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The Mummies' Curse: Heart Disease
Date:11/17/2009

ssure, but that is only speculative, Thompson said.

One mummy had calcification at the base of the heart that some researchers thought might be indicative of a heart attack.

The investigators weren't able to tell if the mummies were obese or had diabetes.

"This gives us insights into the relative importance of risk factors versus genetics," Thompson said. "I use this information to give my patients hope. A lot of my patients have a certain denial. Why did this happen to me? Others have a sense of guilt or blaming family members, but this disease has been around since before the time of Moses. It's older than the pyramids, and I think this knowledge helps patients get past the guilt and denial so they begin the healing process."

More information

Learn more about mummies at the Smithsonian Institution.



SOURCES: Clyde Yancy, M.D., president, American Heart Association; Randall C. Thompson, M.D., Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, Mo.; Samuel Wann, M.D., chair of cardiovascular medicine, Wisconsin Heart Hospital, Wauwatosa; Nov. 17, 2009, presentation, American Heart Association annual meeting, Orlando, Fla.; Nov. 18, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association


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