Mozart and Sunblock

August 27, 2011

The journal Medical Problems of Performing Artists has an article positing a Vitamin D deficiency as the cause of Mozart’s early death.

As the authors — “Stefan Pilz (who, if he plays his cards right, will hereafter be known as ‘Vitamin’ Pilz) and William B Grant” — summarize in The Guardian:

Mozart did much of his composing at night, so would have slept during much of the day. At the latitude of Vienna, 48ยบ N, it is impossible to make vitamin D from solar ultraviolet-B irradiance for about six months of the year. Mozart died on 5 December, 1791, two to three months into the vitamin D winter.