Bernie Sanders has told reporters he could slow the pace of his campaign for the presidency after suffering a minor heart attack.

The 78-year-old Vermont senator said he planned to “change the nature of the campaign a bit” after he was hospitalised in Nevada last week.

Doctors operated on Mr Sanders to remove an arterial blockage.

He did not however say he would withdraw from the race to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

“We were doing, in some cases, five or six meetings a day, three or four rallies and town meetings and meeting with groups of people,” he said outside his home in Burlington, Vermont. “I don’t think I’m going to do that.”

“But I certainly intend to be actively campaigning. I think we’re going to change the nature of the campaign a bit. I’ll make sure that I have the strength to do what I have to do.”

Mr Sanders is one of 19 people fighting for the chance to take on President Donald Trump at the 2020 presidential election.

His campaign team said he would be at the Democratic presidential debate in Ohio next week.

It is unclear if he will resume campaigning before that or what his immediate plans are.

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The Vermont senator is the longest serving independent in US congressional history, and is the oldest person vying for the Democratic nomination.

He told reporters he was “dumb” for ignoring symptoms ahead of his heart attack. He admitted that his health could affect voters.

“Everything that happens every day, weighs on how people feel about you, and my own view is the voters who view you look at the totality of who the candidate is.”