Sense of smell declines with advancing age, a loss of capacity already correlated with broader neurodegeneration and progression towards cognitive impairment and dementia. Here, researchers correlate the loss of sense of small with numerous other aspects of aging, as well as type 2 diabetes, a condition associated with a greater risk of age-related disease and mortality because most diabetics are significantly overweight. Excess fat tissue accelerates aging via mechanisms such as increased generation of senescent cells and increased chronic inflammation.
Olfactory dysfunction is common in aging and associated with dementia and mortality. However, longitudinal studies tracking change in olfactory ability are scarce. We sought to identify predictors of interindividual differences in rate of olfactory identification change in aging. Participants were 1780 individuals, without dementia at baseline and with at least 2 olfactory assessments over 12 years of follow-up (mean age = 70.5 years; 61.9% female), from the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K). Odor identification was assessed with the Sniffin’ Sticks. We estimated the impact of demographic, health, and genetic factors on rate of olfactory change with linear mixed effect models.
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