Asthma study raises a stink

Simply believing an odour is harmful can increase airway inflammation in asthmatics for 24 hours, say US researchers.

"When we expect that an odour is harmful, our bodies react as if that odour is indeed harmful," says Dr Cristina Jaén, lead author of a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.

"Both patients and care providers need to understand how expectations about odours can influence symptoms of the disease."