Quantitive Assessment of Gustatory Function and Its Association with Demographics, and Systemic Morbidity

Doron J. Aframian, Alaa Zedan, Weaam Agbariah, Andra Rettman, Galit Almoznino*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This study aimed to analyze the associations of gustatory dysfunction as measured by validated taste strips with demographics and co-morbidities. This cross-sectional study retrospectively analyzed records of patients who attended the Orofacial Chemosensory Center of Hadassah Medical Center between 2017 and 2020. Taste strips were used as a validated method to determine taste dysfunction. A total of 272 subjects were included, 137 (50.4%) women and 135 (49.6%) men, with a mean age of 53.5 ± 19.3 years and age range of 18–98 years. The total taste score among the study population was 8.53 ± 4.03 (scale range 0–16). Age had a significant negative correlation with the total taste score (p = 0.001), and men exhibited worse total (p < 0.001), salty (p = 0.003), and bitter (p < 0.001) scores. Major trauma was associated with worse total (p < 0.001) and specialized taste assessments (sweet (p = 0.001), sour (p = 0.002), salty (p = 0.016), and bitter (p < 0.001)). Chemotherapy was associated with reduced total (p < 0.001), salty (p = 0.003), and bitter (p = 0.001) taste scores. Zinc deficiency exhibited worse salty (p = 0.027) and total (p = 0.038) taste scores. Patients with burning mouth syndrome (BMS) showed higher salty scores (p = 0.017). Patients who experienced exposure to toxic chemicals exhibited worse salty scores (p = 0.024). We conclude that gustatory dysfunction is associated with older age, male sex, and co-morbidities of major trauma, current chemotherapy, zinc deficiency, BMS, and exposure to toxins. The study highlights the importance of systemic evaluation and quantitive gustatory dysfunction assessment as part of the diagnostic process of patients with subjective complaints of taste disorders.

    Original languageAmerican English
    Article number50
    JournalBiology
    Volume13
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 2024

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2024 by the authors.

    Keywords

    • ageusia
    • gustatory dysfunction
    • hypogeusia
    • oral diagnosis
    • oral medicine
    • oral-systemic disease(s)
    • pathophysiology
    • risk factor(s)
    • systemic health/disease
    • taste strips test
    • taste/taste

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