Heart Disease History-The First Heart Patient, an Egyptian Princess!


Dispelling the myth that heart disease is a byproduct of modern society, it has been found that the first ever patient who had a heart disease was a woman, an Egyptian princess, a good 3,500 years ago. To find this out, scientists scanned 52 mummies in Cairo and the US. Among those who still were found to have heart tissue, it was observed that 44 had pieces of calcium stuck to their arteries that showed ‘clogging’.

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.”Atherosclerosis obviously existed more than 3,000 years ago,” said Adel Allam, a cardiology professor at Al Azhar University in Cairo, who led the study with Gregory Thomas, director of nuclear cardiology education at the University of California in Irvine. “We cannot attribute this disease on modern civilization.”The research was presented Tuesday at a conference on heart imaging in Amsterdam.

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The team found that the name of the Egyptian princess Ahmose-Meryet-Amon, who is the first person to contract heart disease lived between 1540 and 1550 B.C; and had calcium deposits in two major coronary arteries, making her the oldest mummy with heart ailment. The brother and the father of this princess were both pharaohs.

Experts say that during the lifetime of the princess, mutton, beef, porn, duck and antelope and other meats were being indulged in, in the royal courts. Egyptians did not eat much fish but ate lots of fruits and vegetables. Salt was used as a preservative.

Joep Perk, a professor of health sciences at Linnaeus University in Sweden says, “The pharaohs and other royalty probably had more fat in their diet than the average Egyptian. The sculptures and hieroglyphs may show people who were very thin and beautiful, but the reality may have been different.”

Allam says that the princess may not have had much treatment for her heart disease beyond special herbs and honey. She says, “If she were my patient today, I would have treated her with open heart surgery.” Remarkably, the clogged arteries in the oldest heart patient were similar to the heart disease found in modern Egyptians.

Apart from dietary issues, there are things like the stress of retaining power and genetic factors that made the Egyptian royalty more prone to heart diseases. In fact, experts believe that they were killed more by heart diseases rather than other infections that plagued the impoverished Egyptians.

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