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Doctors tell Yeltsin to leave rifle at home, stay out of woods

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A year after a heart bypass operation, President Boris Yeltsin is healthy and strong but still shouldn't shoulder his rifle and go hunting too often, his surgeon said Tuesday.

The president, who underwent an electrocardiogram and blood work Tuesday, no longer gives doctors reason to worry about his health, said Dr. Renat Akchurin.Yeltsin, now 66, had quintuple bypass surgery on Nov. 5, 1996, several months after suffering a mild heart attack during a stressful re-election campaign. His recovery was slowed by pneumonia, but in recent months he has been maintained an active schedule with regular trips abroad.

Yeltsin's term ends in 2000. He has given conflicting signals on whether he'll run again.

Yeltsin has followed doctors' orders and stuck to his low-fat diet, Akchurin said. And if the president, reported to have been a heavy drinker, wants to imbibe, a little red wine has been shown to lower cholesterol, Akchurin said.

But doctors have advised Yeltsin not to go hunting too often, the Interfax news agency quoted Akchurin as saying. The activity, apparently, could place unneeded stress on the heart.