Saturday, March 3, 2007

History of Arthritis

History of Arthritis

Perhaps the oldest known type of arthritis, gout or gouty arthritis has been described since Hippocrates in the 5th century B.C. At one time, the term “gout” was used to describe all types of arthritis. Known as the “Disease of Kings” due to its association with rich foods and alcohol consumption, Colorful depictions of gout can be found in art and literature often with commentary on the moral character of the gout sufferer.

eview of medical and archaeological papers reveals that arthritis has been common in humans and hominids since Paleolithic times.

In the British Isles, there was a particularly high prevalence in remains from Romano-British and Saxon burials suggesting that, whatever genetic factors there may have been, there was an extremely high level of physical activity.

The prevalence of the condition was lower in late Medieval times; and, in at least one study of subjects from the 18th and 19th centuries, lower than in the current population. In early times, there was a reduction in bone density when there was a change from hunter gathering to
agriculture which may have resulted from a change physical activity. Severe cases of osteoporosis have been identified from individual skeletons dated to the Bronze Age.

In the Early Medieval period of Nubia there was progressive bone loss in women. Multiple pregnancy, prolonged lactation and dietary deficiency may have been factors. Though women from the 18th and 19th centuries experienced post-menopausal bone loss, this was not as severe as in the present day.
History of Arthritis

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