Before serving eight years as vice president in the George W. Bush administration, Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served in the Nixon White House as a staffer and served as chief of staff in the Ford administration. In 1978, Cheney was elected to the House of Representatives, serving five terms and becoming house minority whip.
The near-constant campaigning and Washington deal-brokering would be stressful for anyone, and Cheney dealt with that stress in part by smoking cigarettes constantly. It was in 1978 that he had his first of five heart attacks.
Cheney made some lifestyle changes, but they didn't stick. He began smoking again, didn't get enough exercise and put on weight. His second heart attack came when he was 43, his third when he was 47 and his fourth just a few weeks after the 2000 election. Cheney has had five heart attacks in total, his fifth occurring in early 2010.
The former vice president has also had many heart procedures, including coronary heart bypass grafting, stenting, angioplasty and the insertion of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
When it comes to heart issues, Cheney can give as good as he can take. During a hunting accident while serving as VP, Cheney accidentally shot a companion with a shotgun, lodging a pellet in the older man's heart, causing a small heart attack and atrial fibrillation.
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