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Helms hospitalized, undergoing heart tests

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Jesse Helms has been admitted to Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland and has been undergoing tests to determine if he needs to have a heart valve replaced, his chief of staff said Tuesday night.

According to Jim Broughton, the 80-year-old North Carolina senator was admitted to the hospital Monday and may need a new microvalve to replace one that was implanted during quadruple-bypass surgery Helms had in 1992.

"He's very chipper. He's feeling ok," Broughton said. "He's relieved to know what has been causing this."

Broughton said more tests have been scheduled for Wednesday after which a decision will be made regarding replacement of the valve.

The five-term Republican senator announced last summer he will not seek re-election. Helms was first elected to the Senate in 1972.




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