Study: Gut Microbiome Data May Be Useful in Screening for Heart Disease


The study investigators used artificial intelligence to analyze gut microbiome data in individuals with and without cardiovascular disease.


Utilizing gut microbiome data may be beneficial in screening patients for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to new research published in Hypertension.

Findings from previous studies have suggested a link between gut microbiota and CVD. The study investigators aimed to determine whether an artificial intelligence (AI) strategy could be used to enable gut microbiome-based diagnostic screening of CVD in humans.

The investigators used machine learning to analyze data from approximately 1000 stool samples from 478 individuals with CVD and 473 without CVD, which were collected through the American Gut Project, an open platform for microbiome research in the US. The model identified different clusters of gut bacteria that could potentially help identify individuals with existing CVD and without CVD.

In the CVD group, bacteria identified included Bacteroides, Subdoligranulum, Clostridium, Megasphaera, Eubacterium, Veillonella, Acidaminococcus, and Listeria. Bacteria most commonly identified in the non-CVD group included Faecalibacterium, Ruminococcus, Proteus, Lachnospira, Brevundimonas, Alistipes, and Neisseria.

“Despite the fact that gut microbiomes are highly variable among individuals, we were surprised by the promising level of accuracy obtained from these preliminary results, which indicate fecal microbiota composition could potentially serve as a convenient diagnostic screening method for CVD,” said study director Bina Joe, PhD, FAHA, distinguished university professor and chairwomen of the department of physiology and pharmacology at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio. “It is conceivable that one day, maybe without even assessing detailed cardiovascular function, clinicians could analyze the gut microbiome of patients’ stool samples with an artificial machine learning method to screen patients for heart and vascular diseases.”

The preliminary research will be presented at the virtual American Heart Association’s Hypertension 2020 Scientific Sessions being held September 10-13, 2020.


1. Joe B, Aryal S, Alimadadi A, Manandhar I, Cheng X. Machine learning strategy for gut microbiome based diagnostic screening of cardiovascular disease. Hypertension. 2020.

2. Gut microbiome data may be helpful in routine screening of cardiovascular disease. Press release. American Heart Association; September 10, 2020. Accessed September 10, 2020.

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