George Michael

7th March 2017

The results of  George Michael 's post-mortem have been in the news today and there has been a great deal of interest from the media about dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). 

The post-mortem does not show the causes of George Michael's DCM and it is inappropriate to speculate a reason for its development in this case. It is important to remember that  DCM can also be a result of both genetic changes and non-genetic conditions and in particular

  • viral infections
  • auto-immune disease
  • exposure to toxins or certain medicines.

There are also occasions where the condition may be related to pregnancy. When it is known about, it can usually be effectively managed with medication and devices such as implantable cardiac defibrillators. However some people experience significant symptoms including breathlessness, fatigue, fluid retention and palpitations. In a few people it leads to severe heart failure and they will need a heart transplant. Sadly, there is sometimes a risk of sudden death.

Cardiomyopathy UK Chief Executive Joel Rose said "The story of George Michael's post-mortem results highlights that fact that there is still a great deal more to be known about DCM and its causes. The condition is often missed or people with DCM can are given the catch-all diagnosis of 'heart failure'. This will be one of the themes of our National Clinical Conference later this year where we will be bringing clinicians together to improve their ability to see beyond a broad diagnosis and spot cardiomyopathy so that it can be treated appropriately."

Press enquiries should be directed to Joel.Rose@cardiomyopathy.org