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Environ Res. 2016 Nov;151:797-803. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.012. Epub 2016 Sep 29.

Fine particulate matter exposure and olfactory dysfunction among urban-dwelling older US adults.

Author information

1
Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
2
Department of Health Sciences, Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
4
Department of Comparative Human Development and the Institute for Mind and Biology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
5
Department of Public Health Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.
6
Section of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. Electronic address: jpinto@surgery.bsd.uchicago.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The olfactory nerve is anatomically susceptible to injury from pollution in inspired air, but there are no large-scale epidemiologic studies investigating this relationship.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional study using data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a representative sample of home-dwelling US adults age 57-85 years. Olfactory function was tested using a validated 5-item odor identification test (Sniffin' Sticks). Exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) at each respondent's home was estimated as 1-12 month moving averages prior to olfactory assessment using validated spatio-temporal models.

RESULTS:

Olfactory dysfunction was significantly associated with PM2.5 exposures averaged over 3-12 months in urban-dwelling respondents. The strongest effect was for 6 month average exposure (per 1-IQR increase in PM2.5: OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.05, 1.55) adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, cognition, comorbidity, smoking, and the season. Interestingly, the most deleterious effects were observed among the youngest respondents, 57-64 years old, and those living in the northeast and south.

CONCLUSIONS:

We show for the first time that air pollution exposure is associated with poor olfaction among urban-living, older US adults.

KEYWORDS:

Air pollution; Elderly; Fine particulate matter (PM(2.5)); Olfactory dysfunction; Smell

PMID:
27692900
PMCID:
PMC5554594
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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