TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Investigators believe the sudden death of Taiwanese actor Huang Ming-an (黃民安) was cardiogenic shock due to high cholesterol.
Huang, 42, who headed the dance troupe Representative Theatre, died suddenly during a break between shows at the Grasstraw Festival Saturday afternoon (March 13).
He had already suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrest by the time paramedics arrived. They rushed him to the hospital for emergency treatment, but doctors were unable to resuscitate him. The autopsy determined that Huang had died from cardiogenic shock precipitated by hypercholesterolemia, more commonly known as high cholesterol, reported CNA.
Huang is believed to have suffered from the "three highs" (三高): high blood pressure (hypertension), a high blood glucose level, and a high blood lipid level. Prosecutors said he was taking cholesterol-lowering medication but had recently run out and had been planning to refill his prescription.
Prosecutors believe the cardiogenic shock was due to Huang's high cholesterol combined with his smoking habit. In addition, Huang had previously "tested his body's elasticity" by overeating to the point of weighing 96.8 kilograms, before dieting and slimming down to 70 kilograms, reported TVBS.
Tsai Han-lin (蔡翰林), director of the Cardiovascular Department at Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, told CNA that people with the "three highs" are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. Tsai said that it can affect males aged 45 and older and women 55 and older.
He said that cardiogenic shock is usually difficult to predict and that there are few signs beforehand. Tsai reminded the public that if they experience symptoms such as chest tightness, chest pain, and difficulty breathing, they should seek medical attention immediately, particularly if they have a family history of heart disease.
Ways to control the "three highs" include quitting smoking, keeping a healthy diet, getting proper rest, maintaining a normal body weight, exercising regularly, and monitoring fluctuations in outdoor temperatures.
Wang Jhao-cian (汪兆謙), founder and director of Our Theater, said that Huang was seen lying on his side at the back of the performance area during a break on Saturday. Wang cited witnesses as saying that they did not think anything was amiss until it was time to prepare for the next performance and he was unresponsive.