Coronary disease seen in Egyptian mummy

May 17, 2011 at 5:47 PM   |   Comments

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, May 17 (UPI) -- An Egyptian princess who lived 3,500 years ago is thought to be the first known person with diagnosed coronary artery disease, researchers say.

The coronary arteries of the mummified Princess Ahmose-Meryet-Amon, who lived in Egypt between 1580 and 1550 B.C. were visualized using whole body computerized tomography scanning.

The finding was presented at a medical conference in Amsterdam, the European Society of Cardiology said in a release Tuesday.

The CT scan showed the princess, who died in her 40s, had atherosclerosis in two of her three main coronary arteries.

"Today," Dr. Gregory S Thomas, the principle investigator from the University of California, Irvine, said, "she would have needed by-pass surgery."

"Overall, it was striking how much atherosclerosis we found. We think of atherosclerosis as a disease of modern lifestyle, but it's clear that it also existed 3,500 years ago. Our findings certainly call into question the perception of atherosclerosis as a modern disease."

Diet may have been a factor, Thomas said, since Ahmose-Meryet-Amon was from a noble family, daughter of a pharaoh, and her diet would not have been that of a common Egyptian.

As a royal, she would have eaten more luxury foods -- more meat, butter and cheese -- and foods preserved in salt, which may also have had an adverse effect, Thomas said.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
You've got mites on your face, and so does everyone else
Southwest U.S. could face 35-year 'megadrought'
Volcano erupts, Iceland issues then rescinds red alert
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
Type Ia supernovas: the zombies of the cosmos
Trending News