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Prevalence, recovery and factors associated with smell and taste disruption in patients with coronavirus disease 2019
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  • Pablo Parente-Arias,
  • Pilar Barreira-Fernandez,
  • Ana Quintana-Sanjuas,
  • Berta Patiño-Castiñeiras
Pablo Parente-Arias
Hospital Universitario Lucus Augusti
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Pilar Barreira-Fernandez
Hospital Universitario Lucus Augusti
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Ana Quintana-Sanjuas
Hospital Universitario Lucus Augusti
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Berta Patiño-Castiñeiras
Hospital Universitario Lucus Augusti
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Abstract

Abstract Objective: To determine the occurrence of olfactory and gustatory disruptions in COVID-19 patients, their association with demographic and clinical features and prognosis. Design: This observational cohort study involved consecutively diagnosed COVID-19 patients tested between March the 3rd 2020 and March the 24th 2020. Setting: A geographically defined cohort area. All COVID-19 patients were evaluated in a University Hospital. Participants: From the first 184 consecutive patients, 32 were considered ineligible and one refused to participate. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome of interest is the prevalence of smell and taste alterations, factors associated and recovery rate. Univariate and multivariate analysis by logistic regression was performed to detect factors associated to these symptoms. Results: 151 patients were included and 99 (65.3%) reported olfactory or gustatory symptoms. Olfactory dysfunction was reported by 75 patients (49.7%). Isolated anosmia was found in 2 patients (1.3%). Gustatory dysfunction was reported by 91 patients (60.3%). Factors associated with higher prevalence of smell dysfunction included age, sex, and comorbidities. The time to smell disruption development was significantly shorter in mild to moderate patients than in severe patients (p = 0.043). In 85.3% of patients with smell disruption, the symptom had been resolved in the first 2 months Conclusions and Relevance: Olfactory and gustatory dysfunction was common in COVID-19 patients. Smell disruption has high recovery rate and was associated with age, sex, and clinical severity. It may be beneficial to investigate the appearance of taste and/or smell disruptions in individual patients, with respect to diagnosis and prognosis.