First case of heart failure documented in 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy

First case of heart failure documented in 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy

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Recently a group of researchers has detected what has been classified as the oldest documented case of heart failure in a mummy. In this case it is the Nebiri mummy, who was Head of the Royal Stables, who lived approximately 3,500 years ago in Egypt.

The case of the Nebiri mummy It is not a recent discovery since it was in 1904 when his head was found in a looted tomb, and also a broken canopic glass where some of the remains of his internal organs were found, which has allowed them to have been studied by a multidisciplinary team of researchers that have done tests on their tissues.

His remains were found in the Valley of the Queens, in Luxor, and today they are in the Egyptian Museum in Turin. It is estimated that his age at the time of his death was between approximately 45 and 60 years old, a quite advanced age if the life expectancy of those years is taken into account.

As the anthropologist Raffaella Bianucci stated, “the head is almost completely exposed, although its good state of conservation stands out. Since the canopic vessel was partially broken, we were able to have better access to the samples of its organs, which has allowed us to study them in depth.”.

The main causes of death, in this case heart failure, It was high blood pressure, vascular diseases and some metabolic disorder of the myocardium among others, although according to the researchers, Nebiri's death was due to hypertension.

Thanks to computerized tomography, it was also possible to know that Nebiri had a serious periodontal disease, with abscesses and that during its mummification, those in charge of doing it tried to extract its brains, although part of the brain tissue remained inside the cavity and the rest was filled with linen, that is, cheeks, nose, mouth, eyes, ears etc.

In addition, investigations revealed a small calcification, which reveals a symptom of arteriosclerosis in the carotid, although it cannot be determined if there was more for the rest of the body since only the head was found.

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