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Classics in Global Medicine

Computed Tomographic Evidence of Atherosclerosis in the Mummified Remains of Humans From Around the World

Authors:

Randall C. Thompson ,

Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, University of Missouri Kansas City, Kansas City, MO; University of Missouri—Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO, US
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Adel H. Allam,

Al Azhar University, Cairo, EG
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Albert Zink,

Institute for Mummies and the Iceman, European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen (EURAC), Bolzano/Bozen, IT
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L. Samuel Wann,

Cardiovascular Physicians, Columbia St. Mary's Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI, US
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Guido P. Lombardi,

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, PE
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Samantha L. Cox,

Department of Archeology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, GB; University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, PA, US
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Bruno Frohlich,

National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, US
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M. Linda Sutherland,

Newport Diagnostic Center, Newport Beach, CA, US
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James D. Sutherland,

Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, Laguna Hills, CA, US
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Thomas C. Frohlich,

National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, US
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Samantha I. King,

Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, University of Missouri Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, US
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Michael I. Miyamoto,

Mission Heritage Medical Group, St. Joseph Heritage Health, Mission Viejo, CA, US
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Janet M. Monge,

National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, US
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Clide M. Valladolid,

Museo de Sitio Puruchuco—Arturo Jimenez, Lima, PE
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Abd el-Halim Nur el-din,

Cairo University, Cairo; University for Science and Technology, 6th of October City, EG
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Jagat Narula,

Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, US
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Adam M. Thompson,

Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, University of Missouri Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, US
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Caleb E. Finch,

Biological Sciences and Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, US
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Gregory S. Thomas

MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Memorial, Long Beach, CA; University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, US
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Abstract

Although atherosclerosis is widely thought to be a disease of modernity, computed tomographic evidence of atherosclerosis has been found in the bodies of a large number of mummies. This article reviews 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. 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. Nontraditional risk factors such as the inhalation of cooking fire smoke and chronic infection or inflammation might have been important atherogenic factors in ancient times. Study of the genetic and environmental risk factors for atherosclerosis in ancient people may offer insights into this common modern disease.

How to Cite: Thompson RC, Allam AH, Zink A, Wann LS, Lombardi GP, Cox SL, et al.. Computed Tomographic Evidence of Atherosclerosis in the Mummified Remains of Humans From Around the World. Global Heart. 2014;9(2):187–96. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.gheart.2014.03.2455
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Published on 01 Jun 2014.
Peer Reviewed

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