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Sanders Campaign Releases Doctor Letters Saying He's 'Fit,' Despite October Heart Attack

Bernie Sanders with a microphone pointing at someone raising their hand in a crowd.
Cheryl Senter
Associated Press
Sen. Bernie Sanders at a Newport, N.H., town hall event on Sunday. On Monday, the Sanders campaign released three letters from doctors about the senator's health.

Sen. Bernie Sanders may have suffered a heart attack in Las Vegas in October, but his campaign team says medical records unveiled Monday show the Democratic presidential candidate is “fit and ready to serve as president.”

The Sanders campaign released letters from three doctors on Monday, including the attending physician for Congress. All three physicians say Sanders, 78, has recovered well from the heart attack he suffered in October, and that he’s fit and healthy enough to campaign for the presidency “without limitation.”

In early October, Sen. Bernie Sanders had two stents placed at a hospital in Las Vegas following a heart attack. The medical incident prompted discussion about Sanders' health as he seeks the Democratic presidential nomination, but by mid-October he was back to holding rallies.

More from VPR —Sanders' Health, Age On Voters' Minds As Campaign Swings Through Iowa [Nov. 3]

The letters released by the Sanders campaign Monday include one from his primary doctor, Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of the U.S. Congress.

"You are in good health currently," Monahan wrote, "and you have been engaging vigorously in the rigors of your campaign, travel, and other scheduled activities without any limitation."

Monahan said Sanders’ heart muscle strength has improved since his heart attack in October, and that he has never had any symptoms of congestive heart failure.

“Several 24-hour recordings of your heart electrical activity indicated no significant heart rhythm abnormality,” Monahan wrote.

Monahan’s letter said Sanders has been treated for several medical conditions in the past, including gout, hypercholesterolemia, diverticulitis and laryngitis.

The Sanders campaign also released letters from two cardiologists at UVM Medical Center, where Sanders underwent testing in December, according to the doctors.

For more — Find all three letters released by the Sanders campaign here.

Dr. Philip Ades, director of cardiac rehabilitation at the UVM Medical Center, said Sanders underwent a “cardiopulmonary exercise test” on Dec. 11. Ades said that, “Compared to otherwise healthy men with no known heart disease, his exercise capacity is average for a man of his age.”

“Mr. Sanders is more than fit enough to pursue vigorous activities and an occupation that requires stamina and an ability to handle a great deal of stress,” Ades said in the letter.

Martin M. LeWinter, attending cardiologist at UVM Medical Center and also Sanders' personal cardiologist, wrote: “At this point, I see no reason he cannot continue campaigning without limitation and, should he be elected, I am confident he has the mental and physical stamina to fully undertake the rigors of the Presidency."

Sanders was one of the seven candidates who participated in the most recent Democratic presidential debate on Dec. 19.

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