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Physicians say Cheney's heart status is stable

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney's high-tech pacemaker is working properly and has not been activated by any irregular heartbeats, according to his annual physical checkup yesterday, which showed his overall heart condition was stable.

Cheney, 65, who has a long history of heart ailments, had an electrocardiogram and imaging to check on repaired aneurysms at the back of his knees, his spokeswoman said. Doctors also checked the condition of an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, which was placed in his chest in 2001.

Cheney has had four attacks; the first in 1978, at 37, and the fourth on Nov. 22, 2000, after the election of President Bush. He is expected to have a stress test in the fall as part of a comprehensive cardiac evaluation.

After the physical, the vice president flew to Florida to watch the shuttle Discovery blast off from the Kennedy Space Center, but the launch was postponed. He then headed to the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway.

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