Dick Cheney to Pen Memoir About Heart Troubles

Dick Cheney. Image credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo.

For years late night comics have wondered whether or not Dick Cheney has a heart. Now we have an answer - he does. And he's writing a book about it.

The "non-political memoir," to be published late next year, will chronicle the former vice president's 34 years of heart troubles, starting with his first heart attack in 1978, the four he suffered in later years, and the heart transplant he received earlier this year. His daughter Liz Cheney and cardiologist Jonathan Reiner will coauthor.

Speaking about why he felt it was important to write a book about his medical issues, Cheney told the Associated Press, "I'm alive today because of the tremendous advances that have been made."

Gary Schwitzer, publisher of the website HealthNewsReview.org, said he wondered if Cheney will address the fact that the left ventricular assist device inserted into his heart to prevent it from failing was developed with taxpayer-supported government research at the National Institutes of Health.

"The book could do a public service… depending on how it deals with these values," Schwitzer said.

Either way, Cheney isn't the only Republican who plans to weigh in on personal healthcare reform in book form. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin announced earlier this year she is writing a diet and fitness book that will allow you to shed pounds - perhaps without giving up such Palin family favorites as Moose Chili and Eskimo ice cream, which involves taking lard and sugar, beating them together until creamy, then adding berries.

Politics aside, nutrition experts are on board with the concept of Palin's book.

"Not sure what her idea of taking a balanced approach to diet means, but if she's advocating getting off the fad diet roller coaster I'm glad she's sending that message," said Cynthia Sass, a registered dietician in New York City.

Sass said she hopes Palin will collaborate with a registered dietitian to ensure that the information she provides is sound, accurate and science-based.

Perhaps just the idea of being a heartbeat away from the presidency is enough to put someone on a health kick - though there's no word on whether the marathon running former Republican vice presidential candidate, Paul Ryan, is shopping any fitness titles yet.

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