Make you Fink on Friday

Heart disease present in ancient mummies

The mummified remains had signs of heart disease

Fatty arteries may not just be a curse of modern unhealthy lifestyles, say researchers who used scans to look at the heart health of mummies.

A study in The Lancet of 137 mummies up to 4,000 years old found a third had signs of atherosclerosis.

Most people associate the disease, which leads to heart attacks and strokes, with modern lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity.

But the findings may suggest a more basic human pre-disposition.

Previous studies have uncovered atherosclerosis in a significant number of Egyptian mummies but it had been speculated that they would have come from a higher social class and may have had luxurious diets high in saturated fat.

To try and get a better picture of how prevalent the disease was in ancient populations, the researchers used CT scans to look at mummies from Egypt, Peru, southwest America, and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.

They found that 47 or 34% showed signs of definite or probably atherosclerosis.

Where the mummies’ arterial structure had survived, the researchers were able to attribute a definite case of atherosclerosis by looking for the tell-tale signs of vascular calcification.

In some cases, the arterial structure had not survived but the calcified deposits were still present in sites where arteries would have once been.

Age-related

As with modern populations, they found that older people seemed to be more likely to show signs of the disease.

The researchers said the results were striking because they had been able to look at the disease in people living in disparate global regions, with different lifestyles and at different times.

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Opinion:

Contradicts a lot of things.

All along we are told that heart problems are a modern curse caused by our diets and habits, and now we find that it existed before our junk food and cigarettes.

Nothing ‘new’ at all.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. That is interesting and definitely something to think about as I get older.

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  2. Anyone living too much of excess regardless of race, era or nation is going to suffer our modern-type of diseases. I am surprised why people seem so shocked about these findings.

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