Jansen Panettiere’s family has confirmed that the 28-year-old actor died suddenly due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart) and an aortic valve complication.
Cardiomegaly definition, according to Mayo Clinic (bolding added for emphasis):
An enlarged heart (cardiomegaly) isn’t a disease, but rather a sign of another condition.
The term “cardiomegaly” refers to an enlarged heart seen on any imaging test, including a chest X-ray. Other tests are then needed to diagnose the condition that’s causing the enlarged heart.
Heart damage and certain types of heart disease can cause an enlarged heart. Sometimes short-term stress on the body, such as pregnancy, can cause the heart to get larger. Depending on the condition, an enlarged heart may be temporary or permanent.
Jansen is the brother of actress Hayden Panettiere.
“Jansen’s heart could be seen in his eyes, and his charm in his brilliant, engaging smile; his soul in his masterful and revealing paintings, and the joy of life in his dry wit,” his family, including his mother Lesley Vogel, father Skip Panettiere and sister Hayden, said in a statement to ABC News.
The family added, “His charisma, warmth, compassion for others, and his creative spirit will live forever in our hearts and in the hearts of all whom he encountered.”
“Though it offers little solace, the Medical Examiner reported Jansen’s sudden passing was due to cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), coupled with aortic valve complications,” the family continued.
“We sincerely appreciate the outpouring of love and support towards our family as we navigate this unthinkable loss, and ask that we be gifted our privacy during this time of mourning,” the family said. “We love you so much Jansen and you will be in our hearts forever.”
Panettiere’s father, Alan Lee “Skip” Panettiere, said that he had spoken to his son shortly before his death and that he seemed “fine.”
Jansen was found dead in his New York apartment on February 19.
Jansen, also an actor, is known for his roles in The Perfect Game, Ice Age: The Meltdown, The Martial Arts Kid and How High 2.