Gilbert Gottfried’s Cause Of Death: What ‘Ventricular Tachycardia’ Is & How Long He Had It

Gilbert Gottfried died of 'recurrent Ventricular Tachycardia brought on by Myotonic Dystrophy type II,' his publicist said, so we had a doctor detail the illness and how it can be fatal.

Gilbert Gottfried
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Image Credit: Marion Curtis/Starpix/Shutterstock

Gilbert Gottfried‘s family announced his death at the age of 67 on April 12 and although their statement only included that he had a “long illness,” the comedian’s publicist revealed the specifics of that illness to HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. The cause of death was “recurrent Ventricular Tachycardia brought on by Myotonic Dystrophy type II”, his publicist said in a statement. We reached out to Pam Pearlman, who is a certified surgical technologist at a hospital in New Jersey for over 15 years, and although she never treated Gilbert, she provided information on what the illness is and how it can turn fatal for a person.

“Myotonic Dystrophy Type 2 is a type of muscular dystrophy,” Pearlman said. “Muscular dystrophy weakens your muscles, and your heart is a muscle. Ventricular Tachycardia is when the lower chambers of your heart beat very, very fast. It would be the Ventricular Tachycardia that killed Gilbert, which would be like a heart attack, as a secondary issue to the muscular dystrophy.”

Gilbert Gottfried
Gilbert Gottfried sadly passed away on April 12. (Marion Curtis/Starpix/Shutterstock)

“Myotonic dystrophy is genetic, and a family history of tachycardia or other heart rhythm disorders makes a person much more likely to develop Ventricular Tachycardia,” Pearlman continued. “Also, ventricular tachycardia can cause sudden cardiac death and, while there are always cases where it does not, sudden death mortality approaches 30 percent in 2-3 years.”

Gilbert Gottfried
Gilbert Gottfried on stage. (Scott Roth/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

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