Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg are both 78. And both, it turns out, have had heart operations.




Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg are both 78. And both, it turns out, have had heart operations.
Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg are both 78. And both, it turns out, have had heart operations.  

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned 78 years old last Friday. That makes him the same age as his top rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and six months older than former Vice President Joe Biden.

Everybody is expected to pile on Bloomberg in Wednesday night's Democratic debate in Nevada, and Sanders tested out his salvos in a CNN town hall on Tuesday night. But age isn't the only thing Bloomberg and Sanders have in common. Neither has been a Democrat for most of the past two decades, for example, and both have had two coronary arterial stents inserted near their hearts to relieve blockages.

Sanders, who had a heart attack in October, said Tuesday night that he won't release his full medical records. After getting out of the hospital, he had said "the people do have a right to know about the health of a senator, somebody who's running for president of the United States - full disclosure." On Tuesday night, Sanders said the three letters he released from doctors equal "a detailed medical report," and when pressed on whether he plans to release his medical records, he said, "I don't think we will, no."

Bloomberg disclosed his 2000 heart operation for the first time in 2007. In December, he released a letter from his longtime physician, Dr. Stephen Sisson at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, attesting that Bloomberg is "in outstanding health," though he developed an irregular heartbeat called an "atrial fibrillation" last year and is treating it with blood thinners. Bloomberg "has had normal cardiac stress testing annually" since he had the stents inserted in 2000, Sisson wrote, and the artery has not become clogged again.

"Heart problems are extremely common in older adults," The Associated Press notes. At the same time, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday found that 53 percent of voters have "some reservations" or are "very uncomfortable" with a candidate who had a recent heart attack.

More stories from theweek.com
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