He was pronounced dead an hour later at Baptist Memorial Hospital, after doctors failed to revive him.
Dr. Jerry Francisco, the Shelby County coroner, who conducted a two-hour examination of the body, said "preliminary autopsy findings" indicated that the cause of death was "cardiac arrhythmia," which a hospital spokesman defined as "an irregular and ineffective heart beat." The coroner was not immediately able to determine the cause of the "cardiac arrhythmia."
Dr. Francisco said yesterday that Mr. Presley had a history of mild hypertension and that he had found evidence of coronary artery disease. Both of these, the coroner said, could have been "contributing causes" in Mr. Presley's death.
Dr. George Nichopoulos, Mr. Presley's personal physician told the Associated Press that Mr. Presley was last seen alive shortly after 9 A.M. Dr. Nichopoulos said that Mr. Presley had been taking a number of appetite depressants, but the physician said they had not contributed to his death.
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