Sanders Says He Will ‘Change the Nature’ of His Campaign After Heart Attack

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Senator Bernie Sanders, a week after suffering a heart attack in Las Vegas, said on Tuesday that he planned to slow down his pace on the campaign trail and acknowledged that voters would likely consider his health when deciding whether to vote for him.

Speaking to reporters outside his home in Burlington, following a visit with a local cardiologist, Mr. Sanders gave no indication he was planning to drop out of the race and said he would continue to campaign actively.

“We were doing, you know, in some cases five or six meetings a day, three or four rallies and town meetings and meeting with groups of people,” Mr. Sanders said. “I don’t think I’m going to do that.”

“I think we’re going to change the nature of the campaign a bit,” he added. “Make sure that I have the strength to do what I have to do.”

Asked to clarify what he meant when he said the campaign would change, he replied: “Probably not doing four rallies a day.”

Standing next to his wife, Jane, Mr. Sanders, 78, also acknowledged that his heart attack could be a factor for voters considering whether to support him.

“Everything that happens everyday weighs on how people feel about you,” he said. “And my own view is that — and I think it’s the voters’ view — you look at the totality of who a candidate is. You look at what that candidate stands for, the integrity of that candidate, the history of that candidate.”

Mr. Sanders returned to Burlington over the weekend after being hospitalized in Las Vegas for three days last week, recovering from a heart attack. His campaign said he felt chest pains during events last Tuesday, and he was taken to the hospital, where two stents were inserted into an artery.

Since then, his campaign has insisted that Mr. Sanders does not intend to drop out of the race. During a telephone call with staff members on Monday, Mr. Sanders said he felt “more strongly about the need for a political revolution today than I did when I began this campaign.”

On Tuesday, Jane Sanders downplayed the decision to slow the campaign’s pace down, saying it was “something that the entire campaign, and especially me, have been saying for months — not for his health but for the ability to keep up that kind of a pace for everybody else, too.”

Known for keeping a grueling schedule on the campaign trail, Mr. Sanders will often criss-cross a state with multiple stops for big rallies and smaller town hall-style events and gatherings.

In a Democratic primary where the three leading candidates are in their 70s, Mr. Sanders’s health issue has intensified the scrutiny on age as a factor in running for president. Many Democratic voters have said they worried about nominating a septuagenarian candidate.

Mr. Sanders, who finished second to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary, has been among the top three Democratic contenders since he entered the race in February. But in recent weeks he has been passed by Elizabeth Warren in national polls and polls of early nominating states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

Still, he remains a formidable challenger; just last week he announced a third-quarter fund-raising total of $25.3 million, the largest in the Democratic field.

In the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Sanders’s doctor said that the senator was “in overall very good health.” His ailments included gout; a mild elevation of cholesterol; an inflammation of out-pouches in the bowel known as diverticulitis; and hormone replacement therapy for an underactive thyroid gland. He had no reported history of heart disease.