Was Elvis Presley destined to die early? DNA tests show King was prone to obesity and disease
The singer, who died at the age of 42, is known to have had an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and bad eyesight
Tuesday 25 March 2014
Elvis Presley may have died because of genetic conditions that made him prone to obesity and heart disease - rather than his lifestyle, according to a new documentary.
The Channel 4 programme Dead Famous DNA analysed samples of hair said to have belonged to the singing legend and found genes linked to several medical conditions.
Apart from obesity and heart disease, they also found genes associated with migraines and glaucoma.
Presley, who died at the age of 42, is known to have had an irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and bad eyesight.
He is also known to have had headaches and suffered from fatigue and fainting and in later life his weight soared.
His fondness for junk food was blamed by many for his early death.
Dr Stephen Kingsmore, director of the Centre for Paediatric Genomic Medicine at the Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, analysed the hair sample for the programme and said the findings indicated this might not be the full story.
“There had been so much speculation about cause of death, and so much ill spoken of his lifestyle, and we had this intriguing finding that possibly Elvis had a medical illness, and all of the stuff about how he killed himself with his lifestyle might have been very unfair,” he said.
The star was found dead in 1977, slumped in a bathroom at Graceland, his mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.
Presenter Mark Evans said this might have been his “genetic destiny”.
“For years, Elvis has been blamed for his own death, for overeating or overdosing on drugs,” he said.
“Both of these addictions wouldn't have helped. But it seemed Elvis had a flaw in his DNA.”
Mr Evans said that they were “very, very confident” that the sample of hair had come from the singer, after spending three years doing their research.
“I'm massively confident that is Elvis' DNA but I can't prove it,” he said. “I can't tell you 100% that is Elvis' DNA. That's not possible.”
Producers wrote to Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley, but said that they have not heard back.
The programme, to be broadcast at 9pm on Wednesday, 26 March, also attempts to analyse the DNA of people such as Adolf Hitler, Charles Darwin, John F Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Napoleon, Marlon Brando and King George III.
The show hit the headlines after it emerged that TV bosses paid Holocaust denier David Irving thousands of pounds for a lock of what was supposed to be Hitler's hair.
Channel 4 said that Irving sold them the hair sample in good faith but their view of the science “strongly suggests” that it was not Hitler's.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Benefits 'smart cards' plan revealed by Iain Duncan Smith to stop claimants spending welfare money on alcohol
- < Previous
- Next >
£28, 700: Whiskey Whiskey Tango: Property Management Company is seeking a brig...
£80 - 100k + Bonus: Guru Careers: A COO / Chief Operating Officer is needed to...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...