The Grapevine

Is Weakened Heart Health Linked To Years Of Drug Abuse? Carrie Fisher's Heart Attack Death Raises Questions On Effects

Beloved “Star Wars” actress Carrie Fisher passed away at age 60 after suffering a heart attack on Friday, Dec. 23, People reported. The cause of cardiac arrest is unknown, but Fisher’s untimely death has raised questions on how prior drug abuse can affect heart health later in life. The star long fought addiction, and she wasn’t shy about discussing it.

Read: Carrie Fisher Has To Lose Weight Before She Can Start Filming And Other Celebrities Who Have Been Told To Diet

At the young age of 13, Fisher first started smoking marijuana. Then, beginning in the late 70s, she quickly became addicted to the era’s drug of choice: cocaine.

"We did cocaine on the set of [The] Empire [Strikes Back], in the ice planet," Fisher said in 2010, according to The Guardian. "I didn't even like coke that much. It was just a case of getting on whatever train I needed to take to get high."

Carrie Fisher Carrie Fisher has passed away at age 60 after suffering a heart attack. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Paul Hackett The American Heart Association has published that the effects of cocaine can infiltrate the heart. Abusing the stimulant has been found to increases the heart’s demand for myocardial oxygen by raising heart rate and blood pressure.

Medical Daily previously reported that ingesting cocaine actually spikes a person’s heart rate while decreasing the “coronary heart flow due to adrenergic vasoconstriction of the vessels.” This means the organ is receiving less blood flow and oxygen in spite of the increased “physical workload,” which can also result in an enlarged heart.

Read: 5 Deadly Poisons That Are Also Medicine, From Cancer Therapy to Heart Disease Drug

Cocaine isn’t the only drug that the star abused.

“I never could take alcohol. I always said I was allergic to alcohol, and that’s actually a definition to alcoholism — an allergy of the body and an obsession of the mind. So I didn’t do other kinds of drugs until I was about 20,” Fisher told the Herald-Tribune in 2013. “Then, by the time I was 21 it was LSD. I didn’t love cocaine, but I wanted to feel any way other than the way I did, so I’d do anything.

Frequently reported effects of lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as LSD, include dilated pupils, increased heart rate and blood pressure, trembling, uncontrollable shaking, sweating, sleeplessness, and loss of appetite.

See Also:

Only Some Patients Can Avoid Heart Attack, Other Cardiac Events By Taking Statins

Heart Drug Used To Control Heartbeat May Treat Lou Gehrig's Disease

Loading...