Clinton 'in good spirits' after procedure on blocked artery
Ex-US president experienced chest pain on return from Haiti aid effort
Published 12/02/2010 | 05:00
Former US President Bill Clinton underwent a successful heart procedure last night to open up a blocked artery.
Two stents were inserted after he had experienced chest discomfort, his spokesman said.
Mr Clinton (63) had quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2004 to free up four blocked arteries and the latest incident comes after he has travelled back and forth to Haiti to help recovery efforts after a devastating earthquake there.
"Today President Bill Clinton was admitted to the Columbia Campus of New York Presbyterian Hospital after feeling discomfort in his chest," Douglas Band, counsellor to Clinton, said in a statement.
"Following a visit to his cardiologist, he underwent a procedure to place two stents in one of his coronary arteries.
"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," Mr Band said.
Mr Clinton was US president from 1993 until 2001 and was a key player in the securing of peace in Northern Ireland.
His interest in Ireland has been maintained ever since.
He presided over eight years of economic prosperity and political tumult during a presidency tarnished by a sex-and-perjury scandal that led to his impeachment and a bitter fight to stay in office.
While in office he was known for his love of burgers and junk food and struggled with his weight.
He regularly jogged to try and keep trim.
Having stents placed in heart arteries is a relatively routine procedure among patients like Mr Clinton who have suffered from heart disease.
Following his 2004 heart operation he has looked trim and fitter than while he was president.
He established a foundation to build his legacy beyond his White House years which has pushed big corporations and rich people to take action to try to fix some of the world's worst problems.
Most recently Mr Clinton has been heading a US relief effort after the January 12 earthquake in Haiti.
A senior administration official said his wife Hillary had left Washington for New York. The official declined to say if there would be any changes to Mr Clinton's planned trip to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which was due to start today.