Why surprising? After all, he’s 67. But George W. Bush seemed to be in superb health and took very good care of himself. Did all the right things.
And yet: a stent was placed in an artery following blockage discovered during a routine exam.
It oddly parallels Bill Clinton’s experience, although Clinton seems to have had a more serious problem since he had had angina as a symptom and then underwent bypass surgery. A few years later, he had some stents placed as well, and he’s been on a very rigorous diet program too.
Interestingly enough, Clinton’s problems were diagnosed about three and a half years after his presidency ended and Bush’s come four and a half years after the end of his. Makes me wonder if there’s something about the stress of the presidency that helps this along.
Otherwise, the two men are pretty different. When Clinton got heart disease everyone blamed it on his well-known penchant for eating junk food, and the fact that he was supposedly overweight. I never understood the “overweight” charge against Clinton; for a man his age he was in pretty good shape, actually, and not especially overweight at all.
But Bush? A lean, mean fighting machine. And his heredity is super—look at his parents! For me it underscores the essential unpredictability of these things. You can look at statistics, but for each individual there’s no predicting much of anything.
At any rate, I wish him a very speedy and uneventful recovery, and many more healthy years enjoying his family and his painting.