Lv H, Zhang W, Zhu Z, Xiong Q, Xiang R, Wang Y, Shi W, Deng Z, Xu Y. Prevalence and recovery time of olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions of hospitalized patients with COVID‑19 in Wuhan, China. Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Sep 17:S1201-9712(20)30755-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.09.039. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32950734; PMCID: PMC7497396.

Objectives: To investigate olfactory and gustatory dysfunction in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan using a telephone interview.

Methods: This retrospective telephone survey investigated 196 consecutive patients with COVID-19 discharged 3 months previously from two hospital in Wuhan, China. The characteristics of the patient’s disease course and recovery time for olfactory and/or gustatory dysfunctions (OD and/or GD) were collected by telephone interview. Demographic data were collected from the patients’ medical records.

Results: A total of 196 patients with COVID-19 completed the study. The most prevalent general symptoms consisted of fever, cough, and fatigue. 19.9% of patients reported OD and/or GD. In 87.2% of these cases, OD or GD appeared after the general symptoms. Among the patients, 51.4% had a recovery time of more than 4 weeks for OD and/or GD. Patients with COVID-19 and OD and/or GD had significantly higher rates of cardiovascular disease than patients without OD and/or GD (p = 0.002).

Conclusion: Recovery from chemosensory dysfunction (OD and/or GD) was slow, with over half of the patients taking more than 4 weeks to recover. Cardiovascular disease might be related to the development of olfactory or taste disorders in patients with COVID-19.

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