Declining Sense of Smell Associated With Less Active Social Life Dependent On One's Sex, Study Says [VIDEO]
A new study has demonstrated the link between a woman's social interactions and her olfactory function, the sense of smell. It is interesting that this association does not exist in men.
The research published on March 22 in Scientific Reports was an analysis of data from a collection of odor identification test scores of 3,005 adults, aged 57 to 85 in the U.S., and details on their social lives. These men and women had been asked to smell five different types of odors and for each one, to choose the correct word and picture description.
The researchers looked into how many friends and close relatives the participants had, and how often they mingled with these people in their social network. With scores assigned for the two factors, a comparison was made between how well their ability to smell worked and how active their social life was.
It was revealed that a declining sense of smell among older women corresponded to a poorer score in the measures of social life compared to women whose olfactory function has not waned. On the contrary, an analysis of the data on adult men did not show a significant relationship between the two factors although a trend was observed between their ability to determine the odor and the number of their friends.
Earlier studies have shown that a declining sense of smell is associated with poor health and well-being. People who feel unwell are generally less active than the healthier ones.
Experiences in social events involving eating and drinking are affected because a person's sense of smell is vital in perceiving the flavors of food and beverages.
Some evidence also suggests that the status of one's health and emotions are conveyed by body odors, showing how chemical signals play a role in communication between humans, cited the Scientific Reports.
The researchers believe that women suffering from a declining sense of smell may find an improvement in their social life through smell training which helps boost the sensory function, according to the Science Daily.