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Rheumatic Disease in Wartime: Gouty Generals in Battles Lost or Won

Pinals, Robert S. MD

JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology: October 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 7 - p 373–375
doi: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000000110
Rheumatology Retrospective

Leadership by a commander is an important determinant of military outcomes. This report describes 2 19th-century wars in which the commanding general was afflicted with severe, disabling gout. In the First Afghan War (1839–1942), the result was disastrous, but in the Spanish-American War (1898), subordinates ignored the general’s orders and saved the day.

From the Department of Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Robert S. Pinals, MD, 18 Pickman Dr, Bedford MA 01730. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.