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:6/26/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and ... in the eye of the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary ... of Managed Care. For the full issue, click here . , For the ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June ... ... direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These ... tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of ... Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to ... said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent ... that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals ... also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm ... 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered ... Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 Roche ... received 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) ... severe sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche ... provide a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment ... associated with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , ... kayla.belcher@frost.com ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , ... Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... The vast majority of dialysis patients currently ... are usually 3 times a week, with treatment times ... time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen can ... patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly dialysis ... centers for some duration of time. Residents ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: