Most people experience severe chest pain and end up either in the emergency room or are sent home with medications. The new blood test can give the doctors an idea whether the patient is having a heart attack, any heart problems, or going to die. Sounds bizarre, right…? Let’s have a look how is it even possible with just a blood test.
The new blood test measures the blood levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). The TMAO is produced after the breakdown of meat, eggs and diary food products by the gut bacteria. The researchers found that the high levels of TMAO in the animals resulted in blood vessel inflammation whereas in humans it caused blood clots which resulted in heart problems in the long run. Dr. Thomas Lüscher, a cardiologist at the University Of Zurich, Switzerland, carried out a clinical trial in Ohio that showed patients with chest pain having high TMAO levels had a heart attack or died compared to the patient with low TMAO levels.
According to Lüscher, the highest TMAO level patients were more prone to die, or have a heart attack or stroke within the next 6 months. The elevated risk remained in addition to other heart-disease risk factors, such as smoking, age, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The patients after a stroke show a compound troponin T in the blood and even if not present in the blood levels, the patients with high TMAO levels have nearly six-fold higher risks of an adverse cardiovascular disease.
The other clinical trial carried out in Switzerland concluded that the risks in the high TMAO level patients were less compared to the Ohio high TMAO level patients due to change in diet or climate. Thus, according to the researchers, the doctors can test TMAO levels in the blood and determine the complications.
The researchers found a link between TMAO levels and heart disease risk which can thus encourage the patients to reduce red meat and dairy product consumption.