The Los Angeles County coroner's office released a report late Friday, June 16 regarding the possible causes of Carrie Fisher's death. Among other things, sleep apnea, a heart condition, and drug use were described as the possible causes of her passing, though they were not able to give an exact cause.
Fisher's family responded to the report with her daughter speaking out about mental health.
Undetermined Cause Of Death
According to the report, Fisher likely died from sleep apnea among other factors including atherosclerotic heart disease and possible drug use that may or may not have contributed to her passing in December.
Though the L.A. Country coroner's office released a report regarding the factors that may have contributed to Fisher's death, her manner of passing is still listed as undetermined. They also did not respond to queries as to whether full autopsy and toxicology reports are available.
Fisher's brother, Todd, said that they were not shocked by the results, and that they were aware of her drug use and struggles with mental health. Further, he stated that the family did not want a coroner's investigation regarding her death.
Carrie Fisher is best known for her role as Princess/General Leia Organa in the Star Wars franchise.
Billie Lourd's Plea About Mental Health
Fisher's only daughter, Billie Lourd, responded to the coroner's report by addressing her mother's mental health issues, and encouraging people to speak up about their own battles.
In a statement, Lourd said that her mother battled mental health issues and drug addiction all her life, and that she ultimately succumbed to it. Because of the said issues, she stated that Fisher lived an open life in order to remove the stigmas surrounding the diseases.
Further, Lourd encouraged people who are facing the same battles to fight for government funding for mental health programs.
"Shame and those social stigmas are the enemies of progress to solutions and ultimately a cure," said Lourd.
Sleep Apnea And Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is the disease wherein fatty tissue or plaque buildup inside the walls of the arteries. Over time, the buildup narrows the passages in the arteries and reduces the blood flow to other organs and body parts.
Meanwhile, sleep apnea is the condition in which an individual experiences breathing pauses that can last for a few seconds to minutes while sleeping. It is a common condition that disrupts sleeping pattern as it moves the individual out of deep sleep and into shallow sleep.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity, heart failure, and arrhythmia.