Natalie Cole's Family Reveals Cause Of Death
January 8, 2016 at 1:04 PM (PT)
The family of NATALIE COLE revealed that the singer passed away DECEMBER 31st from heart failure brought on by a rare lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH). The GRAMMY-winning singer was first diagnosed with IPAH shortly after undergoing a kidney transplant in 2009.
"This is a very serious and progressive disorder," COLE's family said in a statement. "She responded well to pulmonary arterial hypertension-specific agents over many years, during which she performed many concerts worldwide, but eventually succumbed to intractable right heart failure, an outcome that unfortunately commonly occurs in this progressive disorder."
IPAH occurs when extra tissue forms around the pulmonary arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow and forcing blood pressure to rise, resulting in shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain, according to ASSOCIATED PRESS. It's unclear whether the disease was related to the "medical procedure which precipitated a lengthy hospital stay" that forced COLE to cancel many of her NOVEMBER and DECEMBER concerts, including one at the WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL, where she was replaced by GLADYS KNIGHT. Prior to her death, Cole also cancelled FEBRUARY shows.
COLE also battled Hepatitis C, which the singer admitted was the result of prolonged drug use decades earlier.
"NATALLIE fought a fierce, courageous battle, dying how she lived … with dignity, strength and honor," her family said in a statement after she passed away at the age of 65. "Our beloved Mother and sister will be greatly missed and remain UNFORGETTABLE in our hearts forever."