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October 04, 2019 Friday 07:19:40 AM IST

Microbes may play a role in heart attack onset

Science Innovations

Microorganisms in the body may contribute to destabilisation of coronary plaques and subsequent heart attack, according to research presented at European Society of Cardiology Congress 2019, together with the World Congress of Cardiology.

The study found that unlike gut bacteria, the bacteria in coronary plaques were pro-inflammatory. Patients with acute coronary syndrome (heart attack) had different bacteria in their guts compared to patients with stable angina.

Diet, smoking, pollution, age, and medications have a major impact on cell physiology, the immune system, and metabolism.  This study investigated the contribution of the microbiota to the instability of coronary plaques.


The study enrolled 30 patients with acute coronary syndrome and ten patients with stable angina. While faecal bacteria had a heterogeneous composition, and a pronounced presence of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, coronary plaques primarily contained microbes with pro-inflammatory phenotypes belonging to Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. Those with acute coronary syndrome had more Firmicutes, Fusobacteria and Actinobacteria, while Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria were more abundant in those with stable angina.

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