February 1992

The Arthritis of Christopher Columbus

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Miami School of Medicine, Fla.

Arch Intern Med. 1992;152(2):274-277. doi:10.1001/archinte.1992.00400140028008

Christopher Columbus suffered from an arthritic disorder that began on his First Voyage to the New World. The disease was progressive, punctuated by painful flares in the lower extremities, and, at times, seemed to be associated with fever and ocular symptoms. During his Fourth Voyage and final years of life, Columbus was immobilized by his rheumatologic condition. This article uses contemporary historical accounts of Columbus' illness to trace the clinical features of his disease.

(Arch Intern Med. 1992;152:274-277)