B.B. King Died After a Series of Strokes, Coroner Says

Franco Origlia/Getty Images
B.B. King plays a concert for his 80th birthday at the Foro Italico on July 12, 2005 in Rome, Italy.

B.B. King's physician and the coroner in Las Vegas say the 89-year-old blues legend died of a series of small strokes attributable to his longstanding battle with type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Darin Brimhall and Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg tell The Associated Press the medical term for the cause of death is multi-infarct dementia.

Blues Legend B.B. King Dies at 89

It's sometimes referred to as MID, and is also called vascular dementia.

Dementia is a permanent loss of brain function that occurs with certain diseases, including diabetes. It usually affects adults over age 55, and can affect memory, thinking, language and judgment.

Brimhall says King's strokes resulted from reduced blood flow as a consequence of chronic diabetes -- or unhealthy fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

King was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes many years ago.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.