Carrie Fisher's Death Is 'Undetermined'

LA Coroner's office says actress died of sleep apnea, other factors
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 17, 2017 5:57 AM CDT
Carrie Fisher Died of Sleep Apnea, Other Causes
This April 7, 2011 file photo shows Carrie Fisher at the 2011 NewNowNext Awards in Los Angeles.   (Chris Pizzello)

Carrie Fisher died from sleep apnea and a combination of other factors, but investigators were not able to pinpoint an exact cause, the AP reports. Among the factors that contributed to Fisher's death was buildup of fatty tissue in the walls of her arteries, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said in a news release late Friday. The release says the Star Wars actress showed signs of having taken multiple drugs, but investigators could not determine whether they contributed to her death in December. Her manner of death would be listed as undetermined, the agency said. Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person's breathing pauses during sleep. The pauses may be brief or last several minutes, per the NIH. Fisher, 60, suffered a medical emergency on an international flight on Dec. 23 and died Dec. 27.

Her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, died the following day. Fisher’s only child, Billie Lourd, tells People, "My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases." Todd Fisher tells AP the family did not want a coroner's investigation of his sister's death. "There's nothing about this that is enlightening," he says, continuing, "From my perspective that there's certainly no news that Carrie did drugs." He noted that his sister wrote extensively about her drug use. Fisher admitted smoking pot at 13, used LSD by 21 and was diagnosed as bipolar at 24. She was treated with electroshock therapy and medication. Fisher's urn was apparently a giant Prozac pill. (Read more Carrie Fisher stories.)

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