Steve Jobs reveals his mystery illness

Apple's inspirational boss scotches rumours about his deteriorating health

After a year of concerns about his gaunt appearance, months of rumours about his declining health and a flurry of speculation a week ago that he may even be at death's door, Apple founder Steve Jobs has broken his silence to insist he remains firmly at the helm of the consumer gadgets giant.

He is suffering a "hormone imbalance", he said in a letter to the Apple faithful gathering at the annual Macworld conference in San Francisco yesterday. That is causing him to lose weight, he said, but he has already begun treatment.

The statement was designed to stem a growing panic over Apple's future, with everyone from shareholders to faithful customers fearful that the company would lose its edge without the leadership of Mr Jobs. He returned from exile a decade ago and restored Apple's fortunes with the launch of the iPod, a new range of must-have Macintosh laptops, and finally the iPhone.

"I've decided to share something very personal with the Apple community so that we can all relax and enjoy the show," he told Macworld attendees. "As many of you know, I have been losing weight throughout 2008. The reason has been a mystery to me and my doctors. A few weeks ago, I decided that getting to the root cause of this and reversing it needed to become my number one priority. Fortunately, after further testing, my doctors think they have found the cause – a hormone imbalance that has been "robbing" me of the proteins my body needs to be healthy. The remedy for this nutritional problem is relatively simple and straightforward."

The statement comes after a long line of seemingly contradictory statements from Apple's public relations team, and two weeks after the company said Mr Jobs would not be giving the keynote address at the Macworld conference – an annual institution, where the turtle-necked guru usually strides on to stage to announce the latest world-changing Apple device.

Mr Jobs' medical history includes a struggle with a rare, treatable pancreatic cancer in 2004, and there were rumours last summer that the cancer had returned. Between Christmas and New Year, a tech industry blog created a sensation by claiming Mr Jobs' health was "rapidly declining" and that having Apple's marketing chief Philip Schiller present the keynote address at Macworld was part of a plan to ready the world for a post-Jobs Apple – a story the company immediately denied.

Hormonal imbalance: Symptoms and treatment

*Hormonal imbalance is a known side-effect of pancreatic cancer. One of its symptoms is weight loss. Mr Jobs has not said that the condition he is suffering is linked with his earlier brush with cancer. But yesterday's admission is certain to spark speculation. Pancreatic cancer originates in the pancreas, which produces hormones such as insulin. Mr Jobs had a rare cancer type that originates in the pancreatic cells that produce hormones. A cancerous growth in the organ could lead to the imbalance. Mr Jobs says the remedy for his "nutritional" problem is simple and he has begun treatment which should see him regain weight by the spring. Jeremy Laurance, Health Editor

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum