The Huffington Post—June 27, 2009
Did you know that Michael Jackson was the victim of a rare auto-immune disease called lupus? Lupus causes inflammation in many of the body's organs including the arteries of the heart. The inflamed arteries then cause cholesterol to deposit on their walls.These deposits cause scarring, and the whole process primes lupus victims to have massive heart attacks, which are often asymptomatic beforehand.
Mild lupus sufferers, like Jackson, are actually more at risk for having a fatal heart attack, according to Dr. Michael Lockshin, a rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. The reason for this is because people who have a mild case of lupus are less likely to take any of the medications which would prevent inflammation of the organs.
Now if you don't believe that Jackson had lupus consider this: vitiligo, which Jackson also suffered from, resulting in the famous pigment loss in his skin, is also an auto-immune disease. Coincidentally, vitiligo and lupus are often diagnosed in the same person, explains Dr. Lockshin. In other words, it would not have been unusual for Michael Jackson to have suffered from both ailments.
So would prescription drug abuse have exacerbated a case of lupus? Only if demerol was injected intravenously, would it also have damaged Jackson's heart, according to Dr. Lockshin. Demerol injected into his muscles would not have played a deadly role and neither would drugs like Xanax and Zoloft.
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