Columbus Might Have Had Arthritis

JULY 01, 2005

Christopher Columbus, who was struck with a mysterious illness while returning from his first voyage to the New World, may have suffered from a severe form of arthritis. At the time, doctors thought he had gout. Although he made 4 trips to the Americas, the disease progressively became worse, and he died a crippled man.

Frank C. Arnett, MD, a rheumatologist at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, said that Columbus likely had reactive arthritis, an illness caused by the bacteria responsible for food poisoning. It is not clear, however, what ultimately caused the explorer's death. Dr. Arnett noted that descriptions of Columbus as tall, fair-skinned, and blue-eyed also suggest he was of northern European ancestry, and 75% of those who acquire reactive arthritis have a gene found mostly in northern European countries.



SHARE THIS SHARE THIS
0

A Fast, Easy Way to Inform Parents About Vaccinations

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have prepared an informational video on this topic.

Pharmacy Times Strategic Alliance
 

Pharmacist Education
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs


Next-Generation Pharmacist® Awards


SIGN UP FOR THE PHARMACY TIMES NEWSLETTER
Personalize the information you receive by selecting targeted content and special offers.