WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, was found to have an irregular heartbeat during a doctor's visit on Monday morning, his office said.
Cheney visited his doctors because of a lingering cough from a cold and during the examination he was found to have an irregular heartbeat, which on further testing was determined to be "atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart," said Megan Mitchell, spokeswoman for Cheney.
Cheney will undergo further evaluation on Monday and if required he will have an electric impulse to the heart delivered, which is standard treatment for this diagnosis, Mitchell said. He would be put under sedation.
It would be an outpatient procedure and Cheney was expected to return home on Monday night, she said. It had not yet been determined whether he would require the procedure, she said.
Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that is becoming increasingly common. The heart's two small upper chambers quiver instead of beating effectively and blood isn't pumped completely out, so it may pool and clot, putting the person at risk of stroke