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Former US President George HW Bush hospitalised

Bush's latest health scare comes two years after he was struck by illness during the 2012 holiday season.

Former US president George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara arrive for the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th US president at the Capital in Washington on January 20, 2009. Picture: AFP.

AUSTIN - Former US President George HW Bush, 90, was hospitalised in Houston, Texas, late on Tuesday after experiencing shortness of breath, a spokesman for the 41st commander-in-chief said in a statement.

Bush's latest health scare came two years after he was struck by illness during the 2012 holiday season and ended up spending seven weeks in a Houston hospital for bronchitis and related ailments, before his discharge in mid-January of 2013.

On Tuesday evening, the former president "was taken by ambulance to the Houston Methodist Hospital as a precaution after experiencing a shortness of breath," according to his spokesman, Jim McGrath.

Bush "will be held for observation, again as a precaution," McGrath said in a statement.

The former president grew so ill during his previous hospitalisation that he was believed at one point to be near death, and members of his family gathered around him.

But he recovered and went on to mark his 90th birthday this year by taking a parachute jump in Kennebunkport, Maine. His eldest son, former President George W. Bush, just published a best-selling book about his dad, titled 41 - A Portrait of My Father.