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NBC: Cheney did not suffer a heart attack

But former vice president had recent bout of atrial fibrillation

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Video: Health scare lands Cheney in hospital

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    >>> we are back with breaking news. the latest on dick cheney . the former vice president is spending this weekend in a washington, d.c. hospital after telling his hospital he didn't feel quite right. nabs is reporting exclusively tonight that a source close to cheney confirmed a couple of weeks ago mr. cheney , who has a 30-year history of coronary heart disease had arterial defibrillation. his doctors said this was a result of progressive retention of fluid. mike viqueira joins us from george washington university hospital . mike, good evening.

    >> reporter: good evening, lester. that's the latest. tonight we are are told the former vice president is resting comfortably after being admitted to this hospital yesterday. not feeling well friday afternoon, the former vice president consulted his doctors at george washington university where he's been a frequent patient with a well known history of heart problem .

    >> how are you feeling? good.

    >> reporter: in a statement last night, a cheney spokesman says on the advice of his physicians, he was admitted to the hospital for further testing. he is expected to remain in the hospital over the weekend. the statement made no reference to a specific ailment, but nbc news learned cheney did not have a heart attack and did not suffer chest pains . cardiologist sun lee implanted a stent into his chest.

    >> once you have it, it does not go away. that's why it's important that somebody has a regular cardiac care.

    >> reporter: the 69-year-old cheney suffered his first heart attack the at age 37 with the fifth and most recent coming just this year in february. there have been related problems, including abnormal heart rhythm . treatments have included a quadruple bypass, two angioplasties and the insertion of a pacemaker. lester, we are told after receiving iv medications since being admitted yesterday, the former vice president has marketedly improved. he is resting comfortably. doctors expect to discharge him within the next day or so.

    >> mike mivic viqueira, thank you.

NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 6/26/2010 7:33:04 PM ET

WASHINGTON — Dick Cheney suffered atrial fibrillation a couple of weeks before his latest admittance to a hospital, NBC News reported Saturday.

Cheney was admitted to George Washington University Hospital on Friday after experiencing discomfort, the latest health scare for the 69-year-old Republican leader, who has a long history of heart disease. On their advice, he was admitted to the hospital for further testing. His doctors said the discomfort was a result of retention of fluid.

Cheney did not have chest pains or a heart attack, NBC reported on Saturday. His condition had markedly improved by Saturday, but he was expected to remain at the hospital through the weekend for observation.

NBC, quoting a source close to the vice president, reported that a couple of weeks ago, Cheney suffered atrial fibrillation and flew back to Washington from Wyoming.

He sustained his last heart attack, deemed a mild one, in February. It was his fifth since age 37. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is blocked. In that episode in February, Cheney underwent a stress test and a heart catheterization.

Long said he had no other details about Cheney's condition.

A face of his party for decades, Cheney has remained a prominent voice of opposition to the Obama administration. His public career spanned decades, including service as a lawmaker, defense secretary and White House chief of staff.

Cheney had bypass surgery in 1988, as well as two later angioplasties to clear narrowed coronary arteries.

In 2001, he had a special pacemaker implanted in his chest. In addition, doctors in 2008 restored a normal rhythm to his heart with an electric shock. It was the second time in less than a year that Cheney had experienced and been treated for an atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart.

NBC News' Jamie Gangel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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