Carrie Fisher Dies Following Heart Attack
Carrie Fisher—beloved actress and Star War's Princess Leia—died on Tuesday, December 27th after suffering a heart attack four days earlier. Fisher, who was 60 years old, had fought years of addiction and discussed her drug problems, as well as her battle with bipolar disorder, openly.
Although the cause for her heart attack is unknown at this time, Fisher's death at such a relatively young age has raised questions about how prior drug use can affect heart health. According to Fisher, she began smoking marijuana at the age of 13 and abused cocaine and LSD by the time she was 21.
Studies published by the American Heart Association show that cocaine—which is a stimulant—can affect the heart. The drug increases the demand for oxygen to the heart by raising blood pressure and heart rate, but decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart by constricting blood vessels. This combination of effects can result in an enlarged heart.
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