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

*Corresponding author for this work

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


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


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