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<i>Haaretz</i>: Sharon's Doctors Did Not Reveal Full Extent of Health Problems

An Israeli newspaper says Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's health problems were far more serious than his doctors publicly acknowledged after he suffered a first stroke last month

Doctors treating Mr. Sharon after the December 18 stroke said he had a small hole in his heart since birth. He was scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure this month to repair the defect but suffered a massive second stroke the day before.

The Haaretz newspaper says its own investigation revealed that Mr. Sharon also suffered from a large aneurysm in the septum - a condition known to be a source of cerebral blood clots. The report says he also suffered from other heart ailments.

The 77-year-old Israeli leader remains comatose in a Jerusalem hospital since suffering a massive brain hemorrhage on January 4.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.