Sunday, June 27, 2010

King Tutankhamun Died of Blood Disorder, Not Malaria, Study Says

According to German scientists, ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun was probably killed by the genetic blood disorder sickle cell disease instead of malaria as suggested by an earlier research study.

A team from the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine announced their findings Wednesday, June 23, 2010 in Hamburg, Germany.  They questioned the conclusions of a major study released in February that suggested by use of DNA testing and CT scans that the young pharaoh had died of malaria after suffering a fall.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a letter by the German researchers claiming that scrutiny of King Tut's foot bones indicated sickle cell disease.

According to the letter, the German researchers state:  "(The) radiological signs are compatible with osteopathologic lesions seen in sickle cell disease (SCD), a hematological disorder that occurs at gene carrier rates of nine percent to 22 percent in inhabitants of Egyptian oases."

The researchers feel further DNA testing should be done to find a definitive answer as to how the young pharaoh actually did die.

Sickle cell disease is a common genetic disorder where the blood cells form a crescent shape rather than being smooth and round.  This causes blood flow to be blocked and leads to chronic pain, infections and tissue death.

King Tutankhamun died around the age of 19 after ruling Egypt for ten years between 1333 to 1324 B.C as "The Boy King".  The exact cause of his death has long been cause for speculation and rumor.

Source:  Discovery News

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