The loss of smell would signal an increased risk of death within 5 years
Unable to identify the mere odor elderly are at increased risk of dying within five years of risk, according to research recently published in the journal Plos One .
The scent of flowers is the mixing of some of their compounds, chemists can analyze assembly for a single scent. When you no longer feel this perfume is not only a shame but, perhaps, a bad sign!
Researchers who conducted a study on the sense of smell in older people found that 39% of subjects 57 to 85 years unable to recognize simple smells like the pink , orange, of fish , of mint and leather died within a period of five years, against 19% of participants with moderate loss of smell and 10% for those that may feel normal.
Olfactory dysfunction was found to be a better predictor of mortality than a diagnosis of heart failure, cancer or lung disease, according to the scientists at the University of Chicago, whose work has just been published in the journal Plos One . Only pathologies severe liver are a strong indicator of the probability of dying within five years, say the authors of this research.
The study, which is part of the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project that was conducted among 3,000 men and representative of the American elderly women. Nearly 78% of those tested were classified as having a smell normal, identifying four or five odors on five, which is the data on the population.
The sign of a decline in the overall capacity for regeneration?
Approximately 20% of participants were classified as hyposmiques, recognizing only two to three odors, the remaining 3.5% as anosmic, that is to say, deprived of smell almost. They could not recognize one of the five test odors and none for 1.1% of the group. Age makes a big difference: 64% of younger (57 years old) were able to recognize all the smells against only 25% of older (85 years).
This team of researchers that included psychologists, physicians, sociologists and statisticians put forward several hypotheses to explain this phenomenon. One of them from the fact that the olfactory system contains stem cells capable of regenerating. A reduced sense of smell may signal a decline in the overall capacity of regeneration of the body with age, which would increase all-cause mortality, these scientists argue.
"We believe that the loss of smell, it's like a canary in a mine coal", said Dr. Jayant Pinto, a lead author of the study and assistant professor of surgery specializing in genetics and the treatment of olfactory disorders. "This is not a direct cause of death but a harbinger that something is more wrong with the body", he has said. He said the results of this research "could help develop useful and inexpensive clinical test capable of rapidly identifying current greater mortality risk persons".