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Tutankhamun and sickle-cell anaemia

, : Tutankhamun and sickle-cell anaemia. Bulletin de la Societe de Pathologie Exotique 103(5): 346-347

After casting doubt on malaria as the cause of death for Tutankhamun, the author points out that the hypothesis of homozygotic sickle-cell anaemia, or a double HbS/β₀thal heterozygosis, is hardly more credible. To have any chance of being valid, any such hypothesis would have to involve a combination of at least three rare factors: survival until the age of 19 of a subject with homozygotic sickle-cell anaemia, with a probability at birth as to a life expectancy of more than five years probably standing at less than 5%, and with, for all bone sequelae and anomalies, osteonecrosis whose location is characteristic, not of sickle-cell anaemia, but rather of a case of Freiberg-Kohler syndrome, which is also rare, but which is on the other hand fully compatible with the condition of the mummy's skeleton.


PMID: 20972847

DOI: 10.1007/s13149-010-0095-3

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