Curse of Heart Disease Is Found in Mummies
Researchers said they found evidence of hardening of the arteries in Egyptian mummies dating as far back as 3,500 years, challenging longstanding assumptions that cardiovascular disease is mainly a malady of modern societies.
A team of heart-imaging experts and Egyptologists examined 22 mummies from the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo in a CT scanning machine, looking for evidence of calcium buildup that could indicate vascular disease.
They were able to identify the hearts, arteries or both in 16 of the mummies, nine of whom had deposits of ca1cification. An analysis determined the deposits were either definite or probab1e evidence of atherosclerosis，the condition that leads to heart attacks and strokes.
"Not only do we have atherosclerosis now, it was preva1ent as long as 3,500 years ago," said Gregory Thomas, a cardiologist and imaging specia1ist at University of Ca1ifomia, Irvine, who was principal investigator of the study. "It is part of the human condition."
The research was presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association scientific meeting here. A report is a1so schedu1ed to appear in Wednesday's issue of the Journa1 of the American Medical Association.
Heart disease is the wor1d 's 1eading killer, and it is increasing1y common in developing countries such as China, India and in Latin America. The growing prevalence of the disease is often attributed to urbanization, fast-food diets, smoking and sedentary 1ifesty1es characteristic of Western societies.
Evidence of disease was found in seven of eight mummies determined to be age 45 or older, and in two of eight believed to be under 45.
Where did it come from? Researchers don't know for sure. But they noted that the mummies had all been members of upper-class Egyptian society, and their diets included meat from cattle, ducks and geese. In addition, because there wasn't refrigeration，salt was commonly used to preserve meat and fish, raising the possibility that some of these Egyptians had high blood pressure. Whether anyone was obese couldn't be determined by the scans, but tobacco wasn't part of the pharaohs' lifestyle.
The researchers couldn 't be determined whether any among the group of Egyptians had actually died of cardiovascular disease.
1. A team of heart-imaging experts and Egyptologists examined 22 mummies from the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo in a CT scanning machine, looking for evidence of calcium buildup that could indicate vascular disease.
本句是一个复合句。本句主句是A team of heart-imaging experts and Egyptologists examined 22 mummies...,from the the Egyptian National Museum of Antiquities in Cairo介词短语作后置定语，修饰mummies。in a CT scanning machine介词短语作状语。looking for...disease现在分词短语作目的状语。其中that引导限制性定语从句，修饰calcium buildup。
2. An analysis determined the deposits were either definite or probab1e evidence of atherosclerosis，the condition that leads to heart attacks and strokes.
本句是一个复合句。determined后面是省略了引导词that的宾语从句，充当determined的宾语。其中either...or...连接两个并列的结构。the condition是atherosclerosis的同位语，that引导定语从句，修饰 condition。
3. In addition, because there wasn't refrigeration，salt was commonly used to preserve meat and fish, raising the possibility that some of these Egyptians had high blood pressure.
本句是一个复合句，主句是salt was commonly used to preserve meat and fish，其中to preserve meat and fish不定式短语作目的状语。because引导原因状语从句。raising the possibility...pressure现在分词短语作结果状语。其中that引导同位语从句，解释说明possibility。
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