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Bush passes annual physical

After a four-hour physical examination, President Bush’s doctors on Tuesday pronounced him in good health and “fit for duty,” the White House said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

President Bush says his annual physical shows him in fine shape — though he’s a little upset about those extra five pounds he’s packed on.

After a nearly four-hour physical exam, Bush’s doctors on Tuesday pronounced him in good health and “fit for duty,” the White House said.

Bush himself said, “Doing fine. Health’s fine. Probably ate too many birthday cakes.” The president celebrated his 60th birthday on numerous occasions last month.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said, “The doctors once again have found the president fit for duty and have every reason to expect that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency.”

The exam was at the National Naval Medical Center. A fuller report from Bush’s doctors was to be released by the White House late Tuesday.

Snow said the president’s resting heart rate was 46, similar to the 47 at his exam last July and in the range of a well-trained athlete, and that his total cholesterol of 174 was his best ever. Below 200 is a desirable cholesterol level, and Bush’s was 178 last year.

“I’ll direct you toward the test results, but he’s still healthier than we are,” Snow said.

Bush remarked that the Bethesda, Md., hospital, where he usually undergoes his annual exam, is an “amazing operation.”

A December 2004 physical showed Bush, who is nearly 6 feet tall, had gained six pounds since the summer of 2003 — a development he blamed on eating too many doughnuts during his re-election campaign. The gain prompted Bush, an avid mountain bike rider, to a renewed commitment to exercise and fitness. He was rewarded last July with a loss of eight pounds to weigh 191.6 pounds.

Then came this year’s addition.

“My guess is, he’s determined to lose it,” Snow said.

After his physical, Bush met with 27 military men and women at the hospital, and presented Purple Hearts to seven of them.