Navigation Links
New Light on Jane Austen's Final Chapter
Date:12/2/2009

Novelist's symptoms point to death from TB, not Addison's, researcher says

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The woman behind Pride and Prejudice and Emma may have died of tuberculosis rather than Addison's disease, as has long been believed, says one British scholar.

Since Jane Austen's death in 1817 at the age of 41, many historians and other experts have believed the cause was Addison's disease, which affects the adrenal glands and creates problems with blood pressure and heart function. The disease was always fatal until effective treatment became available in the 1950s.

But Katherine White, a member of the Addison's Disease Self-Help Group, analyzed Austen's letters in the two years before she died and concluded that the symptoms described by the writer suggest Addison's wasn't the culprit.

Austen said she experienced exhaustion, rheumatic pains, unusual skin discoloration and bilious attacks -- all of which could be symptoms of Addison's disease. However, she makes no mention of other symptoms -- generalized pain, weight loss, mental confusion and loss of appetite -- experienced by most people with the disease.

White noted that disseminated tuberculosis, affecting the joints and liver, "would have been more common in Jane Austen's time and would offer a simpler explanation for her symptoms."

Some medical historians have suggested that Austen could have acquired disseminated tuberculosis infection from cows or by drinking unpasteurized milk.

In 1964, physician and surgeon Zachary Cope suggested that Austen may have died from tubercular Addison's disease.

"...It is likely that Cope's hypothesis of infective tuberculosis as the source of her illness was at least partially correct, after all," White wrote.

The article was published online Nov. 30 in the journal Medical Humanities.

More information

The American Lung Association has more about tuberculosis .



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: BMJ specialist journals, news release, Nov. 30, 2009


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Stanford study highlights cost-effective method of lowering heart disease risks
2. Study shines more light on benefit of vitamin D in fighting cancer
3. Bacteria See the Light
4. Quantum light beams good for fast technology
5. Free will takes flight: how our brains respond to an approaching menace
6. New MRI finding sheds light on multiple sclerosis disease progressio
7. RA Drugs Linked to Slight Skin Cancer Risk
8. QUANTEL Intends to Strengthen its Dermatology/ Aesthetics Division With the Acquisition of WaveLight Aesthetic GmbH
9. REACH Registry Highlights That Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) Suffer High Rates of Heart Attack, Stroke, Hospitalization, and Death
10. Cardiovascular Technologies to be Highlighted at 5th Annual Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit, Oct. 1-3
11. First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against Philip Morris in Lights Class Action
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is ... vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds ... by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids ... sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited ... all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, ... lowdown on sciatica in a new episode of "Success Files," which is an ... and innovation and investigates each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of ... Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of ... taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First ... compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at ... (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... WASHINGTON , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen ... to advance the use of wearable and home sensors ... brain disorders. Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused ... populations, will provide an affordable analytical system to record ... ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) announced today ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the ... the treatment of moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis ... are needed to further evaluate the safety of sirukumab ... "We are ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... , Pa. and KALAMAZOO, Mich. , Sept. ... Penn. , and OptiMed Specialty Pharmacy of ... partnership to offer a strategic hub service that expedites ... highly sought-after personal spirometer, Spiro PD 2.0, and wellness ... A spirometer is a medical device used to measure ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: