Coroner: George Michael died of heart, liver disease

Two months after George Michael's sudden death over the Christmas holiday, a British coroner says the singer died of natural causes due to heart disease and a fatty liver.

On Tuesday, Darren Salter, the senior coroner in the southern English county of Oxfordshire, says the official cause of Michael's death was “dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver.”

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart’s ability to pump blood is limited, while myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle.

The report did not make clear which type of fatty liver disease was present in Michael's body. There are two general varieties, including alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is caused by excessive drinking but can be reversed through abstinence, the Cleveland Clinic notes.

According to the Mayo Clinic, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is less understood, but thought to be linked to obesity, insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

Michael, who was 53 when he died, did have a history with alcohol and drugs, including arrests for possession of drugs and driving under the influence, with the latter leading to a four-week jail stint for crashing his SUV into a London storefront.

After the initial autopsy on Dec. 30 failed to point to a cause of death, police took statements in an effort to turn over more information on the singer's death, which they labeled "unexplained but not suspicious."

However, now that it's been determined that Michael died of natural causes, Salter said no further investigation will be undertaken.

Michael recently received tributes at both the Grammys and BRIT Awards, with Adele and Coldplay's Chris Martin performing his songs, and at the Stella McCartney fashion show Monday.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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