The association between smoking and smell and taste impairment in the general population
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of smoking on taste and smell impairment in a large population- based study.
Cross-sectional survey in Dortmund, Germany.
The population sample was randomly drawn from the city’s central registration office. Following a standardized interview, validated taste and smell tests were performed. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression was used in the analysis.
Among the 1312 study participants, 3.6 % were functionally anosmic, and 18 % had olfactory dysfunction. Approximately 20 % recognized only three or less of the four tastes when presented at suprathreshold concentrations, indicating signs of taste impairment. Current smoking in general increased the risk for impairment of olfactory function (odds ratio 1.71, 95 % CI 1.19–2.47), but not the risk for taste impairment. Heavy smokers of 20 or more cigarettes/day had significant increased risks for impairment in both senses.
Our results reveal that both olfactory and gustatory function are compromised in a significant proportion of the general population. Smoking increases significantly the risk of impairment of olfactory function. Our findings add an important detail to the large body of evidence that describes adverse health effects of smoking.
Key wordsodor olfaction gustation aging population studies risk factors
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 22.Kobal G, Klimek L, Wolfensberger M, Gudziol H, Temmel A, Owen CM, et al. (2000) Multicenter investigation of 1,036 subjects using a standardized method for the assessment of olfactory function combining tests of odor identification, odor discrimination, and olfactory thresholds. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 257(4):205–211PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 24.Keil U, Liese AD, Hense HW, Filipiak B, Doring A, Stieber J, et al. (1998) Classical risk factors and their impact on incident non-fatal and fatal myocardial infarction and all-cause mortality in southern Germany. Results from the MONICA Augsburg cohort study 1984–1992. Monitoring Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Diseases. Eur Heart J 19(8):1197–1207PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar