October 15th, 2013
08:07 AM ET
6 months ago

Bush had 95% blockage before August heart procedure, sources say

(CNN) - Former President George W. Bush's heart situation that caused him to undergo a procedure in August was more serious than originally thought, as two sources close to the 43rd president now confirm he had a 95% blockage in an artery.

Bush, 67, had a stent placed in his heart in August at a Dallas hospital one day after the blockage was discovered.

While a 95% blockage is significant, Bush's doctors are not commenting about how grave the situation may or may not have been.

National Journal first reported the level of the blockage, but one source close to Bush downplayed any reports of a near-death experience. Another source said "it was very serious."

The rate at which a vessel becomes blocked is more important than the overall blockage, and the heart can do a good job of compensating, if it has time.

"Certainly President Bush was at significant risk having a 95% blockage in one of his coronary arteries. That doesn't mean he was going to have a heart attack," Warren Levy, a cardiologist, told CNN. "But certainly he was at significant risk for a heart attack and something did need to be done."

Marc Siegel, a physician and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Medical Center, penned a column for USA Today in August praising the doctors' fast work on Bush's heart.

"Bush's stress test showed EKG changes, and what happened next was also prudent. A CT angiogram revealed a severe blockage in a crucial position in a coronary artery that was easily life threatening," he wrote.

Bush said last month at a golf tournament for other wounded veterans that he's "doing fine."

"Other than the fact that I nearly bled to death when I nicked myself shaving because I'm taking blood thinner, I'm doing pretty good," he joked in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "I thought you were going to have to put a tourniquet on me."

Over Memorial Day weekend, Bush led another group of wounded warriors on an annual long distance bike ride at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The 43rd president was known for having good health during his tenure at the White House. For exercise, he was an active runner and frequently rode his mountain bike.

– CNN's John King, Erin McPike, Andrew Morse, and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: George W. Bush
soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. Travis

    President Bush, I didn't vote for you either time, and I am not happy about much of what you did while in office. However, I genuinely wish you well, and hope that your health holds so you can enjoy your family and retirement.

    October 16, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  2. Rick

    Some of you people make me sick. You wish the death of a President and you do it boastfully. If anyone said the same about Obama you would want their heads on a plate. Such hypocrites that sound more and more like Hitler did. Just kill anyone who disagree with you. Diversity is what makes America great. It is ok to have different opinions but when you hate someone so much because of their opinion that you want the dead, you have just become a nazi. Congrats. Your parents and grandparents will be so proud of you.

    October 16, 2013 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  3. Brad

    I'm glad he got better. Those who wish he would have died ought to be ashamed of themselves...how would you feel if somebody said that same thing about Pres Obama? Treat others the way you want to be treated is a great motto that would make our country a much better place to live if people would follow it.

    October 16, 2013 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  4. Joe Silva

    Can't stand this guy, rotten president, but I'm glad he's okay.

    October 16, 2013 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  5. JR

    Awww, poor poor baby.
    I can't feel the bit sorry for him, tho understanding how these conditions how such conditions cam creep up on you without your being aware, I can empathize with him.
    I was in great health, passed my latest physical with flying colors. The 4 hours after a 3 mile run I had my first of 24 strokes, interspersed with 12 heart stacks over the next 10 years.
    One carotid is 100 % blocked and I now wear a pace maker and jumper, lol.
    SO it's not always live style.

    October 16, 2013 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
  6. Gladys

    Isn't it great that GWB has health insurance.

    October 16, 2013 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  7. dina

    It is possible that up to half a MILLION people died as a result of the Iraq war. This man who caused all those deaths lives in luxury and gets the finest medical care. And he seems to not have a clue of the destruction, pain and suffering he caused.

    October 16, 2013 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  8. Soapy Smith

    Nice guy, but he was a political puppet with Cheney and Rumsfeld working the strings.

    October 16, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  9. Adam

    Get well soon Mr. president, although many still curse you I believe that the future generations will see you in a better light.

    Not comparing the two, of course, but as an example Abraham Lincoln was absolutely hated in his time as well.

    October 16, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  10. China Doll

    Get well Prez. We appreciate all you did for your country here in Seattle!
    - a fellow texan

    October 16, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
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