BY: Mark Niesse, AP Writer
HONOLULU – Conservative talk radio show host Rush Limbaugh said Friday tests showed nothing was wrong with his heart after he was hospitalized with chest pains.
Limbaugh, 58, was released from The Queen’s Medical Center two days after he was rushed there during a vacation. Doctors said he did not have a heart attack or heart disease.
“The pain was real, and they don’t know what caused it,” Limbaugh said, adding his best guess was he had a spasm in an artery.
Limbaugh said he was not taking painkillers.
In 2003, he acknowledged an addiction to painkillers for severe back pain and took a five-week leave from his radio show to enter rehab.
Limbaugh couldn’t resist a few political comments during his short news conference at the Honolulu hospital.
One appeared to be aimed at health care reform, when he said he got the best health treatment in the world “right here in the United States of America.”
“I don’t think there’s one thing wrong with the American health care system,” Limbaugh said. “I got no special treatment other than what anybody else that would have called 911 and had been brought in with the same kinds of symptoms.”
Caller after caller to his show Thursday sent get-well wishes. Friday’s show was a “Best of Rush” special.
In a poll last month, Americans called Limbaugh the nation’s most influential conservative voice. More than 14 million people listen to his show at least once a week, making him the nation’s highest-rated broadcaster.
Limbaugh called his health scare a “blessing in disguise.”
“It takes things like this in life maybe to prepare you for the eventuality that you are getting older, you’re not as young as you were, and not as invincible as you once thought you were,” he said.
Limbaugh said when he first felt the chest pain, he walked around, sat down then quickly called for help. He was in the hospital within 20 minutes.
Dr. Joana Magno, a cardiologist who treated Limbaugh at the hospital, urged people to call for help immediately if they think they have a heart problem.
“Time is very, very important, and the sooner you can get to the medical care for your heart, the sooner we know what the problems are and the sooner we can treat it,” Magno said.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.