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.