Health Highlights: July 29, 2007

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Sunday, July 29, 2007; 12:00 AM

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments,compiled by editors ofHealthDay:

VP Cheney's Heart Monitoring Device Replaced

Vice President Dick Cheney's heart monitoring device was replaced Saturday with a similar, updated model.

TheNew York Timesreports the minor surgery to implant the cardioverter-defibrillator that monitors and corrects Cheney's heart rhythm, was conducted without incident.

The vice president was sedated for the Saturday morning procedure, theTimesreports, and he walked out of the George Washington University Hospital clinic at midday and returned home. The device "was successfully replaced without complication," the newspaper quotes Cheney spokeswoman Megan E. McGinn, as saying.

The device was implanted in 2001 and acts as both a pacemaker and defibrillator to shock the heart back into normal rhythm. The wires that run from the device into the heart were not replaced, theTimesreported.

McGinn said Friday the need to replace the aging battery had been determined at a physical examination in June. She said the vice president, 66, was scheduled to have the procedure at George Washington University Hospital, located a few blocks from the White House.

At last month's checkup, Cheney also had a stress test, which found nothing unexpected, theAssociated Presssaid.

Cheney has a history of cardiovascular problems, including a clot in his left leg discovered in March; a weak spot in an artery called an aneurism that was surgically repaired in 2005; four prior heart attacks; and quadruple bypass surgery, the wire service said.

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NIH Division Director Under Investigation in Ethics Inquiry

A director of one of the divisions of the National Institutes of Health spent more than triple the amount allocated for his laboratory and continued to hire out his services as an expert on asbestos despite an ethics policy recommending against doing so, Congressional investigators have found, theNew York Timesreports.


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