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Bush Gets Clean Bill Of Health

Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush is in excellent health, although the 53-year-old does suffer some stiffness in his back and one knee, his doctor said Tuesday.

"He has totally abstained from alcohol during the past 13 years. He has no history of any alcohol, drug, mental or psychiatric treatment or rehabilitation," Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper said in a written, three-page medical summary released by Bush's campaign.

Cooper said Bush has been examined annually at his Dallas clinic since 1989. The Texas governor received his most recent comprehensive physical exam on June 17.

"His state of health at the time of his most recent examination was excellent," the doctor wrote.

Bush is 6 feet tall, weighed 192-1/2 pounds, had blood pressure "in the right arm sitting position" of 104 over 80, pulse 38. "For a highly conditioned athlete, resting heart of 38 was considered to be normal," the doctor's statement said.

The doctor said Bush a runner has excellent to superior cardiovascular fitness, no signs of coronary artery disease, good body weight and a low to very low coronary risk profile.

In the written summary, Cooper noted that Bush suffers "some minor stiffness in his left knee, which he attributed to his exercise program. Also, some back stiffness was noted, particularly with running, but stretching controlled the problem."

Since 1972, Bush has been exercising regularly. He now runs three to four miles five times a week.

Bush is taking no prescribed or self-prescribed medications, except supplemental vitamins and minerals, the doctor said.

Bush's medical history includes minor surgery to his chest wall at age 13, an appendectomy at age 10, and he had arthroscopic knee surgery in 1997.

"Recovery from all surgeries was uncomplicated," the doctor wrote, "and the only other surgical procedure was the removal of two benign polyps from his colon July 6, 1998."

Bush's campaign said the medical summary was being made public "in accordance with past presidential campaigns." Spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said the campaign had received two or three requests from news organizations seeking the records.

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