A study conducted in Strasbourg and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that the loss of smell, or anosmia, associated with infection with COVID-19, is an “excellent predictor” of recovery within one year.
The study, published Thursday, included a group of 97 patients with COVID-19, with “a severe loss of their sense of smell for more than 7 days.” It was carried out privately by Marion Renaud, Clinical Head in the Otolaryngology Department of the University Hospital Center Strasbourg, and with the support of the Institute of University Hospital Strasbourg (IHU).
It was found that 84.3% of patients “objectively recovered” after 4 months and that “96.1% recovered objectively at 12 months”.
Of the follow-up patients, “two remained hypo-olfactory (two experienced partial loss of smell, editor’s note) for 1 year, with persistent abnormalities,” the study notes.
“The prognosis for the smell back after a year is excellent,” Marion Reno told AFP. “In addition, loss of smell often affects young people and the prognosis for recovery is better in young people.”
“It’s a message that encourages patients,” the doctor added. “A year ago, we can’t say, even if the vast majority of people regained their sense of smell in the first months.”
The study also showed that ‘participants tended to underestimate the return’ of their normal sense of smell, with some patients reporting only ‘partial recovery’ while ‘psychosomatic tests’ performed on them resulted in a ‘complete recovery’ of their sense of smell. .
The study was published as a “Research Dissertation,” an abbreviated but peer-reviewed version, in the Journal of the American Medical Association.