Evaluation of gustatory and olfactory function among premenopausal and postmenopausal women and men

Parisa Kalantari, Mahsa Kalantari, Maryam Alsadat Hashemipour


BACKGROUND AND AIM: The sense of taste is a chemical sense which allows everyone to perceive the flavor of what is eaten or drunk. Also, the sense of olfaction is also a chemical sense contributing to the sense of taste to perceive the taste and flavor of food. In the present work, the gustatory and olfactory function in pre- and postmenopausal women and men were studied and compared to each other.

METHODS: Fifty postmenopausal women, 50 age-matched men, 50 young women and 50 young men were evaluated in this study and enrolled through simple sampling method. The aim of this study was explained for patients and in case of their consent, they were given the questionnaire. Taste threshold for each of the four main tastes for all of the participants in the study was determined at one step between 8 am to 11 am while they had not consumed any food since one hour before the test. The whole mouth taste method was used in this study. Also, the Davidson and Murphy tests were performed and the quality identification and intensity ratings of olfaction were measured.

RESULTS: Three individuals among the postmenopausal women group and 2 old men were not able to detect sweet taste even in high concentration; in the group of young men, one man was not able to detect bitter taste even in high concentration. This study showed that 2% of postmenopausal women and 4% of matched men were not able to detect the odor of isopropanol even at a concentration of 70% and there was a significant relationship between odor perception of isopropanol and olfactory intensity between the two groups of pre- and postmenopausal women as well as men.

CONCLUSION: Taste dysfunction directly influences nutritional status. In this study, the strength of the sweet taste perception was significantly lower among women after menopause; however, there was no significant difference between the perception of other tastes among postmenopausal women and men of same age.


Taste; Olfactory; Menopause

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