Sleep apnea played a role in actress Carrie Fisher's death

The coroner’s report on actress Carrie Fisher’s cause of death has gotten a great deal of media attention and made people more aware of a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea.

carrie fischer_ sleep apnea Carrie FisherWhile the exact cause is labeled as undetermined, the coroner noted sleep apnea and a combination of other factors contributed to her death on Dec. 27. She was 60.

It is a condition in which a person’s breathing pauses during sleep. If left untreated, it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes and heart failure, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars films.

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