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Autopsy beat: Brittany Murphy died of pneumonia, Casey Johnson died of diabetes



Tbd-brittanymurphy020510 After weeks of waiting, it was 2-for-1 Thursday finding out what killed celebrity girls. First up: Brittany Murphy died from pneumonia, but anemia and prescription drugs also played a role, coroner's officials told the AP. But wait, her family said she didn't do drugs.

The primary cause of death was community-acquired pneumonia, with contributing factors of iron deficiency anemia and "multiple drug intoxication," according to the L.A. County coroner's office. The Dec. 20 death was ruled accidental.

Coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey declined to specify what types of drugs were involved but said they were all prescription medications. Details about the drugs found in her system will be released in several weeks when a complete report is done.

Tbd-caseyjohnson020510 Meanwhile, The L.A. County coroner also released results that showed Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson died of diabetic ketoacidosis, and not necessarily from something related to her relationship with Tila Tequila.

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition caused by lack of insulin and sky-high blood sugar, the AP notes. An autopsy was conducted Jan. 5, a day after Johnson's body was found at her home. The coroner's statement said the autopsy report would be available within two weeks.

Dr. Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner in New York City who has been an expert witness in cases involving the late comedian John Belushi and former pro football star O.J. Simpson, said Johnson probably slipped into a diabetic coma, and that people can usually be resuscitated from that in the first 24 hours.

[Photos: Getty Images]

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:17am]


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