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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fish, buffalo, salad, and Air Force 2: Dick Cheney's Fifth Heart Attack

Katie Drummond writes engagingly on "How Does Dick Cheney’s Ticker Keep on Ticking?"

The recent Vice President suffered another mild heart attack – his fifth – and was released from the hospital earlier this week. He has had eight cardiac events, which have been treated with a quadruple bypass (a CABG), an implanted stent, an implanted cardioverter defibrillator, which was later replaced, and many medications.

The secret of his survival? Cheney has performed aggressive and sustained self-care. After his first heart attack, at age 37, Cheney ended his 20-year heavy smoking habit. Later, before becoming Vice President, he lost 25 pounds. When he flew on Air Force 2, he often brought his elliptical trainer. Aides say his diet now consists of "fish, buffalo, and salad."

Another secret to his survival has been his top-flight, 24/7 medical attention. While he was Vice President, the White House Medical Unit accompanied him with a fully loaded medical bag. As Cheney commented in 2003, "I've got a doc with me 24 hours a day who watches me very carefully."

Advice to heart patients who don't have Air Force 2 and your own 24-hour doctor: Safeguard your own health as actively as Dick Cheney.

Read a story about former president George W. Bush. Thanks to Katie Driscoll for the source story in the AOL News of Feb. 24.

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