Contributing Factor of Carrie Fisher’s Death Affects over 18 Million Americans, most Undiagnosed
“Beloved actress Carrie Fisher had long struggled with multiple health issues, and it is now apparent that Sleep Apnea was among those issues. Studies have verified that the risks for sleep apnea in women is not widely recognized in the medical profession. We can hope that her untimely death may prove to be a catalyst for change in this area”‘ Dr. Keith Valachi
Actress Carrie Fisher’s death shines a light on a seriously, often fatal, and under diagnosed medical condition. The Los Angeles County medical Examiner’s Office said that sleep apnea (a condition where a person repeatedly stops breathing during sleep) was a contributing factor in Fisher’s death.
More than 18 million Americans have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but Doctors cannot detect the disorder during a routine examination.
In a recent article in the Washington Post titled “Carrie Fisher’s Death Shines a Light on an Underrated Health Problem”, the article highlights that women, particularly older ones, have a greater chance of never being diagnosed with sleep apnea, and therefore never treated for this serious health issue. The stereotypical profile of a sleep apnea sufferers are identified as middle-aged, overweight or obese men, often overlooking seemingly healthy women.
“85-90 Percent of Sleep Apnea patients are undiagnosed and untreated. These patients are often at risk for health issues and sudden death,” reports Dr. Keith Valachi, a dentist and certified Diplomate of the ASBA (American Sleep and Breathing Academy), who has a sleep apnea practice in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Valachi’s practice Sleep Apnea Clinic, collaborates with Anndrea Jacobs and Dr. Mark Gabr, a Board Certified sleep physician with Oregon Sleep Specialists to achieve optimum diagnostic and treatment options for people with sleep disorders. Together, Dr. Valachi and Oregon Sleep Specialists offer all phases of treatment for sleep apnea – sleep testing, CPAP services, and Oral Appliance Therapy.
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