Amanda Gardner reports for U.S. News & World Report:
Hardening of the arteries may have more of a family history — the human family tree — than was once thought.
Modern-day imaging techniques have unearthed hardening of the arteries — or atherosclerosis, which causes heart attacks and stroke — in mummies up to 3,500 years old.
Experts have long believed that atherosclerosis is a scourge of modern society, caused by meals snatched at fast-food restaurants and eaten in front of high-definition TVs.
“Perhaps atherosclerosis has been around a lot longer than we think. It might have been a malady affecting man long-term,” said Dr. Clyde Yancy, president of the American Heart Association. “It doesn’t necessarily change anything we know or do now, but perhaps some of the accoutrements of civilization are not only unhealthy now, they were also unhealthy then.”
The unusual findings were presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., and published simultaneously in the Nov.