We all know Carrie Fisher as our favorite princess–at least some of us do. Fisher is best known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars movies. Her death saddened the world and left so many fans devastated that their princess would no longer be starring in Star Wars films. While it was heartbreaking, we did learn more about her death that we hope will help educate more people in hopes that it can prevent deaths and other complications. While it might not have been the only cause of her death, sleep apnea played a significant role.

The negative effect of sleep apnea

Death is even more devastating when a harmful condition goes unnoticed that could have received treatment. Carrie Fisher didn’t die from just one cause, but sleep apnea might have been a major contributor. She experienced atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque in the arteries, and drug abuse. Additionally, she smoked, which greatly increases sleep apnea difficulties and can also lead to coronary artery disease.

Sleep apnea’s role in a person’s death

A person’s risk of death more than triples when they suffer from sleep apnea, a common disorder, which is especially true if they do not know they have this condition. While it isn’t clear if Carrie Fisher was aware she suffered from sleep apnea, it definitely did contribute to her death.

More than 25 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but have no idea. One study even estimated that one in four adults between the ages of 30 and 70 years has mild to severe sleep apnea, the leading cause of daytime sleepiness.

The loss of Carrie Fisher is upsetting, but if we learn anything from this it is to seek diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea as soon as possible. Sleep apnea is a deadly disease, but it can be treated to prevent the development of worse conditions and symptoms.

To learn more about sleep apnea and how treatment can help, contact Dr. Mayoor Patel today.