Navigation Links
New Light on Jane Austen's Final Chapter

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:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... , ... The Bill Howe Family of Companies is an award winning HVAC ... remediation services. Family-owned and operated for 35 years, they have maintained value, ethics and ... two years in a row from the Union Tribune Reader’s Poll, a Healthiest Company ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... Doulagivers is O'Brien's licensed training program ... End of Life Doula Training. A Doulagiver is a non-medical person trained to ... Based on her #1 International bestselling book Creating Positive Passings & The Level ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... North American ... (IBC) at the 2015 IBC National Meeting in Rosemont, IL on October 4th. ... dedication, quality, and standards of excellence that customers have come to expect from members ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... October 12, 2015 , ... According to an ... female athletes, particularly in the area of track and field, are at a ... than male peers in the same age group. Dr. Steven Meier of Meier ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... ... 12, 2015 , ... The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis ... education and clinical training in a health care discipline. , Many practitioners ... as: losing weight, managing pain, or stopping smoking, etc. Frequently, extravagant statements and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... Corporation (NASDAQ: LMNX ) today announced that it expects ... 2015 on Monday, November 2, 2015. A press release announcing ... trading. --> --> ... highlights and financial results for the third quarter ended September ... time. . Simply log on to ...
(Date:10/12/2015)...  Millions of smokers worldwide have used vaping to ... An April 2015 study released by a ... cigarettes to be up to 95 percent less harmful ... after the technology was first introduced the potentially harmful ... --> --> Palm Beach Vapors, ...
(Date:10/12/2015)...  In a Sutter Institute of Medical Research study ... and Psychiatry, the blood product intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG, ... in patients in the early, pre-dementia phase of Alzheimer,s ... IVIG, extracted from the plasma of more than 1,000 ... protein found in patients with Alzheimer,s disease. Sutter Institute ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: