Leonard Nimoy, 82, Says Lung Disease COPD To Blame for Frailty

Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 11:52 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Leonard Nimoy, who made famous the iconic "Star Trek" character Mr. Spock, is suffering from a potentially fatal lung disease known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD.

Having quit smoking more than 30 years ago, the now 82-year-old Nimoy made the revelation in a Twitter post last week after photos surfaced of him earlier in January being pushed through New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport in a wheelchair appearing frail.

"I quit smoking 30 years ago. Not soon enough. I have COPD. Grandpa says, quit now!! LLAP," Nimoy posted on Twitter. The "LLAP" stands for "live long and prosper," the catchphrase Nimoy's character Mr. Spock would frequently say on the "Star Trek" TV series that aired from September 1966 to June 1969.

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COPD is a disease that worsens with time and can make it difficult for a person to breathe. Symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and other symptoms, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH).

The majority of people with COPD are either smokers or former smokers, or have had long-term exposure to other lung irritants, such as air pollution and chemical fumes, NIH added.

Despite the COPD, Nimoy continues to remain active, being a committed supporter of the Star Trek franchise through making appearances around the country, and having even made a cameo appearance in last year's Star Trek film "Into Darkness," where he revisited his iconic Vulcan character Mr. Spock.

Additionally, Nimoy recently completed a three-year stint on the now canceled Fox show "Fringe" in 2012, where he played the character Dr. William Bell, the Daily Mail noted.

Nimoy has more than 800,000 followers on Twitter.

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