Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had a heart attack, his campaign confirmed Friday as the Vermont senator was released from a Nevada hospital. The 78-year-old was at a campaign event Tuesday when he experienced chest discomfort and was taken to a hospital, where he was diagnosed with a heart attack, per the AP. The senator was transferred to Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center, where doctors inserted two stents to open up a blocked artery in his heart, per a statement from Las Vegas doctors, who said the rest of his arteries were normal. The statements from Sanders and his doctors don't indicate whether his heart suffered any permanent damage, or the extent of any. The doctors said the rest of his stay before being discharged Friday was "uneventful, with good expected progress."
The campaign also released a statement from Sanders, in which he thanked the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff. "After two and a half days in the hospital, I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work," he said. He was expected to return to Vermont. "There should not be an overreaction to this," said a heart expert at Cleveland Clinic who hasn't treated Sanders himself. "If he were my patient, I might ask him to avoid 16-hour days for at least a little bit of time. But there's absolutely no reason he can't get back to full activity soon." As the oldest candidate in the Democratic 2020 field, Sanders has sometimes jokingly referenced his age on the campaign trail. Younger candidates, such as 37-year-old Pete Buttigieg, have said it's time for a new generation to lead the Democratic Party and the country. Sanders, 76-year-old Joe Biden, and 70-year-old Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have all pledged to release updated medical records.
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