Natalie Cole's family releases singer's cause of death

Natalie Cole's Family Reveals Cause of Singer's Death

The family of Natalie Cole released a statement to ET on Thursday revealing the singer's cause of death: Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension.

"This is a very serious and progressive disorder in which the small blood vessels of the lungs are markedly narrowed or obstructed," the family's statement read, adding that Cole had been diagnosed with IPAH five years ago after a successful kidney transplant.

WATCH: Natalie Cole Dead at 65: Dionne Warwick, Questlove, Cher, Gigi Hadid and More Share Touching Tributes

"She responded well to PAH-specific agents over many years, during which she performed many concerts worldwide," the statement continued. "[She] eventually succumbed to intractable right heart failure, an outcome that unfortunately commonly occurs in this progressive disorder, despite modern therapies."

Cole died at Ceders-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve at the age of 65. After her death, friends and fans took to social media to express their grief over the loss of the legendary singer.

Notable people that we lost in 2015:

Notable deaths in 2015
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Natalie Cole's family releases singer's cause of death

Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York from 1983 to 1994, died at the age of 82.

(Photo credit Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

January 1 -- Donna Douglas, actress best known for her role in the "Beverly Hilbillies."

(Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

January 4 -- Sportscaster and anchor Stuart Scott succumbed to cancer at age 49.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

January 6 -- Francesca Hilton, the only daughter of Hilton Hotel founder Conrad Hilton and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, died at age 67.

(Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

January 7 -- 12 were killed during an attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, including:

  • Cabu, 76, cartoonist
  • Elsa Cayat, 54, psychoanalyst and columnist
  • Charb, 47, caricaturist and journalist
  • Philippe Honoré, 73, cartoonist
  • Bernard Maris, 68, economist and journalist
  • Mustapha Ourrad, 60, Algerian-born copyeditor
  • Tignous, 57, cartoonist
  • Georges Wolinski, 80, cartoonist

(Photo credit JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images; stencils by French artist Rob.Ink)

January 7 -- Rod Taylor, actor best known for this leading role in "The Birds."

(Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

January 10 -- American actor, comedian, painter and playwright Taylor Negron died at 57.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

January 9 -- Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., film producer and founder of three motion picture production companies, died at age 88.

(Photo by Stephen Lovekin/WireImage)

January 11 -- Anita Ekberg, an actress and model best known for the film "La Dolce Vita," died at 83.

(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

January 21 -- Designer and Nine West co-founder Vince Camuto died at age 78.

(Photo via REUTERS/Adrees Latif)

January 23 -- King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died at the age of 90 after a 10-year reign.

(Photo by Egyptian Presidency/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

January 29 -- Australian author Colleen McCullough, best known for her novel "The Thorn Birds," died at age 77.

(Photo by Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

January 31 -- Carl Djerassi, the chemist widely considered to be the father of the birth control pill, died at the age of 91.

(Photo by P/F/H/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

February 11 -- Bob Simon, a correspondent for CBS News, died at age 73.

(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

February 12 -- New York Times journalist David Carr died at the age of 58.

(Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images)

February 16 -- Lesley Gore, singer best known for the 60's hit "It's My Party."

(Photo by James Kriegsmann/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

February 16 -- Mexican actress and singer Lorena Rojas, best known for several leading telenovela roles, died at age 44.

(Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)

February 27 -- Leonard Nimoy, actor known for his role as Mr. Spock in "Star Trek."

(Photo by Inter-News/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

March 8 -- Sam Simon, co-creator of "The Simpsons," died at age 59.

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

March 10 -- Richard Glatzer, writer and director famous for "The Last of Robin Hood" and "Still Alice."

(Photo by Peter Bregg/Getty Images)

March 12 -- Terry Pratchett, and English fantasy author, died at age 66.

(Photo by Kevin Nixon/SFX Magazine via Getty Images)

March 20 -- Journalist and news anchor Lisa Colagrossi died at the age of 49.

(Photo via WABC-TV)

March 23 -- Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore who was in office for more than three decades, died at age 91

(Photo via REUTERS/Tim Chong/Files)

March 30 -- Leslie A. Williams, a former member of the Tuskegee Airmen who broke the military color barrier in World War II, died at age 95.

April 1 -- Cynthia Lennon, first wife of John and mother to musician Julian Lennon.

