JUNK food and stressful 21st century commuting aren’t the only causes of heart disease – Egyptian mummies as old as 3,500 years suffered from it too.
Cutting-edge computer technology was used to reveal the mummies’s medical problems and suggests that medical experts may have to look beyond modern risk factors to fully understand the disease.
A team of cardiologists examined 20 mummies from the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo and Siemens, who sponsored the study, arranged for a computed tomography (CT) scanner to be placed next to the building to avoid injuring the “study subjects”.
To their surprise, the cardiologists found that nine of the 16 mummies had signs of arteriosclerosis, a disease that can cause heart attacks and strokes.
Calcium deposits in artery walls, suggesting arterial clogging, were found in both men and women.
While the ancient Egyptians didn’t smoke tobacco, eat processed food or led sedentary lives, they were not hunter gatherers.
Agriculture was well established and high meat consumption appeared to have been common among those of high social status.
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