Journal Article

Impact of primary Sjögren's syndrome on smell and taste: effect on quality of life

Usama F. Kamel, Peter Maddison and Rhiannon Whitaker

in Rheumatology

Volume 48, issue 12, pages 1512-1514
Published in print December 2009 | ISSN: 1462-0324
Published online September 2009 | e-ISSN: 1462-0332 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kep249
Impact of primary Sjögren's syndrome on smell and taste: effect on quality of life

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Objectives. To assess the prevalence of abnormal smell and taste perception in people with primary SS and the effect on quality of life (QoL).

Methods. Twenty-eight participants with SS and 37 controls were enrolled in a cohort-matched, prospective, cross-sectional study. Smell and taste thresholds were measured using standardized, validated tests. QoL was assessed by the Short Form 12 (SF-12).

Results. Smell threshold was reduced by 1 point (P = 0.002; 95% CI 0.35, 1.54) and taste threshold was reduced by 3.5 points (P < 0.001; 95% CI 1.80, 5.22) in the SS group compared with controls. The physical and mental components of SF-12 were reduced by 14.2 points (P < 0.001; 95% CI 9.47, 19.02) and 7.5 points (P = 0.002; 95% CI 2.97, 12.02), respectively, in the SS group compared with controls. Taste threshold was significantly correlated with both the physical (r = 0.48; P < 0.001) and the mental (r = 0.30; P = 0.015) components of SF-12. Smell threshold correlated with the physical (r = 0.457; P < 0.001), but not the mental component (r = 0.154; P = 0.222) of SF-12.

Conclusions. Clinically important impairment of chemosensory perception occurred in the SS group compared with age- and gender-matched controls. Assessment using SF-12 suggests that this impairment contributed to the reduced health-related QoL that characterized these individuals.

Keywords: Ears; nose and throat; Clinical trials and methods; Quality of life; Sjogren's syndrome

Journal Article.  2074 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Rheumatology

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