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Cheney 'fine' after heart checkup

Aides stressed that the heart exams Vice President Dick Cheney faced Friday were routine.
Aides stressed that the heart exams Vice President Dick Cheney faced Friday were routine.  


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart trouble, pronounced himself "fine" after a routine cardiological checkup Friday.

"Given my history, they watch me very closely. About every six months, they download my defibrillator that's implanted in my shoulder, and make sure my heart is okay and give me a going over, but everything is fine," Cheney told "The Rush Limbaugh Program."

A top aide told CNN a battery of tests at a Washington hospital showed no new problems and that his doctors were encouraged.

The routine exams include an electro-cardiogram (EKG) to measure his heart rhythm and a scan of the "pacemaker plus" implanted in Cheney last year, which monitors any irregular heartbeat. Cheney's EKG readings were within normal ranges and the "pacemaker plus" device has not activated since being implanted, the aide said. (How implantable cardioverter defibrillators work)

The device can either slow or quicken the vice president's heartbeat, as needed, thereby acting as a defibrillator or as a pacemaker.

The 61-year-old vice president's history of heart problems started in 1978, when he suffered his first of four heart attacks. He suffered his last heart attack a few weeks after the 2000 presidential election. (Cheney's history of heart problems)

CNN Senior White House Correspondent John King in New York contributed to this report.