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Cheney's history of heart problems

Cheney will go to a hospital on Saturday for tests for abnormal heart rhythms
Cheney leaves the hospital after an overnight stay in March  


ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney's history of heart problems started in 1978, when the 37-year old suffered his first of four heart attacks. Cheney's health has been put under the national spotlight since his last heart attack a few weeks after the 2000 presidential election.

A summary of Cheney's heart problems:

1978 : Dick Cheney suffers his first heart attack. The incident does not sideline Cheney, as the former White House chief of staff wins the first of five terms to Congress that same year.

1984 : Cheney suffers another attack while serving as Wyoming's lone U.S. representative. Doctors consider the heart attack minor, like the 1978 incident, and Cheney soon heads back to work, eventually representing the Republicans as minority whip in the House.

1988 : An attack in August -- Cheney's third before his 48th birthday -- leads to quadruple bypass surgery. But the congressman's condition stabilizes throughout the 1990s, with no official reports of health problems. He has his last comprehensive heart check-up in 1996, not to have another one for four years.

November 22, 2000 : With the presidential election hanging on a few hundred votes in Florida, Cheney checks into George Washington University Hospital with chest pains. Doctors insert a coronary stent to prop open a narrowed artery after what Cheney calls "a very slight heart attack." Doctors say Cheney should be able to resume all his normal activities.

March 5, 2001 : Cheney checks himself into George Washington University Hospital with chest pain and discomfort. The vice president undergoes an "urgent" procedure to re-open the blocked heart artery treated in November, returning home after an overnight stay. With advisers saying his heart has not been damaged, Cheney soon resumes his busy schedule. (Read more on Cheney's March hospitalization)

June 29, 2001 : At an impromptu White House press conference, Cheney says he will undergo tests to determine whether he needs a "pacemaker plus," a device to normalize an irregular heartbeat. Cheney calls the procedure "an insurance policy" given his history of heart problems. (Read more on Cheney's heart tests)

June 30, 2001 : Doctors say Cheney's prognosis is "terrific" after he has surgery to implant a device to monitor his heart rhythm and slow it down if necessary. Cheney leaves the hospital that afternoon. (More on Cheney's surgery)






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