Mummies Reveal that Our Ancestors were not Immune to Atherosclerosis
These findings also negate the possibility from earlier samples that the atherosclerotic plaques might simply represent the disease in highly privileged individuals who were intentionally mummified. The new findings are from people more representative of general population and mummified as a natural process, for instance through low temperatures.
While it is possible that the pathogenesis of the disease might be related to some independent risk factors such as an increased predisposition due to chronic renal disease, the study has questioned the popular belief of atherosclerosis being a “modern” disease and has suggested that it was indeed prevalent in the premodern era.
Thus, it is extremely difficult to halt the process, though efforts aimed at slowing its progression need to be intensified. Also, basic pathophysiological mechanisms that culminate in its devastation need further elucidation.
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