October 15th, 2013
08:07 AM ET
9 years 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.

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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. James

    The treadmill test is really useless and rarely picks up significantly blocked or mildly blocked arteries. I guess the medical community does it basically since insurance companies think other tests are too expensive. But most cardiologist would agree that these tests do not provide too much diagnostic benefits.

    Also the Bush 95 percent blocked danger factor depends on which artery it was. if it was a collateral artery then there wasn't much danger of death. So the artery and location make a big difference.

    October 15, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Trevor Bryant of Flagstaff, AZ

    aother 5% and it would have been "mission accomplished." No, I joke, I wish this war criminal who wrecked our country a painful death.

    October 15, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. Jerome Horowitz

    Anybody who thinks this guy was actually the President wasn't paying attention.

    October 15, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Wake up People!

    If Bush was so great, why wasn't he out helping Mitt get elected?? I'll tell you why because he was about as welcome in the 2012 campaign as a herpes outbreak at a nudist colony.

    Bush came in with a surplus and left with massive debt which his successor had to try and dig us out of with nothing but obstruction from the GOP.

    That said, I still wouldn't wish him any harm and wish my fellow dems would not stoop to the hatred and vitriol the right perpetrates on our First Family on a daily basis. We are so much better than that. You never wish ill will on anyone, it could come right back to you.

    October 15, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. Polopoint

    So, is this the explanation for his thinking those 8 years in office?

    October 15, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Tom Hartman

    Mine was 98 per cent blocked, but CNN didn't have a story on it....

    October 15, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. jj

    Lowered taxes, fought an expensive unnecessary war.

    October 15, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Sal

    100% would have been much better......

    October 15, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. DMC

    OMG....people actually care about this thug who lied and killed while President! Drop dead '43 you hateful SOB!

    October 15, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Not0furbizwax

    When did Dumbya first become prez? Subtract that year from 2013 and tat is how many years too late for this even to have happened...

    October 15, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. LOL

    too bad they caught it.

    October 15, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. jake

    If something happened to Bush who would Obama blame for his ineptness?

    October 15, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. jake

    It's too late to save the country from Bush but it's not too late to save it from even worse Obama.

    October 15, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Me

    Malory Archer


    Who would`ve thought we `d be looking at the Bush jr. president years w/ nostalgia so soon ! Ah , the good ole days ...


    "WE" don't, so get over this idea that you speak for anything more than a small minority of ignorants and sychophants.
    Hahaha oh malory, does it just fire you up that Bush now has a better approval rating then your beloved Obama?? LMFAO

    October 15, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Kathy C

    Other wounded veteran's???? He was a draft dodger.

    October 15, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Thanble

    So I guess you could say his body greeted the blockage as liberators?

    *takes bows*

    October 15, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. gerald

    have you seen this idiot give a speech on no child left behind, when the average high school graduate can't read past the 8th grade level or has math skills less than a 6th grader, I think the artery that was blocked was the one to hisd brain and its been blocked for a very long time.

    October 15, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Me

    Malory Archer


    It's so sad but preditable that the very people who bash a sitting president for problems created prior to his reelection would come to this message thread and attempt to create a strawman by accusing others of what they themselves do to the opposition. Nobody was posting negative comments about the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylavana until your ilk projected that we were! Get over yourselves – you created the hate, now wallow in it!
    No Malory, YOU are the King/Queen of hate and everyone sees it on here!!!! You have got to be kidding, do you really believe what you just wrote?? No one was posting negative comments, wow even for you that is MORE then a stretch, EVERY LIBERAL POSTED NEGATIVE comments about Bush while he was in office and YOU KNOW IT!!!! LIAR, FLAT OUT LIAR!!!!

    October 15, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. ColoKay

    Didn't vote for him, don't like what he did to our country, and STILL glad he survived. I'm funny that way.

    October 15, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. BobZemko

    What about the completely blocked artery that carries oxygen and logic to his brain? That became blocked the day after he became president.

    October 15, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. ec71

    You commenters who are wishing that harm had come to Pres. Bush are no better than the people who say horrible things about Pres. Obama. You all have something in common, and that is being cut from the same disgusting cloth. Our country cannot come together on anything with people like you spouting off at the mouth and that is on BOTH sides of the political spectrum. People like you never have solutions, only bitter rhetoric to force down the throats of people who possess common decency. I'm sick and tired of seeing radical members from both parties drag down our nation with this infantile name-calling. Until all of that stops, our country will not move in a positive direction.

    October 15, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Robert Tuscanes

    Bush said last month at a golf tournament for other wounded veterans that he's "doing fine." "Other wounded veterans" are you kidding me, he doesn't deserve to be called a wounded veteran.

    October 15, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. mlblogscbgoldsmith

    I'm told that this type of blockage can lead to decreased blood flow to the brain, leaving the victim confused and prone to making bad decisions.

    October 15, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. Clayton Bigsby

    They just came up with a name for his condition – Arteric Strategery Blockage

    October 15, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Raymond McQueen

    I had the unfortunate experience of encountering Bush in 2009 at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas right after his stress tests. He was all chipper and glad handing anyone that would even give him a second look. I can only say that I had one of those really terrifying feelings that I was in the presence of evil personified – a man totally self-absorbed . I too questioned why he was there getting this type of medical oversight, when he should have been in a docket at the Hague listening to the thousands of charges of war crimes that should be justly brought against him. Instead, we turn our heads and let him live the good life in Preston hollow and out on the ranch n Crawford. At least his travel is limited by his atrocities – as many countries would willing arrest him for the horror he inflicted on the world.

    October 15, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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