Can't smell these things? You may have 5 years left to live

Thursday 04 August 2016 01:00

Today in worrying developments, scientists have found that the loss of your sense of smell could be an early warning sign of death.

That's according to a long-term study of 3,000 adults between the ages of 57 and 85 by the University of Chicago.

Researchers asked adults to identify odours including peppermint, fish, orange, rose and leather. The 39 per cent with the worst sense of smell were all dead within five years.

However, the loss of your sense of smell could also be a sign of a very bad cold rather than imminent death.

As the study's lead researcher Professor Jayant Pinto explained, loss of smell is just a "harbinger, an early warning system that shows damage may have been done".

"Our findings could provide a useful clinical test, a quick inexpensive way to identify patients most at risk," he added.

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