(Photo by Cummings Archives/Redferns)

April 6 -- James Best, actor best known for his role in the "Dukes of Hazzard."

(Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

April 7 -- Geoffrey Lewis, actor and father of actress Juliette Lewis. 

 (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

April 14 -- Percy Sledge, singer best known for the hit "When a Man Loves a Woman."

(Photo by JazzArchivHamburg/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

April 23 -- Sawyer Sweeten (L), actor known for his role in "Everybody Loves Raymond."

(Photo by Mike FANOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

April 30 -- Ben E. King, singer best known for the massive hit Stand by Me.

(Photo via REUTERS/Dominic Favre)

May 6 -- Errol Brown, frontman of the band Hot Chocolate, died at age 71

(Photo by Howard Denner/Photoshot/Getty Images)

May 14 -- B.B. King, legendary blues musician.

(Photo via REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud)

May 23 -- Mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr., who studied game theory, differential geometry and partial differential equations, died at age 86.

(Photo by ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

May 30 -- Beau Biden, Attorney General of Delaware and son of Vice President Joe Biden, died at age 46.

(Photo via REUTERS/Jason Reed)

June 18 -- Ralph Roberts, co-founder and CEO of Comcast, died at age 95.

(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

July 1 -- Nicholas Winton, who saved almost 650 children from the Holocaust, died at the age of 106.

(Photo by Matej Divizna/Getty Images)

July 3 -- Amanda Peterson, actress best known for her role in the popular 80's film "Can't Buy Me Love."

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

July 3 -- Diana Douglas, an actress who appeared in more than 50 films, died at age 92.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

July 5 -- Burt Shavitz, the creator of natural cosmetics line Burt’s Bees, was 80.

(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

July 6 -- Jerry Weintraub, Emmy award winning producer and talent agent.

(Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)

July 10 -- Omar Sharif, actor known for his roles in "Doctor Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia."

(Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

July 18 -- Actor Alex Rocco, best known for his role as Moe Greene in "The Godfather," died at 79

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

July 21 -- E.L. Doctorow, author best known for "Ragtime," "Billy Bathgate" and "The Book of Daniel," died at 84.

(Photo via Getty Images)

July 26 -- Bobbi Kristina Brown, singer, actress and television personality. She was the daughter of Whitney Houston who died in a similarly tragic circumstance in 2012.

(Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)

July 30 -- Grammy Award winner Lynn Anderson died at age 67.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

July 31 --"Rowdy" Roddy Piper, wrestler and actor. 

(Photo by John Shearer/WireImage for BWR Public Relations)

August 7 -- Uggie, a trained Jack Russell Terrier who starred in Water for Elephants and The Artist, died at age 13.

(Photo by Chelsea Lauren/WireImage)

August 9 -- Frank Gifford, football player and television sports commentator.

(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

August 15 -- Julian Bond, civil rights activist and longtime chair of the NAACP, died at age 75.

(Photo via REUTERS/Jeff Christensen)

August 16 -- Emma Didlake, the oldest known World War II veteran, died at the age of 110.

(Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

August 17 -- Yvonne Craig, the actress who played Batgirl, died at age 78.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

August 24 -- Marcy Borders, the infamous "Dust Lady" of 9/11, died at age 42.

(Photo credit  STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

August 26 -- Amelia Boynton Robinson, an activist and leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, died at 104.

(Photo by Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)

August 26 -- Alison Parker and Adam Ward, television journalists who were broadcasting on location in Virginia, were killed by a disgruntled former co-worker live on air. Parker was 24 and Ward was 27.

(Photo via REUTERS/Chris Keane)

August 30 -- Wes Craven, filmmaker well known for his horror film franchise "The Nightmare on Elm Street," he also created the "Scream: franchise.

(Photo via REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

August 30 -- Dr. Oliver Sacks, famous neurologist and author, died at 82.

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

September 1 -- Dean Jones, actor known for his role of Jim Douglas in "The Love Bug" films. 

(Photo by Columbia Pictures/Getty Images)

September 1 -- Ben Kuroki, who overcame the American military's discriminatory policies to become the only Japanese American to fly over Japan during World War II, died at the age of 98.

(Photo by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

September 3 -- English actress Judy Carne died at age 76.

