FRED ROSNER, M.D., F.A.C.P.
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To the editor: The recent article and editorial on the pathogenesis of gout (1,2) illustrate the continuing interest in this ancient disease (3). The first modern description of gout is attributed to Thomas Sydenham (AD 1624-1689) in his classic work entitled Tractatus de Podagra et Hydrope. This disease may have already been known, however, in Biblical and Talmudic times.
King Asa of Judah (915-875 BC) reigned happily and peacefully for more than 40 years. In his old age, he suffered from a disease in his feet considered to be gout. The key passage is found in I Kings 15:23:
ROSNER F. Gout in The Bible and The Talmud. Ann Intern Med. 1977;86:833. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-86-6-833_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1977;86(6):833.
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