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Gout: The Patrician Malady

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 02 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:64
  1. J Dequeker, professor of rheumatology
  1. Arthritis and Metabolic Bone Disease Research Unit, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

    Roy Porter, G S Rousseau

    Yale University Press, $25, pp393

    ISBN 0 300073860

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    Gout has been recognised since antiquity, and descriptions of the disease date back to the Babylonian empire. It was certainly well described by Hippocrates. Called the “king of diseases” and the “disease of kings,” gout is more the “disease of plenty.” In Gout Porter and Rousseau track medical thinking about the disease across the centuries, from Hippocrates and Galen to Paracelsus, Harvey, Archibald Garrod in the Victorian era, and beyond. They discuss the cultural, moral, religious, and personal qualities associated with the condition, examining social commentary, personal writings, cartoons …

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