Spit test to diagnose heart attacks

By Lauren Edwards • Published: July 21st, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Think you’re having a heart attack? They day may be coming when you can spit in a small vial and find out for sure in less than twenty minutes.

It sounds crazy, but researchers at the University of Texas at Austin say this technology is a reality. The researchers have developed a non-biochip sensor that can tell if someone is having… or at high risk of soon having… a heart attack. By detecting certain proteins that are present in the saliva, this technology has the ability to verify the status of a person’s heart in just fifteen short minutes. A study of one-hundred-fifteen people… about half of whom had had a heart attack and half who had not… found that this “spit test” was just about as accurate at differentiating between these two groups as a standard blood test, which can take up to an hour or longer. Because many people who have a heart attack can have normal E-K-G readings and experience nonspecific symptoms, researchers say that this test could save precious time in diagnosing a potentially life-threatening heart attack.

Researchers say the saliva test could one day be used alongside E-K-Gs to more quickly diagnose heart attacks that the E-K-G alone may miss.

Of course, if you think you are having a heart attack, be sure to get to the hospital right away. But it may not be long before all you will have to do is supply a little spit to know for sure.