, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 218-219
Date: 15 Dec 2011

Henry VIII’s obesity following traumatic brain injury

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To the Editor,

Henry VIII (1491–1547) is considered as one of the most prominent kings of England. Famous for his marriage to six wives and the renunciation of Roman Catholicism to establish the Anglican Church of England, Henry also bestowed patronage to several foundation medical institutes within the United Kingdom, which survive to this day. His modern image is frequently marred by a reputation for cruelty, pomposity and self-indulgence that were most notably manifest in his later years.

Although Henry VIII was celebrated for his health in youth, demonstrating an enthusiasm for equestrianism, hunting and combative sports, his physical condition declined such that he became morbidly obese, suffered from depression and was noted to have bilateral leg ulcers (“sorre legge”) that were possibly due to severe venous hypertension as a result of deep vein thromboses [1].

His health status is identified in several reports that offer evidence of the progressive change in his body habitus (Fig.