Objective: To correlate atherosclerosis (Ath) and osteoarthritis (OA) in mummies from ancient Egypt. Materials: Whole-body CT examinations of 23 mummies from the *** uml;Agyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Berlin, Germany, and 22 mummies from the Museo Egizio, Turin, Italy. Methods: Ath was assessed in five anatomical regions by means of preserved arterial calcifications. OA was assessed using the Kellgren and Lawrence (1957) classification. Results: Statistical analysis revealed no correlation between Ath and total OA. A significant association was found for Ath and the upper limb group for OA grade >1 and for Ath and the lower limb group, consisting mainly of the hip and knee, for OA grade >2 OA. Conclusions: The association of Ath and advanced OA of the hip and knee is comparable in prevalence to those reported in recent clinical studies, despite the low life expectancy and the different environment and lifestyle of the ancient Egyptians. Significance: This is the first study to correlate findings of Ath and OA in ancient Egypt statistically. The diseases of Ath and OA are common ailments with enormous and increasing impacts on public health. Limitations: The large number of cardiovascular diseases was indicated only by arterial calcifications that resisted the post-mortem changes of the mummification process. Also, the assessed OA was on radiological OA. Suggestions for Further Research: Genomic studies of ancient Egyptian mummies may reveal genetic risk factors for Ath and OA that could be shared in ancient and modern populations.
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