[Medical history of Martin Luther]

Nihon Ishigaku Zasshi. 2011 Dec;57(4):433-49.
[Article in Japanese]


Martin Luther achieved great success in religious reformation, though he was said to have suffered from many kinds of diseases during his lifetime. Unfortunately, however, his medical history has never been reported in Japan. Since the second half of his thirties, he was suffering from severe constipation, causing hemorrhoids and anal prolapse. At the beginning of his forties he had vertigo, tinnitis and headaches, which were the signs of chronic purlent otitis media and ended in left otorrhea and pyorrhea of the left mastoiditis. Nearly at the same time, he started to suffer from anginal pain, colic and dysuria due to urinary uric acid stones, gout and left leg ulcer, which were all caused by metabolic syndromes. The last 1/3 of his life was affected by the shadow of diseases, and his religious activities were frequently disturbed. He died from myocardial infarction at the age 63, in February 1546.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Christianity / history*
  • Constipation / history
  • Famous Persons*
  • Germany
  • History, 16th Century
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Otitis Media, Suppurative / history
  • Tinnitus / history
  • Vertigo / history

Personal name as subject

  • Martin Luther