Hypertensive heart disease is what killed Seahawks Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy last year at the age of 48, according to an autopsy report released Monday.
Hypertensive heart disease results from conditions caused by high blood pressure.
The report from Orlando medical examiner Dr. Gary Lee Utz says Kennedy had “…a markedly enlarged heart (760 grams),” in addition to other medical problems.
The autopsy report says, “At the request of the family, the intact brain of the deceased was sent to Boston University School Of Medicine Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center."
BU’s CTE center has become renown for it its studies of brain damage to former professional football players. Last year BU’s Dr. Ann McKee reported that 110 of 111 brains of former players that she studied showed evidence of CTE, which is believed to be caused by repeated hits to the head.
After Kennedy’s death in May, family and friends reported that he had not been feeling well over the past few months.
Kennedy played 11 seasons as a Seahawks defensive lineman, at one point starting in 100 games straight.