Cheney's Heart in Stable Condition, Doctors Report

Doctors reported Saturday that Vice President Dick Cheney's heartbeat was normal for a 67-year-old man with a history of heart problems.

"All is fine," Cheney press secretary Megan Mitchell said after Cheney's annual checkup, which lasted less than two hours at George Washington University Hospital.

Cheney has had four heart attacks, quadruple bypass surgery and two artery-clearing angioplasties. In addition to the physical exam, he had an electrocardiogram, a test that detects and records the electrical activity of the heart, and imaging of the stents placed in the arteries behind his knees in 2005, she said.

"The vice president's cardiac status remains stable," Mitchell said.

Cheney returned to the vice president's residence at the Naval Observatory and resumed his normal schedule.

At his annual checkup in June 2007, doctors found no new blockages in his heart, but said he needed a new battery for a special pacemaker he has in his chest. The vice president later had surgery to replace the implanted device that monitors his heartbeat.

Then, in November, doctors had to administer an electrical shock to Cheney's heart to restore it to a normal rhythm. The irregular heartbeat was determined to be atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart.

At this most recent checkup, doctors found that Cheney had not experienced any recurrence of atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart, and the special pacemaker had neither detected nor treated any arrhythmia, a problem with the heartbeat's speed or rhythm.