This study was undertaken to evaluate the chemosensory functions of Korean elderly women and to document the impact of olfactory dysfunction on dietary habits and nutritional and health status. The subjects were 41 elderly females aged from 61 to 81 years and an equal number of young female adults was included as a control group. The smell and taste thresholds were higher in elderly subjects than in young adults. The higher the smell threshold of the elderly, the lower the consumption of meats, eggs, and cereals, and also the lower the intakes of calories, protein, fat, carbohydrate and minerals. The smell threshold was negatively correlated with body weight, the muscle and bone masses and positively correlated with serum IL-6 level. Subjects in the highest smell threshold quartile complained more decreased appetite, food intake, and weight loss as they aged. Thus, olfactory dysfunction may have a profound effect on food intake and the nutritional status.
- Chemosensory disorder
- Nutritional status