Natalie Cole died of pulmonary hypertension leading to heart failure, family says
Singer was diagnosed with lung disease after kidney transplant in 2009
Natalie Cole's cause of death was idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, which led to heart failure, the singer's family said on Thursday.
Her family said in a statement to The Associated Press that after Cole received a kidney transplant in 2009, she was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare lung disease that causes shortness of breath, dizziness and sometimes chest pain. Because Cole's case was idiopathic, the exact cause is unknown.
The statement read: "[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."
Cole had battled drug problems and hepatitis that forced her to undergo a kidney transplant.
She died on Dec. 31 at age 65.