Soap-opera star Kristoff St. John’s death was the result of hypertrophic heart disease, according to an autopsy report obtained by USA TODAY Tuesday. It said alcohol was also a factor but not the primary cause.
St. John, who spent nearly three decades playing Neil Winters on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless,” was found dead at his home in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on Feb. 3.
The document lists the manner of death as an accident and cites hypertrophic heart disease, an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, as the primary cause of St. John’s death.
Also known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the disease can make it harder for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, the condition often goes undiagnosed because it has few symptoms, but some patients can experience problems breathing or abnormal heart rhythms known as arrhythmias.
Alcohol was detected in blood samples, and a toxicology panel detected the prescription anti-anxiety drugs Nordiazepam and Librium (chlordiazepoxide).
SOURCE: USA Today – Jayme Deerwester