Chopin’s heart, which was kept in cognac, helped to know the cause of composer’s death

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Chopin did not live to forty years. The composer had bad health since childhood; doctors assumed tuberculosis (in the 19th century this disease was called consumption). 12 years ago Polish scientists came up with a new hypothesis. In their opinion, Chopin suffered from cystic fibrosis in pulmonary form – a severe hereditary disease. Patients who even in our time rarely live to 30. This assumption is based on the composer’s condition. At the time of his death he weighed 40 kg and grew 170 centimeters.

Recently, to confirm the diagnosis, medical experts have studied Chopin’s heart, which was stored in a crystal container in cognac for 168 years (in the 19th century in France for the preservation of organs was most often used cognac). The Ministry of Culture prohibited printing the container, justly fearing for the safety of the object. Chopin is one of the brightest cultural phenomena in Poland. Its heart, kept in the Temple of the Holy Cross in the capital is a valuable artifact for local residents.

Not being able to open the container, the scientists studied the heart from photographs. Externally, the condition of the heart indicates tuberculosis. However, only DNA analysis extracted from the heart will put an end to this story. Alas, this is not possible yet.