What is the aortic dissection that caused the sudden death of Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode

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With an intense post on their Instagram profile, Depeche Mode have communicated to the whole world the reason for the sudden disappearance of keyboardist Andy Fletcher, historical member of the British band originally from Basildon, which took place on May 26th.

“A couple of weeks ago we got the result from the medical examiners, which Andy’s family has asked us to share with you now. Andy underwent an aortic dissection while at home. So, even if he was too, too soon, he left naturally and without long suffering », reads the post signed by Martin & Dave.

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According to the series, about three quarters of the cases of aortic dissection, that is relative to the largest artery of our body, occur in subjects aged between 40-70 years and are 3 times more frequent in men.

Technically, based on what is reported on the textbook of medicine of the MSD Pharmaceuticals, there is an aortic dissection «when the aortic tunic is torn, the blood can enter the tear, separating (dissecting) the middle layer of the wall from the external part still intact. As a result, a new and false canal is formed in the wall of the aorta ».

The causes of aortic dissection

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Among the most common causes of aortic dissection is the deterioration of the arterial walls caused bychronic arterial hypertension. Not for nothing, more than two thirds of the subjects who manifest this disease are hypertensive.

Less common causes may instead be hereditary diseases of connective tissue, congenital anomalies of the heart and blood vessels, arteriosclerosis, trauma from road accident or violent impact to the chest, deterioration of the arterial wall caused byaging.

Symptoms and consequences of aortic dissection

In the case of aortic dissection, people generally feel pain, usually sudden, stabbing and often described as tearing or ripping in the chest, or even in the back, between the shoulders.

This pain can “stretch” on the way of dissection, when this progresses along the aorta, so in some cases it is possible to feel pain in the abdominal or low back.

Often fatal complications can occur following aortic dissection, including stroke (if the cerebral arteries supplying the brain are blocked), heart attack (if the coronary arteries supplying the heart muscle are blocked), kidney failure (if the renal arteries, which supply the kidneys, are blocked) e damage to the nerve or spinal cord causing tingling or inability to move a limb (if the spinal arteries are blocked).

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Source: Vanity Fair

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