I'm not going to re-hash the paper in detail because that has been done elsewhere. However, I do want to make a few key points about the study and its interpretation. First, all groups had atherosclerosis to a similar degree, and it increased with advancing age. This suggests that atherosclerosis may be part of the human condition, and not a modern disease. Although it's interesting to have this confirmed in ancient mummies, we already knew this from cardiac autopsy data in a variety of non-industrial cultures (2, 3, 4, 5).Read more »
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 Posted by nailis suroidah at 7:00 PM
Many of you are already aware of the recent study that examined atherosclerosis in 137 ancient mummies from four different cultures (1). Investigators used computed tomography (CT; a form of X-ray) to examine artery calcification in mummies from ancient Egypt, Peru, Puebloans, and arctic Unangan hunter-gatherers. Artery calcification is the accumulation of calcium in the vessel wall, and it is a marker of severe atherosclerosis. Where there is calcification, the artery wall is thickened and extensively damaged. Not surprisingly, this is a risk factor for heart attack. Pockets of calcification are typical as people age.