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Cheney's Doctors Find He Suffered Mild Heart Attack

Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney has suffered a mild heart attack, but his office says he is feeling good and should leave the hospital within a day or two.

After suffering chest pains Monday, the 69-year-old Cheney was taken to a Washington hospital, where he was given a stress test and a heart catheterization, a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat heart problems.

The former vice president has a long history of heart problems, and has had four previous heart attacks, the first in 1978 when he was 37-years-old.

Cheney has undergone bypass surgery to replace four blocked arteries in his heart, and doctors implanted a pacemaker in his chest in 2001 to regulate his heartbeat. After he was treated for an abnormal heartbeat in 2008, doctors replaced the pacemaker with an automatic defribillator that can shock his heart back to a normal rhythm if necessary.

Cheney served as vice president from 2001 to early 2009 under former President George W. Bush. Both Mr. Bush and Cheney's successor as vice president, Democrat Joe Biden, spoke to him by telephone on Tuesday. Biden's spokesmen said his friendly chat with Cheney included a lighthearted order to "get better soon."

Since he left office in January last year, Cheney has taken on a prominent role in the opposition Republican Party, frequently criticizing President Barack Obama and his administration. Cheney also has questioned the commitment of the nation's current leadership to the fight against terrorism.

Cheney had a long career in government before the vice presidency. He was a White House adviser or held other senior positions during the administrations of former Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon.

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