July 20, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The impact of a weak sense of smell on the health of older people

Recent research suggests that a poor sense of smell may be an early marker of cognitive loss and a warning sign of heart failure. Is it so?

Age-related loss of the ability to fully sense smells may help predict, or even contribute to, the development of heart failure. Research results published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Medical Xpress publication tellsthat scientists have long been studying the effect of a weak sense of smell on the health of older people. It has been established that every fourth person under 50 years of age has a deteriorating sense of smell, and after 80 years of age this is already more than half. Loss of the ability to fully sense smells leads to a decrease in quality of life:

  • lack of pleasure from food;
  • increased health hazards due to reduced ability to detect spoiled food;
  • smell a gas leak, etc.

But a deterioration in the sense of smell can have other consequences. Previous studies have shown, for example, that a poor sense of smell may be an early marker of cognitive loss. Decreased sense of smell has been shown to predict Parkinson's disease and is considered an early symptom of Alzheimer's disease. Lead study author Dr. Honglei Chen, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Michigan State University College of Medicine, said:

“We know that it is a marker for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and dementia. However, the importance of smell for the health of older people prompted us to explore that its loss may be associated with other diseases.”

Chen and his colleagues analyzed data from 2,537 people. They took part in the study back in 1997-1998 – then they were between 70 and 79 years old. In 1999-2000, during a visit to the clinic, their sense of smell was tested for the first time. From then on, they were followed for 12 years until the onset of cardiovascular events or death.

As it turned out, Participants with loss of smell had about a 30% higher risk of developing congestive heart failure than participants with a good sense of smell. There was no link found between loss of smell and heart disease or stroke. Chen said it remains unclear whether decreased sense of smell may contribute to the development of heart failure or simply predict it. Dr. Khadijah Britett, a cardiologist at the Indiana University Transplant Center in Indianapolis, notes:

“This area of ​​research is still in its early stages and raises many interesting questions. I wonder if loss of smell is a biomarker of another physiological process. It's not entirely logical that loss of smell leads to heart failure.”

Source link

Verified by MonsterInsights