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

September 4 -- Jean Darling, child actress known for her role in My Gang.

(Photo by Film Favorites/Getty Images)

September 6 -- Martin Milner, actor best known for his roles in the 1960's television shows Route 66 and Adam-12.

(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)

September 19 -- Novelist Jackie Collins died at age 77.

(Photo via REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

September 19 -- Gary Richrath, guitarist for the band REO Speedwagon.

(Photo by Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

September 22 -- Yogi Berra, a professional baseball catcher, coach, and manager, most notably with the New York Yankees, died at age 90.

(Photo via REUTERS/Marc Serota MS)

September 28 -- Erik Roner, MTV and extreme sport star, died at age 39 in a skydiving accident in Northern California.

(Photo by Brent Harrison/FilmMagic)

September 28 -- Catherine Coulson, actress known for her role as the Log Lady on David Lynch's "Twin Peaks."

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

October 8 -- Chef Paul Prudhomme who popularized Creole and Cajun cuisines, died at age 75.

 (Photo by Simon Russell/Getty Images)

October 9 -- Jerry Parr, a secret service agent present at the time of the assassination attempt against President Reagan, died at age 85. 

(Photo by Diana Walker/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

October 12 -- Jamie Zimmerman, a doctor and ABC News' medical reporter in New York, died at age 31 while on vacation in Hawaii.

(Photo via Facebook)

October 24 -- Maureen O'Hara, prominent 1940's actress, she received an honorary Academy Award in 2014.

(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

November 1 -- Fred Thompson, an actor and former Republican U.S. senator from Tennessee, was best known for his role on "Law & Order" and his presidential campaign, died at age 73. 

(Photo via REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

November 3 -- Secular Shiite lawmaker Ahmed Chalabi died at age 71.

(Photo via REUTERS/Jim Young)

November 4 -- Melissa Mathison, screenwriter best known for writing "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial."

(Photo by Amy Graves/WireImage for Mann Productions)

November 13 -- 130 people were killed in coordinated terrorist attacks around the city of Paris. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

(Photo via REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)

November 16 -- David Canary, actor best known for his role on "All My Children."

(Photo by John Springer Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

November 23 -- Cynthia Robinson, trumpeter and vocalist of the band Sly and the Family Stone.

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

December 2 -- Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger died at age 70.

(Photo by Jay Mallin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

December 2 -- 14 people were killed in San Bernardino, California, during a shooting at the Inland Regional Center.

(Photo credit PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP/Getty Images)

December 3 -- Scott Weiland, lead singer of the alternative rock band Stone Temple Pilots.

(Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

December 4 -- Robert Loggia, actor known for "Jagged Edge," which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

(Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

December 6 -- Holly Woodlawn, one of the first known transgender actresses; she was a muse of Andy Warhol and inspiration for Lou Reed's "Wild Side."

(Photo by Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

December 8 -- Douglas Tompkins, founder of The North Face brand, died at age 72.


December 20 -- Angela McEwan, a cast member in "Nebraska," died from complications due to lung cancer at age 81.

(Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

December 27 -- Former outfielder Dave Henderson, who hit one of the most famous home runs in postseason history, died after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 57.

(Photo by B Bennett/Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

December 27 -- Cinematographer Haskell Wexler, the socially conscious two-time Academy Award winner, died at 93.

(Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)

December 28 -- The Harlem Globetrotters' Meadowlark Lemon died at age 83.

(Photo by Dick Lewis/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

December 28 -- Lemmy Kilmister, frontman of the rock band Motörhead.

(Photo by Jeff Hahne/Getty Images)


RELATED: Smokey Robinson Remembers Natalie Cole

Music legend and Cole's close friend, Smokey Robinson, spoke with ET about her legacy, calling the "Our Love" singer "one of our greatest musical icons."

Cole's sisters Timolin and Casey also opened up with ET about their last days with Cole before her death, who were glad they got the chance to spend Christmas Eve with their sister days before she died.

WATCH: Natalie Cole's Sisters Open Up About Their Last Days With the Legendary Singer

"We were very blessed and thankful to spend that very special day with her that she loved. It was her favorite time of year."

Watch the video below to her more from Cole's sisters about her final days.

EXCLUSIVE: Natalie Cole's Sisters Reveal Why She Kept Her Illness a Secret
Read Full Story

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