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Journal of Applied Genetics 44(1), 2003, pp. 77-84

Cystic fibrosis – a probable cause of Frédéric Chopin’s suffering and death

Lucyna MAJKA, Joanna GOZDZIK, Michal WITT

Abstract: Frédéric Chopin – a great Polish composer and pianist – suffered from a chronic disease. Both during his life and after death physicians disagreed on the subject of Chopin’s diagnosis. His contemporaries accepted the diagnosis of a disease common in the 18th century – tuberculosis. Description of new clinical entities provoked new dilemmas in the 20th century. In our opinion the most tenable seems to be the diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. In this work we present F. Chopin’s case history and discuss cons and pron for cystic fibrosis as the cause of F. Chopin’s suffering and death.

Key words: Chopin, cystic fibrosis, genetics, late diagnosis.

Correspondence: L. Majka, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences, ul. Szamarzewskiego 84, 60-569 Poznan, Poland, e-mail:

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