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Acta Otolaryngol. 2016 Jul;136(7):754-7. doi: 10.3109/00016489.2016.1146410. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

Does iron deficiency anemia affect olfactory function?

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a Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery , Istanbul Gaziosmanpasa Taksim Research and Training Hospital , Istanbul , Turkey.


Conclusion This study found a negative effect of IDA on olfactory function. IDA leads to a reduction in olfactory function, and decreases in hemoglobin levels result in further reduction in olfactory function. Objective This study examined the effects of iron-deficiency anemia (IDA) on olfactory function. Method The study enrolled 50 IDA patients and 50 healthy subjects. Olfactory function was evaluated using the Sniffin' Sticks olfactory test. The diagnosis of IDA was made according to World Health Organization (WHO) criteria. Results Patients with IDA had a significantly lower threshold, discrimination, and identification (TDI) value, and a lower threshold compared with the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of smell selectivity values.


Iron-deficiency anemia; Sniffin’ Sticks olfactory test; olfactory function

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