Macho Man Randy Savage's heart killed him, autopsy says
(CBS) The death of Macho Man Randy Savage was a shock to wrestling fans. So were the results of the ex-pro wrestler's autopsy.
They suggest the 58-year-old died not from a car crash, but from heart disease.
"The crash had nothing to do with his death." William Pellan, director of investigations for Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office in Largo Fla., told Tampa Bay Online. "He just happened to be driving when he had a cardiovascular event."
The stunning finding paints a picture of what may have happened on May 20th when the former Slim Jim pitchman's Jeep Wrangler crossed a highway median before crashing into a tree.
"He may have had a heart attack," Pellan said. "He may have had some type of arrhythmia and his heart stopped beating, or his heart may have simply stopped beating."
Pellan says the autopsy didn't show evidence of a heart attack because he died right away. But it did show his arteries were more than 90 percent blocked, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Heart disease, also called coronary artery disease, is the leading cause of death in the U.S. It's a condition where the blood vessels that pump blood and oxygen into the heart narrow, resulting in chest pains or a potentially lethal heart attack or heart failure. Heredity may be a factor, especially if a family member has a history of heart disease before age 50, but diabetes, high blood pressure, too much bad LDL cholesterol, kidney disease, and smoking are major risk factors.
Savage's autopsy also found traces of alcohol and hydrocodone (Vicodin). But the examiner's office says that didn't contribute to the crash. His blood alcohol level was well below the legal limit at 0.031, and the medicine in his blood was at a non-abusive "therapeutic levels," according to the Times.
WebMD has more information on heart disease.
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