Irene Cara's cause of death revealed
Beloved actress and singer/songwriter Irene Cara died of hypertension and high cholesterol, with her official cause of death listed as arteriosclerotic and hypertensive cardiovascular disease, according to TMZ. According to the medical examiner, Cara also had diabetes.
The Academy Award-winning and Grammy-winning songwriter died on Nov. 25 at her home in Largo, Florida, sparking an outpouring of love and condolences from fans worldwide.
Although she started as a child actress, Cara's first big hit was "Fame" she appeared on the hit television show as singer Coco Hernandez—she also sang the show's title track—earning Grammy Award nominations for best new artist and best female pop vocal performance.
She also appeared in the cult classic film Sparkle in 1976.
In 1983, Cara co-wrote and performed "Flashdance… What a Feeling" for the film, Flashdance starring Jennifer Beals. The song was one of the biggest hits of the 1980s and earned Cara an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Irene Cara released her final album, Irene Cara Presents Hot Caramel, in 2011.
According to Go Red for Black Women, cardiovascular diseases kill more than 50,000 Black women annually. Stroke is a leading cause of death among Black women. Among Black women ages 20 and older, nearly 59% have cardiovascular disease.
The site also notes that diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity, and a family history of heart disease are prevalent among Black women and are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke.