Democrat White House hopeful Bernie Sanders has operation on blocked artery

Bernie Sanders Credit: AP Photo/ Cheryl Senter

Bernie Sanders’ campaign have said the Democratic presidential candidate has had a heart procedure for a blocked artery and has cancelled events and appearances “until further notice”.

The 78-year-old experienced chest discomfort during an event on Tuesday and sought medical evaluation, according to a campaign statement.

It said two stents were inserted and Mr Sanders “is conversing and in good spirits”.

His campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, was on a telephone call with supporters on Tuesday night but did not mention any health concerns about the candidate. Mr Shakir said the “state of the campaign is strong” and played up Mr Sanders’ strong fundraising total for the third quarter.

Bernie Sanders campaigning on Sunday in New Hampshire Credit: Cheryl Senter/AP

Mr Sanders recently cancelled some appearances in South Carolina because he had lost his voice. The campaign said at the time he felt fine.

The Democratic field’s oldest candidate sometimes jokingly refers to his age at events, especially when interacting with younger participants.

His aides have tried to project him as a candidate with energy levels that surpass his 2016 presidential campaign.

He is one of three candidates over 70 in the Democratic primary, which has spurred debate over whether the party should rally behind a new generation of political leaders.

His health scare is certain to revive that discussion in the weeks before the next presidential debate this month.

A letter released by his physician in 2016 cited a history of mildly elevated cholesterol but no heart disease.