Frederick Akbar Mahomed was an Englishman of mixed Indian and Irish descent who made substantial contributions to the study of high blood pressure in a short professional life from 1872 to 1884. He was strongly influenced by the previous work of Richard Bright on kidney disease at his own hospital (Guy's Hospital in London) and by the contemporary pathological studies of Gull and Sutton on arteriolar changes in persons with high blood pressure. In detailed clinical studies, he separated chronic nephritis with secondary hypertension from what we now term essential hypertension. He described the constitutional basis and natural history of essential hypertension and pointed out that this disease could terminate with nephrosclerosis and renal failure. His clinical studies were done without the benefit of a sphygmomanometer but with the aid of a quantitative sphygmogram that he had initially developed while a medical student. He described characteristic features of the pressure pulse in patients with high blood pressure and in persons with arteriosclerosis consequent on aging. These pressure wave changes have recently been verified and explained. He contributed to a number of other advances in medical care, including blood transfusion and appendectomy for appendicitis. He initiated the Collective Investigation Record for the British Medical Association; this organization collected data from physicians practicing outside the hospital setting and was the precursor of modern collaborative clinical trials. Mahomed died from typhoid fever, almost certainly contracted from one of his patients, at age 35 at the height of his career.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association