Corey Haim, a 38-year-old actor known for his role in films such as Lucas and Lost Boys, died yesterday morning from an “apparent drug overdose.” The actor had many problems in the past with drug use but his long-time friend and fellow actor Corey Feldman has come to Haim’s defense. Feldman claims that Haim was doing much better in regards to his drug problems. Feldman has been reported as saying that the media should not jump to conclusions about the cause of death just yet. In fact, the coroner reportedly told Haim’s mother today that Haim had an enlarged heart and water in his lungs. These 2 findings alone could indicate that Haim had heart failure.
A concerned reader asked today if it was possible for someone so young to have heart failure. Unfortunately, there are many things which can cause heart failure in young people. In older patients, one might automatically assume that there are blockages in the arteries causing their heart to fail. When a catheterization shows no evidence of blockages, doctors must look further for other causes. Some of the most common causes of heart failure (aside from coronary artery disease) are: long-standing hypertension, diabetes, valvular disease, viral illnesses, and alcohol and cocaine abuse. Even pregnancy can cause heart failure in some young women!
Overall, heart failure is not extremely common in young people but it is important to know that it does happen. From something as simple as a bad cold or pregnancy, the heart can be damaged and eventually it may fail to work properly. We will have to wait for the results from the autopsy to know for certain why Corey Haim died at age 38. It could have been from a simple viral illness or it may have resulted from long-standing drug use. The results will take at least one month. My heart goes out to his friends and family.