Inflammatory and vascular markers and olfactory impairment in older adults.

Cruickshanks Lab // Kleins Lab // Publications // Sep 01 2015

PubMed ID: 26082178

Author(s): Schubert CR, Cruickshanks KJ, Fischer ME, Klein BE, Klein R, Pinto AA. Inflammatory and vascular markers and olfactory impairment in older adults. Age Ageing. 2015 Sep;44(5):878-82. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afv075. Epub 2015 Jun 16. PMID 26082178

Journal: Age And Ageing, Volume 44, Issue 5, Sep 2015

BACKGROUND the incidence of olfactory impairment increases sharply in the eighth and ninth decades of life but the aetiology of age-related olfactory decline is not well understood. Inflammation and atherosclerosis are associated with many age-related conditions and atherosclerosis has been associated with olfactory decline in middle-aged adults.

OBJECTIVE to determine if inflammatory markers and atherosclerosis are associated with the development of olfactory impairment in older adults.

DESIGN longitudinal, population-based study.

SETTING/PARTICIPANTS a total of 1,611 participants, aged 53-97 years in the Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study without olfactory impairment at the 1998-2000 examination and with follow-up at a subsequent examination 5 and/or 10 years later.

METHODS the San Diego Odor Identification Test was used to measure olfaction. High sensitivity C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor-α were measured in serum and carotid ultrasound images were obtained for the measurement of carotid intima media thickness (IMT) and plaque assessment. Medical history, behavioural and lifestyle information were obtained by interview.

RESULTS inflammatory markers, IMT and plaque were not associated with the 10-year cumulative incidence of olfactory impairment in adjusted Cox proportional hazard models. Among those <60 years, the mean IMT [hazard ratio (HR) = 4.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.69-11.21, tertile 3 versus tertile 1] and the number of sites with plaque (HR = 1.56, 95% CI = 1.17-2.08, per site) were associated with an increased risk of developing an olfactory impairment at follow-up.

CONCLUSION subclinical atherosclerosis at a younger age may be a risk factor for the development of olfactory impairment.

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