Sarah Ford | February 4, 2014

Marfan Awareness Month: What Marfan Syndrome Is And 5 Things You Can Do This February

President Abraham Lincoln’s health has been a topic of debate among scholars and physicians. One of the more enduring theories about his health arose in the early 1960s when a physician published a paper in 1964 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, stating that President Abraham Lincoln had Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disorder. While there may not be enough scientific evidence available to definitely diagnose President Lincoln with the disorder, the 1960 theory was based on some specific signs. 

Here is some information from America’s Charities member, The Marfan Foundation. Visit their website to learn even more.

Some Signs Are Easy to See.  Other Signs Harder to Detect.

Every person’s experience with Marfan syndrome is slightly different. No one has every feature and people have different combinations of features. Some features of Marfan syndrome are easier to see than others. These include:

  • Marfan Awareness Month: What Marfan Syndrome Is & 5 Things You Can Do This FebruaryLong arms, legs and fingers
  • Tall and thin body type
  • Curved spine
  • Chest sinks in or sticks out
  • Flexible joints
  • Flat feet
  • Crowded teeth
  • Stretch marks on the skin that are not related to weight gain or loss

Harder-to-detect signs of Marfan syndrome include heart problems, especially those related to the aorta, the large blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. Other signs can include sudden lung collapse and eye problems, including severe nearsightedness, dislocated lens, detached retina, early glaucoma, and early cataracts. Special tests are often needed to detect these features.

Now that we’ve taught you a little about Marfan syndrome, help raise awareness this February in recognition of Marfan Awareness Month.

>> 5 Things You Can Do for Marfan Awareness Month 


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