Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

CT scans provide evidence of atherosclerosis in wide range of ancient populations

Date:
July 30, 2014
Source:
World Heart Federation
Summary:
Although atherosclerosis is widely thought to be a disease of modern times, computed tomographic evidence of atherosclerosis has been found in the bodies of a large number of mummies. Researchers have reviewed the findings of atherosclerotic calcifications in the remains of ancient people -- humans who lived across a very wide span of human history and over most of the inhabited globe.

Although atherosclerosis is widely thought to be a disease of modern times, computed tomographic (CT) evidence of atherosclerosis has been found in the bodies of a large number of mummies. In a paper published in Global Heart (the journal of the World Heart Federation) the authors review the findings of atherosclerotic calcifications in the remains of ancient people -- humans who lived across a very wide span of human history and over most of the inhabited globe.

Related Articles


The paper is by Dr Randall Thompson, Saint Luke's Mid-America Heart Institute, University of Missouri-Kansas City, MO, USA, and Professor Jagat Narula, Editor-in-Chief of Global Heart and Associate Dean for Global Health at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA, and colleagues.

The paper discusses a range of ancient peoples, including mummies from ancient Egypt, ancient Peru, and from the Aleutian Islands, continental North America, east Asia, and Europe, including the much studied 'Iceman'. The authors state: "These people had a wide range of diets and lifestyles and traditional modern risk factors do not thoroughly explain the presence and easy detectability of this disease. Non-traditional risk factors such as the inhalation of cooking fire smoke and chronic infection or inflammation might have been important factors contributing to atherosclerosis in ancient times. Study of the genetic and environmental risk factors for atherosclerosis in ancient people may offer insights into this common modern disease."

The authors note that: "Many people are surprised when they learn that ancient people had atherosclerosis. There is such a large (and appropriate) public health effort to educate citizens about healthy cardiovascular lifestyle choices that many seem to conclude that the condition must be completely avoidable and completely caused by our unhealthy modern diet and factors such as cigarette smoking, trans-fats, and inactivity."

They explain that, although atherosclerosis is widely thought to be a disease caused by modern lifestyles, CT evidence of atherosclerosis has been found in the bodies of a substantial number of mummies from various locations. Atherosclerotic calcifications, which appear virtually identical to CT findings in modern patients, have been detected in all major arteries in ancient mummies.

The authors conclude: "These people had a wide range of diets and lifestyles, and traditional modern risk factors do not thoroughly explain the presence and easy detection of this disease. We have hypothesised that non-traditional risk factors such as the inhalation of cooking fire smoke and chronic infection or inflammation might have been important factors contributing to atherosclerosis in ancient times. Further study of the genetic and environmental risk factors for atherosclerosis in ancient people may offer insights into this common modern disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Heart Federation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Heart Federation. "CT scans provide evidence of atherosclerosis in wide range of ancient populations." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730203705.htm>.
World Heart Federation. (2014, July 30). CT scans provide evidence of atherosclerosis in wide range of ancient populations. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730203705.htm
World Heart Federation. "CT scans provide evidence of atherosclerosis in wide range of ancient populations." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140730203705.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Forensic science, which has fascinated generations with its unravelling of gruesome crime mysteries, is being put under the microscope in an exhibition of real criminal investigations in London. Duration: 00:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Couple Celebrates Identical Triplets

Michigan Couple Celebrates Identical Triplets

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) A suburban Detroit couple who have two older children are adjusting to life after becoming parents to identical triplets _ a multiple birth a doctor calls rare. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins