Middle-aged and older women demonstrated low levels of selfawareness and reporting accuracy regarding poor olfaction, according to results published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Honglei Chen, PhD, and colleagues pulled cross-sectional survey data and a case-control subsample from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ Sister Study. Of 41,118 women (mean age, 64.3) in the analysis, 3,322 (8.1%) self-reported poor olfaction. Higher prevalence was associated with older age, being unmarried, current smoking status, frequent coffee drinking, overweight or obesity, poor health, Parkinson’s disease, cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and seasonal allergy; a lower prevalence was associated with non Hispanic Black race, and physical activity. The prevalence of objectively tested poor olfaction was 13.3% (95% CI, 11.5%-15.0%), and, in contrast with self-reports, was twice as high in non-Hispanic Black women as in non-Hispanic White women (24.5% vs 12.5%). Compared with objective tests, self-reports demonstrated a low sensitivity (22.6%; 95% CI, 19.6%-25.6%).
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