Gilbert Gottfried's Cause Of Death Explained

According to Variety, comedian Gilbert Gottfried died on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. He was 67. "We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness," his family posted on Twitter. "In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert's honor."

In Touch Weekly reported that the Aladdin star was diagnosed with myotonic dystrophy type II, and ultimately passed from recurrent ventricular tachycardia. Also known as V-tach or VT, Mayo Clinic defines ventricular tachycardia as an arrhythmia due to "irregular electrical signals in the lower chambers of the heart" that causes the heart to beat 100 beats or more per minute. A normal heart beats 60 to 100 times per minute.

How Gilbert Gottfried's illness impacted his heart

The Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD) says myotonic dystrophy type II is a genetic disease that affects the muscles, heart, eyes, pancreas, and other body systems. Symptoms can begin when someone is in their 20s and may include prolonged muscle contractions, inability to relax after using muscles, slurred speech, and muscle weakness. In comparison to myotonic dystrophy type 1, type 2 is milder and less likely to result in a shorter life span, but the severity of symptoms can vary.

A 2020 study published in Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine showed that people with myotonic dystrophy, such as Gilbert Gottfried, have an increased risk of heart complications. According to Mayo Clinic, what makes ventricular tachycardia dangerous is that it causes the heart to beat so fast that the body isn't able to receive enough blood. As a result, organs and tissues don't receive enough oxygen. When this happens, the person may experience chest pain, dizziness, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath. This can go away on its own within 30 seconds and may not result in any symptoms. Sustained beyond 30 seconds, it can cause fainting, loss of consciousness, or cardiac arrest.