Chopin died from tuberculosis-related complications: experts
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin probably died from tuberculosis-related complications, according to Polish scientists whose findings are to be published in the American Journal of Medicine.
Fryderyk Chopin. Photo courtesy of the Polish Institute in Paris.
After Chopin died aged 39 in 1849, his heart was placed in a church in Warsaw. In 2014 a team of Polish scientists began to examine it, attempting to establish the cause of his death.
The heart showed life-threatening inflammation of the pericardium, the fibrous sac surrounding the heart, which suggests he suffered from chronic tuberculosis, according to a report in Nature magazine.
But the team was not allowed to remove the heart from the jar in which it was stored.
Doubts remain as to whether the heart was actually Chopin's and some experts have suggested that the composer, who was sickly since early childhood, may have had cystic fibrosis or other illnesses. Without DNA tests, neither of these things can be confirmed.
Chopin was born in 1810 in Żelazowa Wola, near Warsaw.
He died in Paris on 17 October, 1849 and, according to Nature magazine, had requested an autopsy out of fear of being buried alive, a common 19th-century phobia.
His body was buried at Paris's Père-Lachaise cemetery, but his sister put his heart in a jar of alcohol and took it to Warsaw, where it was sealed in the pillar of the Holy Cross Church, Nature magazine said. (vb/pk)