PMRGCAuk
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Leave it to Beaver

I read that the lady that played Beaver's mom on "Leave it to Beaver" died from PMR. Surely, this is a mistake. The lady's name is Barbara Billingsley and she was Ninety-four yrs. Old at the time of her death. Curious to know how they came up with PMR as the cause of death.

Wondering if anyone knows anything about Barbara Billingsley and what actually caused her death. Don't mean to be so morbid, but this was quite a surprise. Has anyone else seen or heard anything about this? Edward

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That's what the newspapers in 2010 said on basis of daughters comments that she had PMR. I suspect being 94 had more impact.

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Just had v v quick search and one study in 2003 in Norway found no statistical difference in mortality in PMR and non PMR groups. In fact although not statistically significant PMR patients were less likely to suffer death from cardio or stroke issues than control group.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/1...

My brain fog can mix me up but think interpretation of paper correct lol. Just didn't want to get into. Panic so had to check it out and thought I'd would share it. It's quite old research now but.....

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The Wikipedia article says she died of polymyalgia, not polymyalgia rheumatica, which is a bit of a heads up that whoever wrote the article did not check.

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Says polymyalgia rheumatica on Wiki in my search. Says rheumatoid in another quote - it isn't that either...

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Ha, proves my point - inconsistency!

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Sounds like the media taking 2+2 and making 5 out of it - though I see a family spokesman is credited with it! No - PMR is NOT a terminal illness. And at 94 - do you not think that maybe "old age" had a bit to do with it?

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But PMR can kill us can't it? We're more vulnerable to vascular and cardiac "accidents"? Aren't we? It's just that it's not perceived as direct a link to mortality and we still have a very high chance of dying of something unrelated. People don't really die of "old age". Yes, because we are old, something packs up and we expire, but it's whatever packed up which killed us.

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You might be surprised! This is the study poopadoop mentioned I think:

academic.oup.com/rheumatolo...

and it concluded "The study showed increased survival in patients with PMR compared with controls, whilst mortality in TA equalled that of controls. There was no association between use of corticosteroids and level of disease activity and death. The increased survival in PMR might be explained by improved medical surveillance."

and this

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/126...

found "No statistically significant difference was found between patients and controls with regard to mortality from coronary heart disease or stroke (MRR=0.78, 95% CI 0.52-1.18), cancer (MRR = 0.59, 95% CI 0.30-1.17), and other causes (MRR=0.75, 95% CI 0.48-1.17)."

There is some variation - as always - but over all, no, PMR doesn't really kill us off.

There IS an increased rate of cardiovascular events in patients diagnosed with GCA in the first year or so after diagnosis which is to be expected as there is damage due to the inflammation in the affected vessels. It is relatively higher - but still not a very high risk.

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Okay, that is interesting and reassuring. I've been sort of aware of this possibility, not really worried, because of family history of brain haemorrhage, but that's a genetic defect. Didn't feel happy about something which raised my risks!

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My father died at 41 of a cerebral haemorrhage. My brother was persuaded to take statins on that basis. But I do know the coroner said it "was a tiny weakness that had been there for years and might never have happened, it was just bad luck" - so I assume it was an aneurysm and there is no point worrying about it. So I don't...

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Unfortunately my mother died of subarachnoid haemorrhage at age 31, and I have two first cousins, one the daughter of her sister and the other the son of her brother, who suffered a haemorrhage, but have survived with no residual damage. There's no point about worrying about something like that. I hope it didn't pass through me to my children.

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Heron NS

My Mum died 4 years ago aged 97 and on her death certificate the cause of death is "Old Age" - I love that! It was certified by the wonderful GP who looks after me and my PMR! Mum just went to sleep and didn't wake up - presumably her heart stopped beating, but she hadn't been poorly, just tired and old!

My sister and I wonder if Mum had PMR decades ago, as she came home from the GP one day and said "That's it, I've got rheumatism." However, she must have recovered, as she remained active into her 90s.

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Your comments made a lot of sense and I agree.

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New York Times reported PMR at the time.

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It may not be fatal but when you're in pain you can kind of wish it was. LOL

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Thanks for your responses as I learn so much from them.

Edward

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I wonder if she was being treated for her PMR or just suffering with it.??

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Good question!

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