A year after Actor Ray Liotta passed away while filming in the Dominican Republic, the cause of death has been revealed. Documents obtained by TMZ indicate that the 67-year-old actor died in his sleep due to a condition known as atherosclerosis. This frequent but potentially fatal condition affects around half of Americans over 45.
Atherosclerosis is a slow buildup of plaque, a combination of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other deposits, in the walls of your vascular system. This buildup can lead to arteries becoming hard and narrow, eventually blocking the blood flow in the body, resulting in complications like pulmonary edema and acute heart failure.
Experts have dubbed atherosclerosis the “silent killer” due to the delayed onset of symptoms and the fact that around 50% of people with the condition are unaware of it. When symptoms start to show, they are often considered medical emergencies requiring immediate attention.
Treatment for atherosclerosis includes lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating healthily, exercising, and using certain medications such as statins and blood thinners. Those over 45 with high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol are more likely to develop atherosclerosis.
It is a reminder to seek medical attention immediately if any associated symptoms of atherosclerosis present themselves. The condition is treatable but, left unchecked, can lead to deadly complications like what ultimately led to the loss of Actor Ray Liotta one year ago.