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:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Pivot Point Consulting, a leading ... Software & Services for HIT Implementation Support & Staffing report with an outstanding ... performance by healthcare executives, managers and clinicians representing over 4,500 hospitals and 2,500 ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... ... Stuart Bentkover, MD, FACS is thrilled to announce the arrival of ... removal today, Dr. Bentkover is the only doctor in Central Massachusetts to offer patients ... approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a safe and efficient method ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... In sleep, when the ... a dream. A hallmark feature of patients with eating disorders is significant self-criticism, and ... disorder behaviors and obsessions are regarded as maladaptive means for coping with this unease, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... On June ... Diseases, a continuing medical education (CME) event presented by the Association for Comprehensive ... a first for ACCORD, whose mission is to provide education, tools, and resources ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... –This week, Atascadero water heater ... having a tankless water heater. To view the report, click here or ... tankless. While each has their pros and cons, the type chosen is almost entirely ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 For hospitals considering enrollment ... already participating in the program, the Health Resources and ... as the , Mega-Guidance , could have significant impact ... published in September 2016. Essential Insights , ... Marketing , summarizes the Mega-Guidance,s key proposed changes, including ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... LONDON , Feb. 4, 2016 ... to achieve significant growth as next generation systems ... and use radiology for cancer surgery. New systems ... radiological overdosing that has been such a problem ... be delivered. Radiosurgery robots take cancer surgery far ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Wegener Polyangiitis - Pipeline Review, H2 ... Polyangiitis - Pipeline Review, H2 2015, provides an ... This report provides comprehensive information on the therapeutic ... at various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug target, ... and molecule type, along with latest updates, and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: