Cause of George Michaelâs Death Revealed
Last week, it was finally announced that Michael died of ânatural causes.â
The conditions that led to Michaelâs death were cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and a fatty liver.
In plain English: his heart was inflamed (myocarditis) and weakened due to stretching in the left ventricle, limiting its ability to pump blood (cardiomyopathy). Coupled with excess fat in the liver, which meant that the organ wasnât operating optimally in ridding his system of toxins, this ultimately led to Michaelâs death.
Americaâs Greatest Health Risks
Heart disease and fatty liver disease are common causes of death and are very closely related. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America while fatty liver disease was put forth by Scientific American to potentially be âAmericaâs greatest health risk,â citing that, as of 2015, an estimated quarter of Americans are living with it.
The risk factors for heart disease and fatty liver diseaseâspecifically non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)âare pretty similar. High cholesterol, high triglycerides, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and sleep apnea are all cross-over risk factors for both conditions. Diet and alcohol consumption can also play a role, while independent risk factors for NAFLD include some painkiller and supplement usage, hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), polycystic ovary syndrome, and hypopituitarism (underactive pituitary gland).
Addictions May Have Played Role in Michaelâs Death
In the past, George Michael suffered addictions to drugs and alcohol that could have led to long-term, permanent damage to his heart and liver, even though they didnât acutely lead to his death. And although both of these conditions can be hard to prevent because age and genetics do play a role, there are some things you can to lower your own chances of suffering from them or to reverse some of the damage thatâs been done.
- Avoid alcohol and hard drugs, like cocaine
- Control blood pressure and cholesterol by keeping them in normal, healthy ranges
- Focus on eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting refined sugars and processed food
- Get enough sleep (minimum seven hours a night)
- Manage stress (consider meditation or yoga)
- Make regular doctor visits
Sources for Todayâs Article
âCardiomyopathy,â Mayo Clinic, March 17, 2015; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cardiomyopathy/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20026819, last accessed March 8, 2017.
âNon-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease,â Mayo Clinic, August 23, 2016; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nonalcoholic-fatty-liver-disease/symptoms-causes/dxc-20211639, last accessed March 8, 2017.
Jamal, H., âNon-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: America’s Greatest Health Risk of 2015?â Scientific American, February 9, 2015; https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/non-alcoholic-fatty-liver-disease-america-s-greatest-health-risk-of-2015/, last accessed March 8, 2017.
âGeorge Michael died of heart disease, fatty liver,â American Heart Association, March 7, 2017; http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/George-Michael-died-of-heart-disease-fatty-liver_UCM_492409_Article.jsp#.WMAnNhIrL-Z, last accessed March 8, 2017.