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Carrie Fisher died of “sleep apnoea and other factors” says LA coroner

The Star Wars actress died in December after suffering a cardiac arrest

by Sophie Hamilton

Actress Carrie Fisher sadly passed away in December last year, but the exact cause of her death was unclear. Now a Los Angeles coroner’s report has shed some light on what caused the Star Wars star to suffer a cardiac arrest. Carrie had a heart attack while on board a flight from London to LA on 23 December. She passed away four days later in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre at the age of 60.

READ: Billie Lourd honours mum Carrie Fisher in a Princess Leia-inspired dress at Star Wars Celebration

The Associated Press reports that Carrie “died from sleep apnoea and a combination of other factors”, which included a “build-up of fatty tissue in the walls of her arteries”. There were also signs of drug use in the actress’ body but it is inconclusive as to whether this contributed to her death. Sleep apnoea is relatively common condition in which breathing is interrupted during sleep due to the walls of the throat relaxing and narrowing.

carrie-fisher

Carrie Fisher made her name in the Star Wars films

In a statement to People.com, Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd said: ““My mom battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life. She ultimately died of it.” Billie went on to say that her mother had been open about these issues all her life and Carrie would want her death to encourage people to seek help. Billie had previously posted a photo of herself and her mum on her Instagram page, writing: “Receiving all of your prayers and kind words over the past week has given me strength during a time I thought strength could not exist. There are no words to express how much I will miss my Abadaba and my one and only Momby. Your love and support means the world to me.”

Carrie passed away a day before her own mother, Debbie Reynolds, died aged 84. According to her death certificate, the Singin' In The Rain star died from a blood vessel that ruptured and caused bleeding in her brain. Her official cause of death is listed as an intracerebral haemorrhage. The following day, mother and daughter were laid to rest together at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Debbie was buried with some of Carrie's ashes, which were in an urn shaped like a Prozac pill. The two women were also honoured with a tribute segment during the 74th Golden Globe Awards.

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