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John Fetterman's doctor says the Democratic U.S. Senate nominee also has cardiomyopathy

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
Marc Levy
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.

The cardiologist for John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania who is recovering from a stroke, disclosed Friday that the candidate also has cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged.

The acknowledgment was the first public comment by a doctor for Fetterman since the candidate first took to social media on May 15 to disclose the stroke.

In a statement released through the campaign, Fetterman’s cardiologist, Dr. Ramesh Chandra, said Fetterman will be fine if he eats healthy foods, takes prescribed medication and exercises.

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Cardiomyopathy can impede blood flow and potentially cause heartbeats so irregular they can be fatal.

Fetterman, 52, easily won the Democratic nomination while in the hospital two days later, just hours after undergoing surgery to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator.

The fall general election is expected to be of the nation's premier Senate contests this fall.

Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, has said that his stroke was caused by a heart condition called atrial fibrillation and that doctors implanted the pacemaker May 17 to manage it.

However, questions have swirled about what effects Fetterman continues to suffer from the stroke and why doctors implanted a defibrillator along with a pacemaker.

Chandra said the defibrillator, which delivers corrective shocks when it senses life-threatening irregular rhythms, was implanted because of Fetterman's cardiomyopathy.