Until recently when technology took over, a coal minerís best friend was a caged canary that would warn of a build-up of life-threatening gases. Now US scientists are saying that the sense of smell is the coalmine canary of human health, with people who fail a smell test being at much greater odds of dying within the following 5 years.
Jay Pinto, from the University of Chicago, tested over 3000 over 55s on their ability to correctly identify rose, leather, fish, orange, and peppermint smells. He told Chris Smith about how he followed them up five years later, of those who failed the smell test, half were dead.
No mention of smoking which can cause both anosmia and premature death.