Thousands have form of heart disease found in Whitney Houston

Print
Email
|

by JANET ST. JAMES

WFAA

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 23 at 6:02 PM

DALLAS - Accidental drowning, cocaine and heart disease are listed as contributing factors to Whitney Houston's death.

But the full autopsy may show whether the singer suffered a heart attack before drowning.

Atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease, is listed on the coroners report. The condition is a dangerous narrowing of the arteries that happens as the result of fat build up in the artery walls.

Drug use can make the condition worse. But, Texas Health Dallas cardiologist Dr. David Harper says most people develop atherosclerosis from other bad lifestyle habits, including a poor diet.

"Advancing age, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and limited exercise are all known risk factors for causing atherosclerosis," Harper said.

Atherosclerosis can lead to stroke, heart attack and death. Symptoms can be hard to spot, since mild atherosclerosis often doesn't have any signs

If arteries are seriously clogged and hardened, a blood clot that forms in the artery can break, leading to a heart attack, stroke or death. According to the coroner's report, Whitney Houston's arteries were about 60 percent blocked.

A stress test, EKG, or angiogram can help diagnose it.

An online test at yourheartage.com can show you your heart health and atherosclerosis risk.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|