Roy M. Pitkin
WHOM THE GODS LOVE DIE YOUNG by Roy Macbeth Pitkin MD
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Whom the Gods Love Die Young

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A MODERN MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE ON ILLNESSES THAT CAUSED THE EARLY DEATH OF FAMOUS PEOPLE

 

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This is a book about the history of medicine, more specfically about certain illnesses and how they evolved over the past century or two with respect to frequency, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome.  It uses the life and death of well-know historical figures who died before age 40 to introduce a discussion of the disease of which each died, and it then proceeds to outline advances in the understanding, recognition, and response to therapy since.

 

The famous people range from Robert Burns and Lord Byron of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, down to Eva Perón and Mario Lanza of the mid-20th.  Some of the diseases reviewed have virtually disappeared (e.g., rheumatic heart disease and childbirth-related death), at least in developed countries, and the outcomes of others have improved markedly (e.g., tuberculosis and kidney failure) because of new and effective means of diagnosis and treatment, particularly over the past half-century. 

 

 CHAPTERS

 

  1. Introduction
  2. Robert Burns and Rheumatic Heart Disease
  3. George Gordon, Lord Byron and Malaria
  4. The Princess Charlotte of Wales and Death in Childbirth
  5. Charlotte Brönte and Excessive Vomiting of Pregnancy
  6. Stephen Crane and Tuberculosis
  7. Rudolph Valentino and Peptic Ulcer
  8. Lou Gehrig and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  9. Jean Harlow and Chronic Kidney Disease
  10. Eva Perón and Cancer of the Cervix
  11. Mario Lanza and Ischemic Heart Disease