By Charles Redwood,
Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Biochemistry
University of Oxford, Oxford, England
An Oxfordshire coroner recently announced that George Michael died of natural causes. The post-mortem examination revealed that the singer suffered from a number of health problems, including dilated cardiomyopathy.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of the heart muscle. Up to half of the cases are caused by an inherited faulty gene.
By understanding the inherited form of the disease, we hope to gain insight into the mechanisms that cause DCM and improve the treatment for patients.
DCM affects about one in 2,500 people and is a major cause of heart failure. Around half of DCM patients die within five years of a diagnosis.
Symptoms of the disease include fatigue, shortness of breath and swelling in the legs and abdomen. It is usually diagnosed using techniques that can image the heart and assess how well it is pumping, typically echocardiography which uses sound waves. [Read more…] about Dilated cardiomyopathy: the disease that killed George Michael – explained