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Bernie Sanders taken to hospital with chest pains and blocked artery

His campaign has cancelled upcoming events following the hospitalisation

Clark Mindock
New York
Wednesday 02 October 2019 16:43 BST
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Bernie Sanders was taken to the hospital with chest pains before having surgery to combat a blocked artery, his campaign has announced.

The 78-year-old is said to be "conversing and in good spirits" following the procedure, which resulted in two stents being inserted into an artery.

"During a campaign event yesterday evening, [senator] Sanders experienced some chest discomfort. Following medical evaluation and testing he was found to have a blockage in one artery and two stents were successfully inserted," the campaign said in an emailed statement.

The statement continued: he "is conversing and in good spirits. He will be resting up over the next few days. We are cancelling his events and appearances until further notice, and we will continue to provide appropriate updates."

The statement came just hours before the Vermont senator was scheduled to hold a town hall in Las Vegas, where he was to discuss several of his medically-oriented plans including forgiving American medical debt, Medicare for All, and Social Security.

Later in the day, he was due to attend a gun safety forum to mark the anniversary of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and a community meeting with a local politician.

It is not clear when Mr Sanders might return to the 2020 campaign trail, where he finds himself in third place in the crowded field, according to aggregates of polls conducted by Real Clear Politics.

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But, any time away from the campaign trail is a liability for the senator, especially in an election cycle that has frequently brought up concerns about the age and health of candidates. Mr Sanders and the other two front-runners in the Democratic field are all in their 70s, as is Donald Trump.

Mr Sanders wouldn't be the only politician in American history to be elected president after heart problems, however.

Dwight Eisenhower was notably re-elected after a heart attack in 1955. Mr Eisenhower at the time enjoyed a booming economy, few international crises to worry the American public, and an approval rating of 79 per cent.

Mr Trump has also been the focus of some speculation about the condition of his heart, too. While he has not been reported to have had a heart attack, Mr Trump's medical examinations have caused some concern, with CNN's Sanjay Gupta insisting last year that the president's physical results show he has heart disease.

Former vice president Dick Cheney, who served under George W Bush, was also well known for having had multiple heart attacks.

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