Loss of sense of smell linked to heart failure, claims study

A person's likelihood of having heart failure may be predicted by their loss of sense of smell, as per new study

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A representational image depicting an illustration of human heart. — Unsplash/File

Experts calculate that heart failure, a disease in which the heart is unable to adequately pump blood throughout the body, affects 64 million individuals worldwide.

Other illnesses that weaken the heart muscle, like coronary heart disease, as well as bad lifestyle choices, like smoking and binge drinking, can result in heart failure.

According to recent research from Michigan State University, a person's likelihood of having heart failure may be predicted by their loss of sense of smell.

The study was recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“Smell loss or impairment affects about a quarter of older adults,” Honglei Chen, PhD, MSU Research Foundation Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and lead author of this study, told Medical News Today.

“The public awareness is low though — only about 30% of those with smell loss know they have it,” he noted.

“We learned in the past two decades that smell loss is one of the most important early markers of dementia,” Chen continued. “Interestingly, emerging data, including ours, suggests that smell loss may have more profound implications on the health of older adults, including [the] risk of pneumonia, functional decline, and frailty.”

Smell loss may also be related to cardiovascular health, added Keran Chamberlin, a doctoral researcher in epidemiology at Michigan State University, and first author of this study.

“For example, preliminary data found that subclinical cardiovascular changes may affect the sense of smell of older adults,” Chamberlin explained to MNT.