A Sad Lesson About COPD From Leonard Nimoy

March 3, 2015

Leonard Nimoy in 2013

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Actor Leonard Nimoy — Mr. Spock to his legions ofStar Trek fans — has died at age 83 from a destructive lung disease called COPD, telling his fans in a poignant tweet last month: “Don’t smoke. I did. Wish I never had.”

His wife confirmed his death to the New York Times,saying the cause was end-stage COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

COPD is one of the most common lung diseases and the third leading cause of death in the U.S., causing nearly 135,000 deaths a year. There is no cure. COPD causes inflammation and damage to the lung tissue, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Symptoms include a chronic cough, shortness of breath and frequent respiratory infections.

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