Objectives: While chemosensory dysfunctions, dysgeusia and anosmia/hyposmia, are recognized as distinctive symptoms of COVID-19, their temporality of presentation and association with the patient age, gender, disease severity, and comorbidities has been sparsely studied. Hence, we evaluated the latter associations of chemosensory dysfunction, in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Materials and methods: Information on chemosensory dysfunction and history of chronic systemic comorbidities, if any, was obtained from 149 COVID-19 patients in an infectious disease hospital in UAE, using their medical records, as well as from a face-to-face questionnaire survey. Additionally, a modified SNOT-22 questionnaire that measures disease-specific quality of life in patients with upper respiratory tract affections was also administered.
Results: Chemosensory dysfunction was reported by 94.6% of the cohort, and anosmia with dysgeusia was significantly more in males than females with severe COVID-19. Males with moderate COVID-19 and systemic comorbidities were more likely to present with chemosensory dysfunction in comparison with females. SNOT-22 questionnaire revealed that nasal blockage and runny nose were more prevalent in mild/moderate, than in the severe, state of COVID-19.
Conclusion: Our data confirm the commonality of chemosensory dysfunction during COVID-19 progression, and the significantly more pronounced combined dysfunction in males with severe COVID-19, and comorbidities.
Keywords: anosmia; chemosensory dysfunction; coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); dysgeusia; hospitalized.
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