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A single exhaled breath could detect heart failure, according to new research. Dr. Raed Dweik of the Cleveland Clinic, led the study, which is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Dweik said the answer lies in the ‘breathprint.’

“We consistently kept finding that patients with heart failure had a different breathprint,” Dweik said. “So, you analyse their breath; you always find there is something different about it than patients who do not have heart failure.”

Dweik’s team looked at patients admitted to the hospital with heart failure, and they were asked to exhale once into a special hand-held breath anaylsis device.

The breathprints were compared to a group of patients who did not have heart failure, and results showed higher levels of organic compounds called acetone and pentane in the patients with heart failure.

Dweik’s findings may be able to treat heart failure patients better.

“Many of them get readmitted to the hospital frequently, many within a month of discharge they get back in the hospital, so to be able to identify who has heart failure and who does not and whose heart failure is uncontrolled is very important to be able to manage them appropriately,” Dweik said.

Dweik said someone’s breath can tell a lot about their health.

“We are starting to recognise that our breath has thousands of molecules in it, and these molecules can tell us a lot about our state of health or disease,” he added.

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