjects presented themselves to an otorhinolaryngology outpatient clinic with relatively mild and transitory complaints unrelated to the upper airways. A detailed otorhinolaryngological examination in combination with a standardized interview further ascertained that these patients had no rhinological problems or symptoms relating to sinonasal disease.
Apart from the confirmation of the effects of age, gender, and certain otorhinolaryngological diseases on the sense of smell, the study results revealed that certain general diseases (liver diseases, nonotolaryngological cancers) appear to influence olfactory function, whereas other diseases or disorders have little or no impact on olfaction (hypertension, cardiovascular problems).
The data in the study revealed that olfactory dysfunction among subjects under 65 years of age is more frequent than previously reported.

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