Primary Sjögren's syndrome impact on smell, taste, sexuality and quality of life in female patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Mod Rheumatol. 2017 Jul;27(4):623-629. doi: 10.1080/14397595.2016.1249538. Epub 2016 Nov 14.


Objectives: The aim of this study is to assess the impact of dryness caused by primary Sjögren's Syndrome (pSS) on smell, taste and sexual function in female patients, and its influence on quality of life.

Methods: Electronic databases including MEDLINE via Ovid, Web of Science, SCOUPUS, EMBASE and COCHRANE LIBRARY were searched until April 2016. Studies that assessed the function of smell, taste and sexuality in pSS patients, defined by the American European Consensus Group (AECG) criteria. Standardized mean differences (SMD) for individual studies using random-effects meta-analysis were feasible.

Results: Five studies incorporated 378 participants were included in the quantitative synthesis. The impact of pSS vs. healthy controls was: smell SMD -0.78 (95% CI -1.29 to -0.27); taste SMD -1.01 (95% CI -1.54 to -0.49); total sexual function SMD -0.93 (95% CI -1.22 to -0.64); physical and mental component of the quality of life SMD -1.28 (95% CI -1.65 to -0.90) and SMD -0.83 (95% CI -1.27 to -0.40) respectively; anxiety and depression SMD 0.61 (95% CI 0.02, 1.20) and SMD 0.79 (95% CI 0.43 to 1.15), respectively.

Conclusion: pSS has a negative impact on smell, taste, sexual function and quality of life in women.

Keywords: Primary Sjögren’s syndrome; Sexual function; Smell; Taste.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Sexuality / psychology*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / psychology*
  • Smell / physiology*
  • Taste / physiology*