Among other theories, experts have proposed that Henry suffered from Type II diabetes, syphilis, an endocrine problem called Cushing’s syndrome, or myxedema, which is a byproduct of hypothyroidism.
All of those theories have flaws, Whitley said, and none address the monarch’s reproductive woes. Two of his six wives — Ann Boleyn and Katherine of Aragon — are thought to have suffered multiple miscarriages, often in the third trimester.
To explain those patterns, Whitley and colleague Kyra Kramer offer a new theory: Henry may have belonged to a rare blood group, called Kell positive. Only 9 percent of the Caucasian population belongs to this group.
Story: Emily Sohn, Discovery News | Photo: Corbis