Natalie Cole Died of Heart Problem Found After Her Kidney Transplant

Natalie Cole battled a lot of demons during her life and they caused health problems that eventually ended in her death on December 31 at the age of 65.

Cole beat her drug problems and was reportedly clean during the last thirty years of her life, but she was left with Hepatitis C, a chronic disease that can attack various organs in the body. It was the most likely culprit to her needing a kidney transplant in 2009.

According to a statement released by Cole's family earlier today to the Associated Press, after that kidney transplant, it was discovered that she had pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare and life threatening condition that causes the smaller veins in the lungs to become narrowed or blocked over time. The heart then pumps harder to get the blood needed to the lungs which stresses the muscles of the heart and eventually leads to its failure.

Her family said that, even though Cole continued performing, she experienced dizziness, shortness of breath and occasional chest pain.

The statement released to the AP read, in part that cole "responded well to pulmonary arterial hypertension-specific agents over many years, during which she performed many concerts world-wide, but eventually succumbed to intractable right heart failure, an outcome that unfortunately commonly occurs in this progressive disorder."

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