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A cross-sectional study on olfactory function among young adult smokers.


Maria Cristina C. da Silva,
Windolyn D. Panganiban

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Publication Information

Publication Type
Publication Sub Type
Journal Article, Original
Philippine Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
Publication Date
January-December 2006


Objective: To determine the olfactory function and/or dysfunction of young adults who are cigarette smokers using a locally validated smell identification test. Design: Cross-sectional study Setting:Tertiary hospital in Metro Manila Patients: The volunteer study group was composed of 60 male and 21 female students and] employees of a tertiary hospital and its affiliated medical school (both in Quezon City). All subjects were young adults within the age range of 20-35 years with a mean age of 27.58 years (+/- 4.33). All the subjects were currently smoking cigarettes with no medical history of recent viral infection, nasal/sinus surgery, nasal/brain tumors, head trauma, radiotherapy, chronic rhinitides in exacerbation ortracheostomy. Olfactory function of each subject was evaluated using the Sto. Tomas Smell Identification Test (ST-SIT) which is a locally-validated test. Results: Majority of the subjects fell within the 24-27 age group with a mean age of 27.58 years (+/- 4.33). Males outnumbered females 74.1 percent as against 25.9 percent. An inverse relation between pack years and ST-SIT score was present indicating that there could be a dose-related effect off cigarette smoking on olfactory function. Among the 81 subjects, 15 (18.5 percent) turned out to be anosmic, 46 (56.7 percent) were hyposmic I and 20 (24.6 percent) had normal olfactory function. A mean ST-SIT score was computed at 81.183 (+/- 12.58), indicating that majority of the subjects had olfactory dysfunction, meaning they were hyposmic. Conclusion: Smoking cigarettes has become part of the lifestyle of a lot of people in spite of its hazards to health. In the present study, a majority of supposedly healthy young adults who currently smoked cigarettes were proven to suffer from olfactory impairment based on the scores of a locally-validated smell identification test. An inverse relation between ST-SIT scores and pack years was also noted which may indicate a dose-related effect of smoking on olfactory function. (Author)


To determine the olfactory function and/ or dysfunction of young adults who are cigarette smokers using a locally validated smell identification test.

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