New York, March 23:

If you are a women with a good sense of smell, you may have a thriving social life, as well as have improved overall mental and physical health, a study has showed.

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The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed that the decline in this olfactory function — sense of smell — in elderly women may affect their social life and lead to fewer social connections.

“Our findings confirm that the sense of smell is a key aspect of overall health in the ageing population,” said Johan Lundstrom, neuroscientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center — a US based non-profit scientific institute.

“We know that social interactions are closely linked to health status, so older women who have a poor sense of smell may want to focus on maintaining a vital social life to help improve their overall mental and physical health,” added Sanne Boesveldt, Assistant Professor at Wageningen University & Research in Netherlands.

Interestingly, the same association between olfactory function and social life was not found in older men.

“This intriguing sex difference could suggest that smell training, which has been shown to improve a reduced sense of smell in both men and women, may have an additional beneficial function in older women by helping to restore both the sense of smell and, by extension, social well-being,” Lundstrom said.

For the study, the team analysed 3,005 adults in US between the ages of 57 and 85, and included odour identification test scores as well as information about participants’ social lives.

However, its not yet clear exactly how the link between the sense of smell and social life is connected or if the same relationship also exists in younger women, the researchers said.

Another study, appearing in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study, showed that poor smell was linked with an increased risk of dying. (IANS)