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Bill Clinton hospitalized in New York

By Scott Butterworth, Philip Rucker and William Branigin and Filed By Ekow Mensah-Shalders

NEW YORK..... Former president Bill Clinton has been admitted to a hospital in New York City after suffering from chest pain and received two stents in one of his coronary arteries, his office said Thursday afternoon.

In a statement, Douglas Band, a longtime aide to the 63-year-old former president, said Clinton "was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest.

"Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries. President Clinton is in good spirits, and will continue to focus on the work of his Foundation and Haiti's relief and long-term recovery efforts," Band added.

A stent is a small mesh tube inserted into a narrowed or weakened artery to support it.

Clinton's wife, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, met Thursday afternoon with President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. She "is now headed to New York City," a State Department official said Thursday afternoon. "If we have anything to add beyond that, we will, including any changes to her schedule in the coming days."

She is scheduled to leave Friday for a diplomatic trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In 2004, Clinton underwent emergency heart bypass surgery at Columbia Presbyterian. Doctors then found four major blood vessels that supply oxygen to Clinton's heart were blocked, some by as much as 90 percent.

That surgery was scheduled on short notice after Clinton had experienced prolonged chest pains and shortness of breath. Tests found that his coronary arteries were clogged.

With a family history of heart disease, plus high cholesterol and high blood pressure, Clinton had three major risk factors for a heart attack. In addition, he was known to smoke cigars and indulge in fast food during his presidency.

Before the bypass surgery, Clinton's level of LDL, or "bad," cholesterol had been measured at 114. During his last physical in the White House, his bad cholesterol was at 177. Doctors now recommend that number be less than 70.

After the surgery, Clinton blamed his heart problems in part on a genetic predisposition to heart disease on his mother's side of the family. But he also acknowledged that he "may have done some damage in those years when I was too careless about what I ate."

In March 2005, Clinton underwent a follow-up operation, to remove scar tissue and fluid from his chest cavity that resulted from the bypass surgery.

ABC News quoted an unnamed official as saying that Bill Clinton's current ailment seemed more like "discomfort...something wasn't right," rather than a health "crisis."

A friend of the former president told ABC that Clinton had been suffering from a cold and had been worn out from his recent trip to Haiti. He is the United Nations' special envoy for Haiti and, in recent weeks, has been helping lead the public campaign for donations to help that country recover from its devastating earthquake

Filed by :Ekow Mensah-Shalders