Earlier this year a study was completed by Saint Luke’s Mid American Heart Institute which examined CT scans of 137 mummified humans revealing evidence of atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries, consistent with the disease’s prevalence among people today.
The study surveyed a wide sample of ancient humans, including mummies spanning four thousand years of human history, and originating from across the globe. Ancient Egypt, ancient Peru, ancestral Pueblo Indians of the South Central United States, and hunter/gatherers from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
Researchers are still unraveling the studies implications, since the mummies varying origins meant quite different diets and climates. But the presence of heart disease in active hunter/gatherer societies seems to indicate that modern diet and lifestyle choices may not be as influential in the development of atherosclerosis as originally thought.
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