Oh, Mummy!

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Story Updated: Mar 12, 2013

..here's a history lesson you'll find interesting.

A group of researchers has found that ancient mummies had hardening of the arteries thousands of years ago!

Hardening of the arteries...or atherosclerosis...is often a precursor to heart attack or stroke... It's considered a very modern disease based on our 21st century lifestyle choices.

But now...this study of over 100 mummies from four different geographical regions, spanning 4000 years, has revealed that atherosclerosis may have been much more common than imagined.

In fact, the high prevalence of hardened arteries found in the mummies during CT scans may support the idea that humans are simply predisposed to the disease.

Overall, more than one third of the mummies, showed signs of probable or definite atherosclerosis. And as with modern day patients, the older mummies seemed to be more likely to show signs of the disease.

With the mummy data, questions remain whether hardening of the arteries is a disease of lifestyle...aging...or another cause entirely.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the latest breakthroughs from the world of medicine.

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