Losing your sense of smell in older age could be associated with losing your mobility

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Older adults who begin to lose their sense of smell could be more likely to lose their mobility faster, according to international research. The researchers tested the sense of smell of 2,500 people aged 70-79 years old, then tested their walking speed on multiple occasions over the next seven years. They say those with reduced ability to smell walked slower during their first test, and their walking speed declined faster over the years compared to those without impaired smell. The researchers say this shows a loss of sense of smell could be a sign a person is losing their mobility, and more research needs to be done to understand why this link exists.

Journal/conference: JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery

Link to research (DOI): 10.1001/jamaoto.2023.4375

Organisation/s: Michigan State University, USA

Funder: The study was supported by a
grant from the NIA (1R01AG071517). The Health
ABC study was supported by the NIA, the National
Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the Intramural
Research Program of the NIA/NIH, and NIA
contracts N01AG62101, N01AG62103,
N01AG62106, NIA grant R01AG028050, and NINR
grant R01NR012459.

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