Bernie Sanders is in ‘good health’ after heart attack, doctor says in summary of health

Posted at 3:24 PM, Dec 30, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders is in “good health,” nearly three months after suffering a heart attack, the attending physician at the US Capitol said in a letter released Monday.

The physician, Brian Monahan, said in a summary of the Vermont senator’s health that Sanders is no longer taking several of the medications initially prescribed to him after the heart attack.

“Several of the medications you initially required (blood-thinner, beta blocker) were stopped based on your progress,” Monahan wrote. “Your heart muscle strength has improved. You have never had symptoms of congestive heart failure. The heart chamber sizes, wall thickness, estimated pressures, and heart valves are normal. Several 24-hour recordings of your heart electrical activity indicated no significant heat rhythm abnormality.”

Later in the letter, Monahan said: “You are in good health currently and you have been engaging vigorously in the rigors of your campaign, travel, and other scheduled activities without any limitation.”

Monahan’s letter notes that the 78-year-old Sanders is 6 feet tall and weighs 174 pounds.

The campaign also released two additional letters from physicians at the University of Vermont, who have examined Sanders since his heart attack earlier this year, saying that Sanders is in good health and making a strong recovery. The doctors, Philip Ades, Patrick Savage and Martin LeWinter, said they believed Sanders is fit to serve as president.

Sanders underwent a cardiopulmonary exercise tolerance test on December 11. The test predicts outcomes in patients with a cardiac condition, and found his overall test performance “rated above average compared to a reference population of the same age,” the doctors wrote.

On October 1, Sanders was rushed to an urgent care facility following a grassroots fundraiser in Las Vegas after experiencing chest pains. Sanders then was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. Less than two and a half days later, Sanders left Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center, that his campaign confirmed the Vermont senator had suffered a heart attack.

After being discharged from the hospital, Sanders spent over a week at home in Burlington, Vermont, going on walks with his wife, Jane, and periodically inviting television cameras into his home to talk about his health scare. Sanders’ first public appearance after his heart attack was the Democratic debate in Westerville, Ohio, just two weeks after the incident.

Being the oldest candidate in the race, at 78, and having suffered a heart attack, there was much concern over how Sanders would recover and whether he would be able to return to the trail.

But the heart attack appears to have created a bounceback for the senator. The night of the October debate, news broke that New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was going to endorse Sanders. A few days later, the pair hosted a rally in Ocasio-Cortez’s backyard in Queens, during which she officially endorsed the senator.

“To put it bluntly, I am back,” Sanders said to a booming crowd on October 19 in Queens.

Since then, Sanders has received the endorsements of Ocasio-Cortez’s Capitol Hill cohorts, Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. He’s also resumed a vigorous campaign schedule with multiple events a day.

Sanders is not the first candidate to release his medical information. Earlier this month, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — all in their 70s — released reports or letters from their doctors.