October 15th, 2013
08:07 AM ET
11 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. Gurgyl

    Good luck, George.

    October 15, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    While I wish him a complete recovery, it should be noted that Bush did more to create wounded warriors than any modern president by getting us involved in unnecessary wars.

    October 15, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  3. What's in that tea anyway?

    All the best in your recovery Mr. President. Oh and by the way, Thanks for making President Obama such an important part of this country's future for all the generations to come. I think you know what I mean....Enjoy your retirement...psst, Tell you lil brother....Thanks, but no Thanks. and poof be gone. The Tea Party is now the GOP and we will be getting rid of them shortly.

    October 15, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  4. Paul from buffalo

    Get better W!

    October 15, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  5. Ryan

    Maybe he should've played golf every weekend like the current POTUS. That way he wouldn't have to pass a budget and could just continue to kick the can...

    October 15, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  6. jag

    He will need Obama Care!

    October 15, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. Richard Long

    We can't get numbers on the Obamacare enrollment rates, but we can get numbers on how blocked GWB's arteries were.

    Transparency at its finest!

    October 15, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I just can't bring myself to care enough to comment.

    October 15, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  9. Speck

    "Bush said last month at a golf tournament for other wounded veterans"

    Whaddya mean "Other"? This guy didn't see combat.

    October 15, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  10. the hippies were right

    Terrible president, but I'm glad to see he is doing well. To bad we can't say that about thousands of others.

    October 15, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  11. MisterPL

    So was this blockage the fault of Congress or Obama?

    October 15, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  12. Data Driven

    ""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."

    So .... he might have been fine?

    Doctors. (rolls eyes)

    October 15, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  13. Margie Mc

    I love George Bush and I wish him well!

    October 15, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  14. Thomas

    I hope he recovers soon. Good luck to him.

    October 15, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. RayJacksonMS

    Did this millionaire pig pay for his treatments out of pocket or did he use his free lifetime government health care?

    October 15, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  16. budgiegirl2

    just depends which coronary artery. the left main and the LAD are way more important than let's say an OM1 or Diag,..
    and it depends on his anatomy. Some people have a more dominant RCA than others.

    October 15, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  17. nc_mike

    Thank God for government healthcare!!!!!

    October 15, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  18. Brad

    "Other wounded vets"? When was he ever in a war? Didn't he get a pass from his Daddy??

    October 15, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  19. Ken Knerr

    God bless President Bush.

    October 15, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  20. duane - st.pete FL

    best wish's for a quick recovery.........

    October 15, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  21. KATHLEEN BURGESS

    Glad to hear the doctors caught it in time! Best wishes on a speedy recovery!

    October 15, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  22. Heart Patient

    The Cardiologist, Warren Levy, missed his calling as a politician. What a bunch of double talk!! Significant risk, doesn't mean he is going to have, but at significant risk. With a 95% occlusion we was definitely at significant risk and was on the fast track to a heart attack.

    October 15, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  23. ritmocojo

    "For exercise, he was an active runner and frequently rode his mountain bike."
    -----------------–
    That's when he was able to stay on it in mountainless Crawford,Teaxas.

    October 15, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  24. Hull22

    The scientific evidence(see COURAGE Trial) would that this stenting will make no impact on his longevity or prevent a heart attack, unless it was a left main stenosis and required bypass surgery. It makes no difference if he had no chest pain symptoms to begin with.

    October 15, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  25. John M

    Love him or hate him, be grateful he is ok

    October 15, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
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