Soon, breath test for stress

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2013, 17:49 PM IST

London: A person`s breath can be used to detect whether he or she suffers from stress, according to scientists.

A study has identified six markers in breath, which could be tested, for signs of stress, the Telegraph reported.

In experiments at Loughborough University and Imperial College London, breath samples were taken from 22 young adults, in both relaxed and stressful conditions.

Two compounds in the breath - 2-methyl, pentadecane and indole - increased following the stress exercise.

A further four compounds were shown to decrease with stress, which could be due to changes in breathing patterns.

But lead author Professor Paul Thomas said if stress is measured objectively in a non-invasive way, then it may benefit patients and vulnerable people in long-term care who find it difficult to disclose stress responses to their carers, such as those suffering from Alzheimer`s.

The study has been published in the Journal of Breath Research.