Background and Aims: Previous studies suggest that olfactory receptors, which mediate smell chemosensation, are located in the kidney and involved in blood pressure regulation. Mammalian epithelial sodium channels located in taste receptor cells are also found to participate in blood pressure regulation. However, there is currently no human study that has examined the association between taste and smell function and blood pressure. We thus conducted a longitudinal study to examine whether participants with altered taste and smell perception had larger increases in blood pressure compared with those without altered perception in a community-based cohort. Methods and Results: The study included 5190 Chinese adults (4058 men and 1132 women) who were normotensive at baseline. Taste and smell perception were assessed via questionnaire in 2012 (baseline). Blood pressure was measured in 2012 and 2014 to determine relative change in blood pressure. Mean differences of 2-year blood pressure change and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) across four categories of taste and smell perception were calculated after adjusting for known risk factors for hypertension. After adjusting for potential confounders, individuals with altered taste and smell perception had larger increases in systolic blood pressure (adjusted mean difference = 5.1 mmHg, 95% CI: 0.1–10.0, p-value: 0.04) and mean arterial pressure (adjusted mean difference = 3.8 mmHg, 95% CI: 0.4–7.1, p-value: 0.03) after two years of follow-up compared with those having neither altered taste nor altered smell perception. No significant association was observed in individuals with altered taste or smell perception only. Conclusion: Our results suggest an association between chemosensory function and blood pressure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine