Mummies reveal heart disease plagued ancient Egyptians | Science News

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Mummies reveal heart disease plagued ancient Egyptians

CT scans of preserved individuals show hardening of arteries similar to that seen in people today

By
12:46pm, November 18, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. — The curse of the mummy may truly be fatal. An examination of mummified bodies has revealed that ancient Egyptians suffered from hardening of the arteries in surprising frequency, suggesting that blame for heart disease extends beyond the modern culprits of smoking, fast food and the remote control.

Among 22 mummies who received full-body computed tomography scans, 16 had hearts or arteries preserved enough to study. Of those, nine had evidence of blockage from atherosclerosis. “This disease has been around since before the time of Moses,” said Randall Thompson of the St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City. Thompson and colleagues presented their findings Novem

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