What Made Beethoven Sick? DNA From His Hair Offers Clues
March 22, 2023 9:40AM PDT
NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists have pulled DNA from Ludwig van Beethoven’s hair to look for clues about his many health problems and hearing loss.
They weren’t able to figure out why the famous composer lost his hearing and had severe stomach problems.
But they reported Wednesday that they did find clues about the liver disease that is widely believed to have killed the German composer.
Beethoven’s genome showed that he had a high risk for liver disease and was infected with the liver-damaging hepatitis B.
The researchers concluded that those factors, along with his drinking, likely contributed to his death nearly 200 years ago.