Older adults who've completely lost their sense of smell are three times more likely to die within five years than older adults with a normal sense of smell.
anosmic - Having impaired sense of smell
normosmic - Having normal olfactory sensation
Mortality for anosmic older adults was four times that of normosmic individuals while hyposmic individuals had intermediate mortality (p<0.001), a “dose-dependent” effect present across the age range. In a comprehensive model that included potential confounding factors, anosmic older adults had over three times the odds of death compared to normosmic individuals (OR, 3.37 [95%CI 2.04, 5.57]), higher than and independent of known leading causes of death, and did not result from the following mechanisms: nutrition, cognitive function, mental health, smoking and alcohol abuse or frailty. Olfactory function is thus one of the strongest predictors of 5-year mortality and may serve as a bellwether for slowed cellular regeneration or as a marker of cumulative toxic environmental exposures. [emphasis mine]
Aach! My shower gel's scent seems far weaker than a few years ago. Guess I'm on the short track.