Sleep apnea disorder becoming more common in women

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — New information has been released about how Star Wars Actress Carrie Fisher died.

On Monday an autopsy revealed Fisher had cocaine, traces of heroin and ecstasy in her system when she went into cardiac arrest on a plane last December.

Investigators have not been able to determine if the drugs played a role in her death.

The LA County Medical Examiner also said that sleep apnea and other factors contributed to her death four days after the flight.

Dr. Hany Haddad who specializes in Sleep Medicine Care at Community Health Network said sleep apnea has become more common in women.

He said about six percent of women have sleep apnea and that number doubles after menopause.

“The sign and symptoms of sleep apnea in females is different than what we see in males. Predominately sleep fragmentation and insomnia,” said Haddad.

Sleep apnea happens when pauses in breathing occur during sleep. Those pauses could last seconds or minutes. Often times sleep apnea in women can be undiagnosed.

“It’s not normal to feel sleepy all day. It’s not normal to wake up multiple times at night. If you have that issue there is some etiology, predominately sleep apnea,” Haddad added.

To learn more about sleep apnea click, here.

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