Brazil's Silva Says He's in 'Perfect Health'

By: Bradley Brooks - AP Writer
By: Bradley Brooks - AP Writer

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Saturday he is in "perfect health" two days after being hospitalized for a high-blood-pressure attack that forced him to cancel his attendance at a global economic forum.

Silva, 64, said he is eager to get back to work and ready for the grind of the upcoming presidential campaign, in which he will try to get a hand-chosen successor elected. He returned to the capital, Brasilia, after relaxing for a few days at his home near Sao Paulo.

"I'm ready to get back in the game," Silva told reporters outside a hospital in Sao Paulo where doctors gave him a checkup and conducted medical tests. "I'm going to continue traveling, obviously, because, thank God, I'm in perfect health."

Dr. Roberto Kalil Filho, Silva's cardiologist, said he was pleased with the results of Saturday's tests but that he cautioned the president to exercise more and get more rest.

Silva was aboard his jet in northeastern Brazil late Wednesday, preparing to head to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, when his personal physician ordered him to not make the trip and go to a hospital because his blood pressure had spiked. He was to receive an award for "global statesmanship" in Switzerland.

Doctors blamed a heavy travel load, a bout of the flu that had not cleared up properly, and holding events in Brazil's summer heat for Silva's spike in blood pressure. The president does not normally suffer from hypertension.

"I was worried," Silva said, then added, "Every time I go for a checkup, I'm worried. You can think that your problem is high blood pressure, and before you know it you find the problem is with a toenail! I'm always nervous when I have a checkup."


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