Study: Poor sense of smell increases risk of death

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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Older adults with a deteriorating sense of smell have an increased risk of dying, according to a study by Michigan State University.

MSU researchers used data from the National Institute of Aging’s Health ABC study, which included nearly 2,300 people from 71 to 82 years old for a 13-year span.

Participants completed a smell test consisting of 12 common odors and classified results as good, moderate or poor.

Compared to the participants with a good sense of smell, those with poor smell had a 46% higher risk of death 10 years after the start of the study, and a 30% higher risk after 13 years.

The study also showed that people who were healthier when it started were found to be more responsible for higher risk.

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