George Michael died of natural causes, coroner confirms

George Michael died of natural causes, a senior coroner confirmed today (March 7). The late  star, who was found dead at his Oxfordshire home on Christmas Day at the age of 53, died as a result of combined heart and liver problems. "Inquiries into the death of George Michael have been concluded and the final post mortem report received," Oxfordshire's senior coroner Darren Salter said in a statement. "As there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further inquiries." The coroner added: "No further updates will be provided and the family requests the media and public respect their privacy." The original post-mortem carried out by Thames Valley Police following Michael's death in December was deemed "inconclusive", with the force adding at the time his death was "still being treated as unexplained but not suspicious". According to the British Heart Foundation, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a disease of the heart muscle where it becomes stretched and thin, reducing the organ's ability to pump blood around the body. DCM can be inherited, although it can also be caused by other factors including viral infections, uncontrolled high blood pressure, problems with the heart valves or excessive alcohol consumption over a prolonged period. Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, usually caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection. Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat builds up in the cells of the liver, and is usually caused by poor diet or excessive alcohol consumption.

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Tributes flooded in from around the world following Michael's death, while the star was honoured with a tear-jerking performance from Coldplay's Chris Martin at last month's BRIT Awards in London. The 'Fast Love' singer, who was hospitalised with pneumonia in 2011 and had suffered a string of health issues in recent years, sold an estimated 80 million records worldwide and scored seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the US Billboard Hot 100.

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