Association between subjective olfactory dysfunction and female hormone-related factors in South Korea

Kijeong Lee, In Hak Choi, Sang Hag Lee, Tae Hoon Kim

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5 Citations (Scopus)


An association between olfactory dysfunction and female hormone level has been reported; however, no previous studies have investigated the correlation with life-long female hormone exposure. The aim of this study was to estimate the association between subjective olfactory dysfunction and various endogenous and exogenous female hormone-related factors including age at menarche and menopause, number of pregnancies and deliveries, age at first and last delivery, duration of breastfeeding, use of oral contraceptives, and use of hormone therapy. The study analysed a total of 3863 female participants using data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey V (2010–2012). The prevalence of olfactory dysfunction was 3.5% for premenopausal participants and 6.2% for postmenopausal women. Among premenopausal women (compared to women breastfed less than 12 months), the 12–24-month group (OR = 4.690, 95% CI = 1.431–15.369) and the 25–48-month group (OR = 6.548, 95% CI = 1.758–24.394) had higher rates of olfactory dysfunction. In postmenopausal women, starting menopause at a younger age was positively associated with olfactory dysfunction (OR = 0.939, 95% CI = 0.887–0.993). These data suggest that a longer duration of endogenous oestrogen deprivation is associated with subjective olfactory dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20007
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the 150 residents of the Otorhinolaryngology Departments of the 47 training hospitals in South Korea and members of the Division of Chronic Disease Surveillance of the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention for participating in this survey and for their dedicated work. In addition, we would like to thank Editage ( for English language editing. This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2017R1A2B2003575), the Korea Health Technology R&D Project (HI17C0387) through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), and the Ministry of Health & Welfare. This research was also supported by a Korea University grant (K1824301) and a grant from the Korea University Medical Center and Anam Hospital (K1814581), Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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