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Dick Cheney given shock treatment for heart

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US Vice-President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, has been treated with an electric shock for an irregular heartbeat.

The 66-year-old, one of President George W Bush's closest advisers, returned home from the hospital after the procedure, which required sedation.

His office said he would resume his normal schedule at the White House later today.

Mr Cheney was found to have atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart.

"An electrical impulse was used to restore the upper chambers to normal rhythm," a statement said.

"The procedure went smoothly and without complication."

Mr Cheney survived four heart attacks before he became vice-president. The last one, shortly after the November 2000 election, was considered mild.

He had his internal heart-regulating device, an implanted cardioverter defibrillator, replaced in July. The devices monitor the heart and shock it back into a normal rhythm if abnormal beating occurs.

In 1988, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery and he has also had angioplasty to reopen a partially blocked artery. © 2007 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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