The mysterious link between loss of smell and imminent death
If you lost your sense of smell you may soon die. A study showed that people who lost their smell died within the next five years.
Doctors Jayant Pinto and Martha McClintock tested 3,000 people aged 57 to 85 to identify scents such as orange, peppermint, rose, leather and fish.
They then followed the lives of those people who were tested. The people who couldn’t identify any one of the odours had a mortality rate three times higher than those who could identify all the scents. The test was controlled for age and illnesses so they were not a contributing factor.
The olfactory nerve in the nose is constantly regenerating. If patients can’t smell anything it might mean that their body has lost the ability to regenerate. Pinto called the olfactory nerve a ‘canary in the coal mine’ and the doctors say this could be a simple way to test for underlying health problems in the future.
Question – What’s it called when you can’t smell anything?
Answer – Anosmia