Heightened Olfactory Sensitivity in Young Females with Recent-Onset Anorexia Nervosa and Recovered Individuals

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Olfaction may be related to food restriction and weight loss. However, reports regarding olfactory function in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) have been inconclusive.

OBJECTIVE: Characterize olfactory sensitivity and identification in female adolescents and young adults with first-episode AN and young females recovered from AN.

METHODS: We used the Sniffin' Sticks Odor Threshold Test and Odor Identification Test to assess 43 participants with first-episode AN, 27 recovered participants, and 39 control participants. Participants completed the Importance of Olfaction questionnaire, the Beck Youth Inventory and the Eating Disorder Inventory. We also conducted a psychiatric diagnostic interview and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule with participants.

RESULTS: Both clinical groups showed heightened olfactory sensitivity. After excluding participants with depression, participants with first-episode AN identified more odors than recovered participants.

CONCLUSION: Heightened olfactory sensitivity in AN may be independent of clinical status, whereas only individuals with current AN and without depression show more accurate odor identification.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0169183
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2017

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Anorexia Nervosa, Female, Humans, Olfactory Perception, Sensory Thresholds, Surveys and Questionnaires, Young Adult, Journal Article

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and www.ku.dk

No data available

ID: 183608550