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Cheney recovering from 'mild heart attack'

WASHINGTON - Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering from a "mild heart attack" - his latest bout in a long battle against heart disease.

Cheney was feeling fine Tuesday and likely to be sent home from a Washington hospital within a day or two, aides said. He experienced chest pain on Monday, and lab results revealed evidence of the heart attack, spokesman Peter Long said.

"The whole family has been working with heart disease for decades, and they are vigilant and attuned to treatment," said political consultant Mary Matalin. She added that Cheney, 69, "knows how to live with this disease" and is fortunate to have great doctors.

The news came just more than a week after Cheney and Vice President Joe Biden essentially dueled each other across different Sunday TV talk shows, bickering over national security, credit for success in Iraq and Iran's nuclear program. More recently, Cheney made a surprise appearance at a conservatives' conference in Washington.

Biden and former President George W. Bush called on Tuesday to him well.

The heart attack is Cheney's fifth since age 37. After being admitted to George Washington University Hospital, he underwent a stress test and a heart catheterization, his office said. The statement did not say whether an angioplasty was performed. While a mild heart attack doesn't do much damage to the heart muscle, cumulative ones add up.

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