Union, NE

The man who had an attack of hiccups for 68 years straight

Anita Durairaj

According to Guinness World Records, the record for the longest attack of hiccups that a person has ever experienced belongs to Charles Osborne.

Osborne started hiccoughing in 1922 and his attack of hiccups did not stop until 1990. He had the hiccups for 68 years straight.

Osborne's intractable hiccups started because he had an accident in 1922. As a young man, Osborne was working on a farm near Union, Nebraska. He was hanging a heavy hog that was ready for butchering when he fell down. That incident seemed to trigger his hiccups.

At the time, the doctor believed that he popped a blood vessel at the base of his brain. The blood vessel may have been at the junction of a nerve ending that controlled breathing and hiccup response.

Osborne was treated by several doctors over the course of his life but no real reason could be given for his hiccups. Treatment did not help and Osborne continued to hiccup non-stop. His hiccups occurred at the rate of 40 times a minute and would last throughout the day and night.

In the meantime, he went on with his life, got married, fathered children, and continued to work as a farmer. He learned to live with his hiccups and even learned how to control them with the help of doctors at the Mayo Clinic. Thus, he was able to hiccup without producing noise. However, he did have some difficulties with his diet and resorted to grinding his food with a blender before eating.

Osborne's hiccups mysteriously stopped about one year before his death. He lived a long life and then died in 1991.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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