Navigation Links
'Ice Man' Mummy May Have Been at Risk of Heart Disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 1, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Roaming the high Alps more than 5,000 years ago, the individual whose preserved mummy became famous as the "Ice Man" no doubt had a very tough and active lifestyle.

But all of that may still not have shielded the Ice Man, nicknamed Otzi, from a very modern scourge: heart disease.

A human's genetic risk for atherosclerosis, or "hardening of the arteries," appears to be the same today as it was thousands of years ago, a new study finds.

"Our ancestors going back thousands of years show signs of atherosclerosis," explained a team led by author Albert Zink of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen in Italy.

The researchers noted that CT scans show "evidence of calcium deposits associated with atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries of mummies as old as 5,000 years. Even though our human ancestors lived far different lives than we do, their environments and lifestyles were not protecting them against the development of atherosclerosis."

Modern advancements in imaging technology have identified clogged arteries in mummies of various cultures.

But were people living in ancient times also genetically predisposed to heart disease? Zink's team explained that that's been tough to discern because so much genetic material breaks down over centuries.

However, the whole-genome study of the 5,300-year-old glacier-bound Ice Man revealed the mummy was at a genetically increased risk for coronary heart disease.

Specifically, he had a certain genetic mutation that is considered to be one of the strongest genetic predictors of heart attacks, the research team said.

CT scans of the mummy also showed key warning signs of atherosclerosis, such as calcification in several major blood vessels. The study, scheduled for publication in the journal Global Heart, concluded that the Ice Man was genetically at risk for the condition because other known risk factors -- such as being overweight, sedentary and smoking -- were not relevant for people living in this time period.

However, "what is similar between now and then is the human genetic material," the researchers wrote. They say they found genetic variations that work to "predispose the carrier to the development of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease."

Ancient people were also highly vulnerable to other illnesses, such as infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies and trauma, the Italian group said in a news release from the World Heart Federation. These issues often caused their death before heart disease could impact their health, the researchers noted.

"Until now, the Ice Man is the only ancient human remain in which a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease has been detected," Zink's group said, but future work on remnants of DNA in other mummies might reveal just how widespread such vulnerabilities were.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about atherosclerosis.

SOURCE: World Heart Federation, news release, July 30, 2014


Copyright©2014 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. 16th-century Korean mummy provides clue to hepatitis B virus genetic code
2. Incan Girls Mummy Yields Evidence of Respiratory Woes
3. University of Huddersfield and University of Pisa team up to find Peruvian mummy secrets
4. Fit Yummy Mummy: Review Examining Holly Rigsby’s Fitness Program Released
5. Tuberculosis genomes recovered from 200-year old Hungarian mummy
6. Witnessing, Experiencing Traumatic Events May Worsen Heart Disease
7. Risk of suicide and fatal heart attack immediately following a cancer diagnosis
8. Cancer Diagnosis May Raise Odds for Suicide, Heart Attack Death
9. In children born with severe heart defect, surgical management has little effect on neuro outcomes
10. Invasive heart test being dramatically overused, Stanford study shows
11. Heart failure patients with diabetes may benefit from higher glucose levels
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
'Ice Man' Mummy May Have Been at Risk of Heart Disease
(Date:12/1/2015)... Illinois (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... and share medical images have been lifted as IMAGE Information Systems launches MED-TAB™ ... Society of North America Annual Meeting from November 29 to December 4, 2015. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... For many X-rays taken at ... accurate interpretation by the radiologist. The marking utensils are so small, however, they ... found a way to alleviate this problem. , He developed the patent-pending MARK ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) today announced that the organization has awarded Education ... San Francisco, with a Distinguished Award. The award celebrates exceptional special needs providers ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of aesthetic and medical laser and energy-based technology, announced ... the United States. Clarity is a Superior Dual Wavelength Platform which combines two ... platform that is easy to own and operate. , For over a decade, ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... XTC ... selected 10 semi-finalists to head to Las Vegas for CES 2016, the world’s largest ... CEO of Consumer Technology Association Gary Shapiro, Founding Partner of Pacific Investments Veronica Serra, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... Dec. 1, 2015   Nottingham Spirk , ... announced the publication of a free whitepaper ... Medical Market". The whitepaper gives medical product companies, ... penetrating this lucrative segment. Nottingham Spirk ... to manage their own health, save money (i.e., ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... BOULDER, Colo. , Dec. 1, 2015 ... ARRY ) today announced that its Chief ... present at the Oppenheimer Annual Healthcare Conference ... to participate in the conference through a ... , --> ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... BANGALORE, India and ... (NASDAQ, TASE: MYL) today announced that it expects to ... for developing country markets funded by international donors, TLE400 ... + Efavirenz 400 mg) for $99 per patient, per ... (CHAI) to develop TLE400. The significantly reduced price could ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: