Celebrities With Atrial Fibrillation

Allison Bush | Nov 24, 2014

Reviewed by Glenn Gandelman, M.D., M.P.H.

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Joe Biden

Credit: Wikimedia Commons: David Lienemann

According to Joe Biden’s medical records, he first experienced an episode of atrial fibrillation after having his gallbladder removed in June 2003.  He had another episode in July 2006, which prompted treatment. Doctors believe the atrial fibrillation may have been linked to his ongoing problems with sleep apnea.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: David Lienemann)

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Sir Elton John

Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Thomas Waleczka

In 1999, Elton John was fitted with a pacemaker after tests revealed he was suffering from an irregular heartbeat. The irregular heartbeat was diagnosed after Sir Elton collapsed on a jet as he flew to sing at the wedding of Posh Spice and David Beckham.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Thomas Waleczka)

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George H.W. Bush

Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Joseph Lozada

Former President George H. W. Bush landed himself in Bethesda Naval Hospital after it was discovered his over-active thyroid was putting him in atrial fibrillation. Other conditions, like diabetes and obesity, can also increase your risk of atrial fibrillation.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Joseph Lozada)

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Howie Mandel

Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Matt Ottosen

In February 2014, Mandel said he learned about his condition during a regular checkup. He hadn’t been feeling well, and assumed it was his busy work schedule. Since his diagnosis, Mandel has become very outspoken about his condition.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Joseph Lozada)

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Barry Manilow

Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Matt Becker

Like Howie Mandel, Barry Manilow attributed his general malaise to his busy schedule. According to the Oklahoma Heart Institute, Manilow admitted that he ignored the strange fluttering heart beats initially, until he was rushed to the hospital in 2004, where he was diagnosed with afib.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Matt Becker)

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Sir Roger Moore

Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Allan Warren

Not even James Bond can escape an irregular heartbeat. The former 007 actor lost consciousness on stage in New York in 2003 during a performance of The Play What I Wrote. The UK Express notes that although he hadn’t really felt unwell before his collapse, within a few days of his operation Sir Roger said he felt noticeably fitter and had more energy.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Allan Warren)

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Gene Simmons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Patty Mooney

KISS star Gene Simmons put his afib on display for all of America to see as he was cardioverted into normal sinus rhythm on his show “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” a few years ago.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Patty Mooney)

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Tony Blair

Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Remy Steinegger

Initially treated with a cardioversion, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair underwent a catheter ablation procedure to correct his irregular heartbeat in 2004.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Remy Steinegger)

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Dick Cheney

Credit: Wikimedia Commons:

Among many other heart problems, atrial fibrillation was one of the heart conditions that plagued Dick Cheney during his career. He was treated both in 2007 and 2008 with cardioversion to restore his heartbeat to a normal rhythm.

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: David Bohrer)