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Original Research

Effect of menopause on olfactory function

Anand Kumar Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Nidhi Jain, Neeru Garg, Punam Verma, Sunita Mittal.

Background: Olfactory function decreases with aging. The decrease in estrogen also leads to decrease in olfactory acuity. Menopause is a physiological process of aging that is associated with a decreased ovarian reserve and, hence, estrogen secretion. Olfactory dysfunction adversely affects the quality and safety of life.

Aims and Objectives: The aim of this study is to compare the olfactory detection and identification threshold of females in reproductive age with the females after at least 5 years of menopause.

Materials and Methods: The current quasi-experimental cross-sectional study involved a convenient sample size of 60 females; 30 females in reproductive age (2035 years) and 30 females in menopause for 5 years (4560 years). Elsberg-Levy olfactometry was used to measure the olfactory detection and identification threshold for five odors asafetida, camphor, formalin, peppermint, and rosewater. Independent t-test was applied to compare the means, and P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The olfactory detection and identification threshold were significantly (P < 0.001) higher in postmenopausal women for all the five odors than the reproductive age women.

Conclusion: The decrease in the acuity of smell in postmenopausal women might be due to the normal aging process; however, it seems to be more dependent on the decreased estrogen secretion.

Key words: Menopause; Odor; Olfaction; Olfactory Threshold; Smell

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American Journal of Physiology, Biochemistry and Pharmacology


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