Jacob Mendes Da Costa

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Portrait of Da Costa by Thomas Eakins

Jacob Mendes Da Costa, or Jacob Mendez Da Costa (February 7, 1833, Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Caribbean – September 12, 1900) was an American physician.

He is particularly known for discovering Da Costa's syndrome (also known as soldier's heart), an anxiety disorder combining effort fatigue, dyspnea, a sighing respiration, palpitation and sweating that he first observed in soldiers in the American Civil War and documented in an 1871 study.[1]

He was born in St. Thomas, then still a Danish colony and was educated at the Jefferson Medical College (now Thomas Jefferson University), taking his medical degree in 1852. During the Civil War he served as a physician at the Military Hospital as well as Turner's Lane Hospital, Philadelphia. It was during this period that he gathered much of the evidence that used in his 1871 study of anxiety disorders.

He later taught at the Jefferson Medical College (now Thomas Jefferson University), where he became a respected and sought after lecturer.

In 1860 he married Sarah, the sister of his friend and colleague, Professor John Hill Brinton (1832–1907). They had one son, Charles Frederick, who became a lawyer.

He died on September 12, 1900 and was buried at Woodlands Cemetery, seen here.

Literary works[edit]

Jacob Mendes Da Costa.jpg
  • Medical Diagnosis, 1864


  1. ^ Jacob Mendez Da Costa, Who Named It?

External links[edit]