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Holder released from hospital after feeling faint

Thursday - 2/27/2014, 4:52pm  ET

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the annual Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Holder said state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws in their states banning same sex-marriage if they don't believe in them. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

ERIC TUCKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Eric Holder was hospitalized for several hours Thursday and treated for an elevated heart rate after experiencing lightheadedness and shortness of breath, the Justice Department said.

Holder arrived as a precaution at a Washington hospital around 10:30 a.m. and was given medicine to restore his heart rate to a normal level. He was discharged less than three hours later after completing a series of tests. He walked out of the hospital on his own and was sent home to rest Thursday afternoon, according to a Justice Department statement that described him as "alert and in good spirits." A heart attack was ruled out.

The Justice Department said Holder experienced similar symptoms several years ago, but the symptoms were milder then and did not require serious medical attention.

Holder, a trim 63-year-old, is known inside the department for bypassing the elevator and taking the stairs at a brisk pace to reach his fifth-floor office. He also plays basketball.

The White House says President Barack Obama was notified and wished Holder a "speedy recovery."


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