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Question
Posted by: Ann | 2005/07/01

Enlarged heart - causing a heart attack

My husband recently passed away from a heart attack. Ten years ago he developed epilepsy and two years later started to drink which and after a few years progressed to an alcoholic. A autopsy was performed and they found he had an enlarged heart and his liver was in the early stages of serosis of the liver.
Please could you explain to me how happens, it is possibily due to the epilepsy or the alcohol.
Looking forward to your reply.

Kind Regards.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Ann,

My condolences to you, it must have been a very difficult time for everybody.

Whilst I do not have all the facts, based on what you have written, it is most likely that your husband developed cirrhosis of the liver, and a cardiomyopathy, both of which can be directly attributable to excess alcohol consumption. Cirrhosis is a change in the liver in which functioning liver tissue is replaced with fibrous tissue (non-functioning “scar” tissue) as a result of chronic alcohol toxicity. Liver failure occurs when more than a certain percentage of liver is destroyed. With chronic alcohol intake, the heart muscle is also damaged beyond repair, and the heart then enlarges and it too goes into failure. Whilst your husband may not have been in actual heart or liver failure, it is possible that his organs had already sustained enough damage to be unable to recover from a heart attack which may not have caused the death of a non-alcoholic.

The epilepsy was unlikely to have contributed directly to his death.

I hope this is what you were wanting to know. Please write in again if there is anything you still need to know or do not understand.

HeartDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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