From Frugivore — Yesterday afternoon the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office officially laid all speculation to rest after they released Ms. Whitney Houston’s official cause of death. She died from an accidental drowning, with cocaine use and heart disease listed as contributing factors. Equally troubling, she had negligible amounts of marijauna, Xanax, Benadryl, and Flexeril in her system.
While Whitney’s illicit drug use will dominate news coverage for the next few weeks, the iconic R&B songstress is unfortunately another victim of heart disease — the number one killer of African-American woman and men. Even though her death was ruled an accidental drowning, more than likely, as the coroner’s official spokesman explained, Whitney may have still been here if her heart was healthy.
Atherosclerotic heart disease is unfortunately a common disease that materializes when plaque build-up within the arteries hardens, eventually blocking the blood going to the heart and other organs. Atherosclerosis can lead to stroke, heart attack, and death, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute explains.
Heart disease is a completely unnecessary disease. Lately, meat consumption has been the culprit in numerous studies about cause of heart disease. Meanwhile, a wide array of unhealthy lifestyle factors have flew under the radar as scientists try to pinpoint a single factor for American’s rise in heart disease-related deaths. Whitney’s long-term use of cocaine probably exacerbated her condition along with her alcohol abuse, smoking, bad diet, and touring schedules — which even stresses out seemingly healthy young starlets.
As studies continue to demonstrate how a healthy diet and daily exercise can reverse heart disease, the number of deaths continues to rise. Deaths due to heart disease are highest among non-Hispanic blacks, irrespective of class status. Sadly, it seems as if we continue to use our bodies as vessels instead of temples, leaving hurt and pain behind to love ones rather than honoring our lives with health-sustaining practices.
And a scattered and unsettled legacy is what Whitney Houston has left her family, friends, and fans. Whitney’s meteoric rise to fame and fortune in the late 1980s and early 90s opened the world’s material treasures to her at a young age. We can only imagine how the New Jersey pop-sensation, who was raised in the church, felt as the sweet aroma of success engulfed her senses, never knowing it would eventually create an intricate public life of perpetual liminality.
Now that the public knows that Whitney had fully relapsed, after reports claimed she had put down cocaine, the focus should shift to our society’s preoccupation with denial and secrecy.