A new study finds that worse outcomes in patients with acute heart failure are linked to higher levels of TMAO – the major source of which is thought to be L-carnitine, a compound that is metabolized by gut bacteria during the digestion of red meat.
Previous studies have linked TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) with higher risk of death in chronic heart failure, note the researchers, but their study appears to be the first to find such a link in patients with acute heart failure.
Heart failure is a serious condition that carries a higher risk of death and developing other serious medical problems. It occurs when the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for nutrients and oxygen. The condition can be ongoing (chronic) or it can develop suddenly (acute).
Although not limited to seniors, heart failure is one of the most common reasons for hospital admissions among people aged 65 years and older.