July 17, 2005 in Nation/World

Cheney checkup shows he has mild case of esophagitis

Associated Press
 
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Cheney
(Full-size photo)

WASHINGTON – Vice President Dick Cheney suffers from a mild case of esophagitis and some dilation of the arteries behind both knees, his office said Saturday after he completed an annual physical.

Cheney, 64, was at George Washington University Hospital for a colonoscopy, an upper endoscopy and vascular screening. The procedures completed his yearly medical checkup.

In the first part of the exam last week, an annual heart checkup yielded good news for Cheney, who has had four heart attacks, though none since he became vice president in 2001.

The latest tests found Cheney’s colon, or large intestine, to be normal, according to the statement from his spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride.

The endoscopy “indicated mild esophagitis” or swelling or irritation of the esophagus, the tube that leads from the back of the mouth to the stomach.

The vice president “is awaiting final recommendations from his medical team,” the statement said.

Cheney walked briskly out of the hospital and waved to the assembled news media before getting into a car that took him back to his official residence near the Naval Observatory.

Cheney’s heart checkup last week found that a pacemaker implanted in his chest in June 2001 was working fine and that it has never had to be activated. The device, called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, is designed to activate automatically if needed to regulate a patient’s heartbeat.

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