Former Green Bay Packers defensive end Reggie White died Sunday. He was 43.
NFL great Reggie White may have died because of a respiratory disease combined with other health problems, a preliminary autopsy report said Monday. White died Sunday at Presbyterian Hospital in Huntersville after being taken there from his home in nearby Cornelius.
White most likely had a condition that affected the amount of air his lungs could hold, resulting in “fatal cardiac arrhythmia,” said Dr. Mike Sullivan, the medical examiner for Mecklenburg County and a forensic pathologist. The report issued by Sullivan’s office also said sleep apnea may have been a factor.
White had the disease, known as sarcoidosis, for several years, family spokesman Keith Johnson said Sunday. He described it as a respiratory ailment that affected his sleep. On its Web site, the American Lung Association describes sarcoidosis as a disease characterized by the presence of small areas of inflamed cells that can attack any organ of the body but is most frequently found in the lungs.