19 Aug 2009

New theory on what killed Mozart

9:24 pm on 19 August 2009

Health researchers have developed a new theory as to what may have caused the mysterious death of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The Austrian composer died in Vienna at the age of 35 in 1791.

Previous theories include poisoning by jealous rivals, overwork, rheumatic fever, and eating contaminated pork.

But a team at the University of Amsterdam says Mozart may have succumbed to kidney failure after complications developed from a bacterial throat infection, the BBC reports.

Researchers believe the streptococcal infection triggered a fatal swelling of his kidneys.

The latest study is published in the latest issue of the American medical magazine, Annals of Internal Medicine.

At the time of Mozart's death the cause was recorded as "severe miliary fever", and no post-mortem examination was carried out.

His remains were dispersed seven years later when the composer's grave was dug up so it could be reused, making forensic analysis all but impossible.