Odor identification and cognitive function in the beaver dam offspring study

Carla R. Schubert, Karen J. Cruickshanks, Mary E. Fischer, Guan Hua Huang, Ronald Klein, Nathan Pankratz, Wenjun Zhong, David M. Nondahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Olfactory impairment is associated with cognitive impairment in older adults but less is known about the association of olfactory impairment and cognitive function in middle-aged adults. The association between olfactory impairment and cognitive function tests of attention, processing speed, and executive and psychomotor function was explored in 2837 participants (21-84 years; mean age 49 years) in the Beaver Dam Offspring Study. Among middle-aged participants (aged 35-64 years), those with impairment on an odor identification test took significantly longer to complete the Trail Making Test (TMT-A and TMT-B) and the Grooved Peg Board (GPB) test, than those without olfactory impairment in regression models adjusted for multiple factors. Similar results were found for the TMT-A and TMT-B, but not the GPB, in the whole cohort. Olfactory impairment was associated with poorer performance on cognitive function tests in a primarily middle-aged cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-676
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 19 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project described was supported by R01AG021917 (K. J. Cruickshanks) from the National Institute on Aging, National Eye Institute, and National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the official views of the National Institute on Aging or the National Institutes of Health. Preliminary analyses from this research were presented as a poster at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, April 25, 2010, St. Pete Beach, FL, USA. Conflict of Interest: None.


  • Cognitive function
  • Epidemiology
  • Executive function
  • Odor identification
  • Olfaction


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