An association between olfactory dysfunction and female hormone level has been reported; however, no previous studies have investigated the correlation with life-long female hormone exposure. The aim of this study was to estimate the association between subjective olfactory dysfunction and various endogenous and exogenous female hormone-related factors including age at menarche and menopause, number of pregnancies and deliveries, age at first and last delivery, duration of breastfeeding, use of oral contraceptives, and use of hormone therapy. The study analysed a total of 3863 female participants using data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey V (2010–2012). The prevalence of olfactory dysfunction was 3.5% for premenopausal participants and 6.2% for postmenopausal women. Among premenopausal women (compared to women breastfed less than 12 months), the 12–24-month group (OR = 4.690, 95% CI = 1.431–15.369) and the 25–48-month group (OR = 6.548, 95% CI = 1.758–24.394) had higher rates of olfactory dysfunction. In postmenopausal women, starting menopause at a younger age was positively associated with olfactory dysfunction (OR = 0.939, 95% CI = 0.887–0.993). These data suggest that a longer duration of endogenous oestrogen deprivation is associated with subjective olfactory dysfunction.
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