Billy Mays apparently had heart attack

TAMPA, Fla. — Television pitchman Billy Mays likely died of a heart attack in his sleep, but further tests are needed to be sure of the cause of death, a medical examiner said Monday.

Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Vernard Adams said Mays suffered from hypertensive heart disease, and the wall of the left ventricle of Mays’ heart and the wall of one of his arteries were enlarged. The boisterous, bearded 50-year-old known for hawking OxiClean and other products on national commercials was found dead Sunday by his wife in their Tampa condominium.

“The heart disease is perfectly consistent with sudden death,” Adams said.

An official cause of death will be issued after toxicology and other tests are completed in eight to 10 weeks.

Adams said Mays was taking the prescription painkillers Tramadol and hydrocodone for hip pain, but there was no indication of drug abuse. Mays had planned to have hip-replacement surgery Monday.

Mays told his wife he didn’t feel well when he went to bed sometime after 10 p.m. Saturday. Earlier in the day, he said he was hit on the head when his flight from Philadelphia had a rough landing at Tampa International Airport.

The airline said no passengers reported serious injuries.

Adams said the autopsy showed no evidence of head trauma.

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