Olfactory Ability in the Healthy Population: Reassessing Presbyosmia

Mackay-Sim, Alan, Johnston, Amy N. B., Owen, Caroline and Burne, Thomas H. J. (2006) Olfactory Ability in the Healthy Population: Reassessing Presbyosmia. Chemical Senses, 31 8: 763-771. doi:10.1093/chemse/bjl019

Author Mackay-Sim, Alan
Johnston, Amy N. B.
Owen, Caroline
Burne, Thomas H. J.
Title Olfactory Ability in the Healthy Population: Reassessing Presbyosmia
Journal name Chemical Senses   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0379-864X
Publication date 2006-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/chemse/bjl019
Volume 31
Issue 8
Start page 763
End page 771
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Language eng
Subject 1103 Clinical Sciences
Abstract Age-associated loss of olfactory function, or presbyosmia, has been described in many studies of olfactory ability. Presbyosmia has been ascribed to idiopathic causes despite recognition that many neurodegenerative diseases also induce loss of olfactory function and increase in incidence in the aged population. Often this olfactory loss is unnoticed or unreported by affected individuals. More effective olfactory function in women compared with men is another common feature of many studies of olfactory function. Here we report on normative data from an Australian population study (n = 942) that has been divided into 2 subpopulations and reassessed as (included) a population of healthy, nonmedicated, nonsmokers with no history of nasal problems (n = 485) and (excluded) a population of participants who were either medicated, smokers or had a history of nasal problems (n = 457). The "included" data set shows a strong relationship between self-reporting of olfactory sensitivity and olfactory function score. The included data set shows a small but significant decline in olfactory ability after 65 years of age and better olfactory function in females compared with males. Data from the excluded population show a marked decline in olfactory ability after 65 years of age, no difference between males and females, and a weak relationship between self-reporting of olfactory function and actual olfactory function. The power of this approach is that it provides a normative data set against which many factors such as medication schedules and pathological conditions can be compared.
Keyword Aging
Human olfaction
Self-assessment of smell
Smell test
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 27 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 29 Jan 2009, 16:49:22 EST by Ms Julie Anne Hansen on behalf of School of Biomedical Sciences