Dr. Robert C. Atkins, originator of the popular Atkins diet, died in 2003 of cardiac arrest after spending two weeks in intensive care for a fall he sustained. Reports circulated after his death to the effect that Atkins' diet had been a complicating factor, but this was not the case.
According to About.com, Dr. Atkins was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2000. This condition exacerbates the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Three years later, while walking over ice, the 72-year-old Atkins slipped and hit his head. He lost consciousness en route to the hospital. During his two weeks in the ICU, the comatose Dr. Atkins began retaining water, leading to a time-of-death weight of 258 pounds. After his death, parties associated with the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group that promotes a vegan lifestyle, erroneously reported that the Atkins diet had contributed to his death.