December 23, 2009

Brittany Murphy Died of Heart Attack?

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:55 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

Be careful what you read!! Many people are being misled by the media when they read that this young 32-year-old actress died of a heart attack. For people who actually have heart disease, you should know a little bit more than the lay person off the street! For instance, most people think that a heart attack must be caused by plaque blockages in the arteries (also called Coronary Artery Disease). It is highly unlikely that the young actress had blockages in her arteries. The most likely scenario is that something else caused her heart to have an electrical problem called “cardiac arrest.”

Cardiac arrest is a completely different problem than what most people call a heart attack. A heart attack with blockages in the arteries CAN cause cardiac arrest and death. However, a person can have cardiac arrest without ever having blockages in their arteries. So, don’t be fooled by the media when you hear that a young, healthy person like Brittany Murphy died of a heart attack. Reportedly, the autopsy results are pending a drug screen so this may in fact be a similar case to Michael Jackson and NOT Tim Russert.


  1. Emma said,

    It has been documented quite heavily if you read the articles that Murphy had Type 2 Diabetes. states that:

    Diabetes accelerates atherosclerosis, (the formation of fatty plaques inside the arteries), which can lead to blockages or a clot (thrombus). Such changes can then lead to heart attack, stroke, and decreased circulation in the arms and legs (peripheral vascular disease).

    It should also be known that when women suffer from a heart attack – sometimes erroneously called a cardiac arrest in the press (for dramatic purposes) they can vomit and feel nauseous as first stage symptons, and for females with type 2 diabetes:

    Diabetes can be especially hard on women….Women with diabetes are also more likely to have a heart attack, and at a younger age, than women without diabetes.

    Which is according to the American Diabetic Association:

    It is all well and good doing 1+1 and suggesting that she was too young to die or that cardiac arrest was not the defining issue, but the press have already stated, as has the coroner, that other factors could be involved, including the fact that she had flu like symptons and as I said, type 2 diabetes which is particularly harmful for women.

    Just because a few pharmaceutical drugs have been found does not straight away say “aother Jacko” – it could be, but it is too soon to jump to conclusions.

    There is enough speculation and rumor being flung out in the press, info which suggests something but with no evidence it is the cause – it is too early to say it was another Jacko type case. Tox screens are standing in a death of this sort, there is nothing unusual going on in the autopsy. Isn’t it best we wait and not speculate?

    • Emma, I definitely agree that we should wait for the autopsy results before jumping to conclusions. You are absolutely correct that Diabetes accelerates plaque buildup in the arteries, making a heart attack more likely at a younger age. However, I want people to understand the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest so they do not jump to their own conclusions that a “heart attack” reported by the media is automatically an assumption of blockages in the arteries. I personally do not think Brittany Murphy was a serious addict like Michael Jackson and I mean no offense to the reputation of a great actress who has passed away. I simply hope to show the differences in the types of passing due to “cardiac” causes.

  2. Emma said,

    I understand. I often think the term cardiac arrest is used too readily by a press that may not understand there is a big difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest.

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