Prevalence of smell loss before COVID-19
Before the spread of COVID-19 in the US, there were:
15.8 million patients with
chronic smell loss1
A significant loss of smell prevents people from detecting flavor in food, which correlates to a perceived loss of taste.
An analysis of 1000 patients with smell loss found that:
Sinonasal disease (30%), viral upper respiratory infection (25%), and head trauma (12%) were the most common causes of smell loss.2
References: 1. National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey (2011-12), http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/nhanes2011-2012/CSQ_G.htm 2. Keller A, Malaspina D. Hidden consequences of olfactory dysfunction: a patient report series. BMC Ear Nose Throat Disord. 2013;13(1):8. Published 2013 Jul 23. doi:10.1186/1472-6815-13-8