USA Today - "Mummies Show Signs of Heart Disease"
Researchers have found clogged arteries in mummies from nearly 4,000 years ago. Doctors have long assumed that hardening of the arteries was a disease of modern life, caused by smoking, fatty foods and lack of exercise. The findings suggest it's possible that older mummies simply had more time to accumulate arterial plaques. But it's also possible that atherosclerosis serves as a marker for a better diet, says co-author Dr. Jagat Narula, a "paleocardiologist" and professor at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. So, people who were better nourished were more likely to live into old age, but also more likely to develop arterial plaques. Narula says, "We should not promote the sentiment that this is an inevitable disease." Authors of the new paper, published Sunday in The Lancet and presented at a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in San Francisco, say they were shocked by their discovery. Learn more