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Mummies Prove that Heart Disease Was an Ancient Problem

kira86 于2011-05-24发布 l 已有人浏览
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New study contends that heart disease existed over 3,500 years ago.More than 831,272 Americans died

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New study contends that heart disease existed over 3,500 years ago.

More than 831,272 Americans died of heart disease in 2006, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). It's the single biggest killer in the U.S. hands down. And we've long contended that sky rocketing instances of heart disease were a modern issue, due to an overweight population that eats a diet loaded with saturated fats and processed junk food. But a new study claims that clogged arteries actually existed in ancient Egypt.

According to a story in the Daily Mail, scientists performed computer scans on 52 mummies and among those that still had heart tissue, 44 had clogged arteries.

"Atherosclerosis clearly existed more than 3,000 years ago," said Adel Allam, a cardiology professor at Al Azhar University in Cairo, who led the study with Gregory Thomas, director of nuclear cardiology education at the University of California in Irvine. "We cannot blame this disease on modern civilization."

According to the Daily Mail:

Allam and colleagues found the Egyptian princess Ahmose-Meryet-Amon, who lived in Thebes (now Luxor) between 1540 and 1550 B.C., had calcium deposits in two main coronary arteries, making her the oldest mummy found with heart disease.

A Pharaoh's Ancient Diet

But let's be clear here. This is not to say that diet didn't still have a lot to do with the outcome. Researchers say that ancient Egyptian royalty would have eaten a diet much heavier on meat than the rest of society. Their diet likely consisted of beef, pork, mutton, antelope, and duck with a good amount of fruits and vegetables. And foods were likely preserved with salt. Ancient Egyptians likely didn't eat very much fish and the elite likely did little exercise, according to the story.

"The sculptures and hieroglyphs may show people who were very thin and beautiful, but the reality may have been different," said Joep Perk, a professor of health sciences at Linnaeus University in Sweden and a spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology.

 

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