The family of Natalie Cole revealed the singer's cause of death Thursday in a statement, explaining that she died from heart failure brought on by idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH).
"This is a very serious and progressive disorder," the family said. "[Cole] responded well to pulmonary arterial hypertension-specific agents over many years, during which she performed many concerts worldwide, but eventually succumbed to intractable right heart failure, an outcome that unfortunately commonly occurs in this progressive disorder."
Cole was first diagnosed with IPAH, a rare lung disease, in 2009 after undergoing a kidney transplant.
According to The Associated Press, IPAH occurs when extra tissue forms around the pulmonary arteries, making it difficult for blood to flow and forcing blood pressure to rise. This can lead to shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain.
Cole died Dec. 31 at the age of 65. Funeral services will be held Jan. 11 at West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles.
(Photo: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)