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Predictive factors of involuntary weight loss in patients with smell and taste disorders

Volume: 62 - Issue: 2

First page: 163 - Last page: 171

D. Daskalou - J.W. Hsieh - M. Hugentobler - S. Macario - R. Sipione - F. Voruz - G. Coppin - J. Rimmer - B.N. Landis

BACKGROUND: Chemosensory dysfunction (olfaction, taste, and trigeminal) affects quality of life, potentially impacting eating behaviors. We investigated which factors are associated with weight loss in patients with smell and taste disorders.
METHODS: Retrospective study of consecutive adult patients seen in the smell and taste clinic during a 10-year period. Patients were asked about smell, flavor and taste impairment. Psychophysically, smell was assessed with Sniffin' Sticks, flavor with a retronasal test, and taste with Taste Strips.
RESULTS: A total of 554 patients (313 females) were included with a median age of 51 years (IQR 23). Seventy-six (13.7%) reported involuntary weight loss (median 6 kg, IQR 6) due to chemosensory disorders. The odds of losing weight were 2.1 times higher when patients reported subjective changes in flavor perception. Parosmia was a significant predictor of weight loss. Patients with symptoms lasting longer than two years were less likely to present with weight loss. Post-traumatic chemosensory dysfunction was a significant predictor of losing weight. On psychophysical testing, the probability of a patient losing weight increased by 8% for every 1-unit reduction in Taste Strips score.
CONCLUSION: Factors associated with weight loss were self-reported changes in flavor perception, parosmia, duration of symptoms for less than two years, head injury, and psychophysically measured low Taste Strips score. These data help to identify patients at risk of weight loss from smell or taste impairment.

Rhinology 62-2: 163-171, 2024

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