Andy Irons: acute mixed drug ingestion led to heart attack

After his shocking and untimely death in November 2010, the family of world champion surfer Andy Irons have released the results of his autopsy. Contrary to initial reports at his time of death which suggested his death came as a result of Dengue ever, the findings indicate that he in fact died of a heart attack around 30 hours after taking cocaine.

The toxicology report found a cocktail of chemicals in his bloodstream including Xanax which Irons took for anxiety and insomnia, along with benzoylecgonine, a by-product of cocaine ingestion.

The autopsy was carried out by a Tarrant County medical examiner who quickly ruled out Dengue fever after discovering a severe blockage of he heart’s main artery which led to cardiac arrest.

Andy Irons at the US open.

Irons’ family then requested an independent review of the autopsy which was conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Vincent Di Maio. He concluded that Andy Irons had suffered from hardening of the arteries, saying that, “A plaque of this severity, located in the anterior descending coronary artery is commonly associated with sudden death.”

Di Maio also added that Irons had a genetic predisposition which caused the early onset of artery hardening, a condition normally associated with people nearing their 50‘s. According to his family Irons also caught typhoid in 2006 which could have contributed to the problems with his heart.

Andy Irons in action - at home amongst the waves.

With heart attack as the primary cause of death the autopsy listed an ‘acute mixed drug ingestion’ as a secondary cause.

[adsense]”The family believes Andy was in some denial about the severity of his chemical imbalance and tended to blame his mood swings on himself and his own weaknesses, choosing to self-medicate with recreational drugs,” said the Irons family in their statement.

The full report will be available on June 20th once the injunction to keep them private has expired. The records were kept on hold after the family placed the injunction while Andy’s wife Lyndie was pregnant. Given her loss and the additional stress of the pregnancy they felt it best to wait until some time after she had given birth to their son.

Andy Irons sizes up the surf.

The events leading to his death began with Irons pulling out of the Rip Curl Search surf contest in Puerto Rico after he came down with flu-like symptoms. He was put on an intravenous drip to avoid the risk of dehydration after which he boarded a plane from Miami to his home in Hawaii.

For some reason Andy Irons missed the connecting flight and booked into a Dallas hotel where he passed away in the night.

Please share your thoughts on Andy Iron’s autopsy findings by leaving a comment.

Read our previous report on Andy Irons and other stars who died young including Matt Hughes, River Phoenix, Heath Ledger and Greg Giraldo.

images: surfexperience.blogspot.com, continentseven.com, guardian.co.uk, surfingmagazine.com, byosmosis.tv

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