Olfactory Function and Depression: A Meta-Analysis

Boo Young Kim, Jung Ho Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: We investigated the relationship between olfactory function and depression and suggested future research in this area from rhinology. Methods: We independently searched 5 databases (PubMed, SCOPUS, Embase, the Web of Science, and the Cochrane database) for recent studies published from December 2019 to the present. From the obtained studies, we reviewed the findings on olfactory function and depression using a questionnaire to measure depression and olfactory tests. Results: The olfactory function test score based on the UPSIT-40 (standardized mean difference = −.37 [−.66; −.08], P =.0123) was significantly lower in the depression group than in the control group. The olfactory function score based on the Sniffin’ sticks test for identification, discrimination, and threshold was lower in the depression group than in the control. A meta-analysis of the studies showed that depressed patients showed lower olfactory function than the control group. Conclusions and Significance: The findings revealed that an understanding of the relationship between olfaction and depression can be determined using an analysis methodology and a standardized olfactory test. Olfactory functioning and processing are highly integrated with emotion and memory through projections from the olfactory bulb to the central areas.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2021R1I1A1A01044354).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • Olfaction
  • depression
  • olfactory function test
  • questionnaire


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