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Association Between Olfactory Function and Asthma in Adults

Authors Rhyou HI, Bae WY, Nam YH

Received 11 January 2021

Accepted for publication 12 March 2021

Published 31 March 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 309—316


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Luis Garcia-Marcos

Hyo-In Rhyou,1 Woo Yong Bae,2 Young-Hee Nam1

1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea; 2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Dong-A University, Busan, Korea

Correspondence: Young-Hee Nam
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Dong-A University, 26 Daesingongwon-Ro, Seo-Gu, Busan, Korea
Tel +8251-240-5860
Fax +82-51-242-5864
Email [email protected]

Purpose: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and allergic rhinitis (AR) are common asthma-associated upper airway diseases. Olfactory dysfunction, a common symptom among these patients, is an increasingly recognized condition that is associated with a reduced quality of life and major health outcomes. However, there are few studies on the association between olfactory function and asthma. We investigated the relationship between asthma and olfactory function.
Patients and Methods: A total of 146 patients with asthma aged > 18 years were retrospectively analyzed from August 2019 to February 2020. Olfactory function was assessed using the Sniffin’ stick test or the YSK olfactory function test. We compared the clinical parameters of patients with olfactory dysfunction and patients with normosmia.
Results: Of the total participants, 68 (46.6%) showed olfactory dysfunction (hyposmia, n=31; anosmia, n=37). The patients with olfactory dysfunction were older, had longer durations of asthma, and a higher proportion of those with poor general health, CRS, and nasal polyps compared to patients with normosmia. However, there were no significant differences in the socioeconomic status, lung function, asthma severity, and use of inhaled corticosteroids or intranasal steroids between the two groups. Age (odds ratio: 1.044, 95% confidence interval: 1.009– 1.081, P=0.012), poor general health (3.304, 1.231– 8.863, P=0.018), CRS (2.589, 1.155– 5.804, P=0.021), and nasal polyps (3.306, 1.1– 9.94, P=0.033) were significantly associated with olfactory dysfunction.
Conclusion: Olfactory dysfunction was quite frequently observed in adults with asthma. Age, poor general health, CRS, and nasal polyps were significantly associated with olfactory dysfunction.

Keywords: asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis, olfactory dysfunction

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