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BMJ Open ; 13(3): e067065, 2023 03 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2286022


OBJECTIVES: COVID-19, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a severe threat to human health and the economy globally. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of taste and/or smell dysfunction and associated risk factors in mild and asymptomatic patients with Omicron infection in Shanghai, China.DesignThis was a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study. SETTING: COVID-19 patients at the makeshift hospital in the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre were recruited from March to April 2022. PARTICIPANTS: In total, 686 COVID-19-infected patients who were defined as mild or asymptomatic cases according to the diagnostic criteria of New Coronavirus Pneumonia Prevention and Control Programme ninth edition (National Health Commission of China, 2022) were enrolled. MEASURES: Data to investigate taste and smell loss and to characterise other symptoms were collected by the modified Chemotherapy-induced Taste Alteration Scale and Sino-Nasal Outcome Test-22 questionnaires. The risk factors for the severity of taste/smell dysfunction were analysed by binary logistic regression models. RESULTS: 379 males (379/686, 55.2%) and 307 females (307/686, 44.8%) completed the questionnaires to record recent changes in taste and smell ability. A total of 302 patients (44%) had chemosensory dysfunction with Omicron infection, of which 22.7% (156/686) suffered from both taste and smell dysfunction. In addition, cough (60.2%), expectoration (40.5%), fever (33.2%) and sore throat (32.5%) were common symptoms during Omicron infection. The quality-of-life-related indicators were negatively associated with participants' self-reported taste and smell dysfunction. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of taste or/and smell dysfunction in patients with Omicron infections was 44%. Individuals with chemosensory dysfunction had significantly higher rates of various upper respiratory influenza-like symptoms, xerostomia and bad breath. Moreover, smell dysfunction was a risk factor for the prevalence of taste dysfunction in patients with Omicron infection. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ChiCTR 2200059097.

COVID-19 , Olfaction Disorders , Male , Female , Humans , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Taste , Prevalence , China/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/epidemiology , Olfaction Disorders/etiology , Taste Disorders/epidemiology , Taste Disorders/etiology , Taste Disorders/diagnosis , Surveys and Questionnaires