An appraisal of Albert Einstein's chronic illness

Med Hypotheses. 1994 May;42(5):340-6. doi: 10.1016/0306-9877(94)90010-8.


For the last 39 of his 76 years of life, physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) suffered from chronic illness. His health problems were primarily related to multiple complications of digestive system disorders; liver ailment, stomach ulcer, inflammation of gall bladder, jaundice and intestinal pains. Based on the published autobiographical records and biographies written by his secretary Helen Dukas and collaborators such as Philipp Frank and Banesh Hoffmann, this paper appraises the chronic illness of Einstein. Reasons for the insufficient attention to Einstein's medical history are also postulated. These possibly include, 1) his dislike of divulging personal details to analysts, interviewers and reporters; and 2) scattering of his medical records due to a peripatetic life lived in 4 countries, Germany, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia and USA.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Digestive System Diseases / history*
  • Famous Persons*
  • Germany
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physics / history*
  • Switzerland
  • United States

Personal name as subject

  • A Einstein