Coroner rules George Michael died of natural causes

Pop superstar George Michael died of natural causes, a coroner has ruled after the first post-mortem examination proved inconclusive.

Darren Salter, senior coroner for Oxfordshire, put the official cause down to a "dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver".

The former Wham! star, 53, was found dead at his home in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, on Christmas Day.

"Inquires into the death of George Michael have been concluded and the final post mortem report received," said Mr Salter in a statement.

"As there is a confirmed natural cause of death, being dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and fatty liver, the investigation is being discontinued and there is no need for an inquest or any further inquiries.

"No further updates will be provided and the family requests the media and public respect their privacy."

  • George Michael's cause of death explained

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle. It becomes stretched and thin, which affects how blood is able to pump around the body.

In some cases, it is an inherited condition. Otherwise, it is caused by things such as viral infections, uncontrolled high blood pressure, problems with the heart valves or excessive drinking.

Myocarditis is inflammation in or around the heart and is usually caused by a viral, bacterial or fungal infection.

Symptoms include pain or tightness in the chest which can spread to other parts of the body.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by a build-up of fat in the liver and is usually seen in people who are overweight or obese.

A different type of fatty liver disease is caused by excessive drinking and is known as alcoholic fatty liver disease.