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Ex-President George H.W. Bush in Texas hospital

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(Charles Krupa STF)
FILE - In a Tuesday, June 12, 2012 file photo, former President George H.W. Bush, and his wife former first lady Barbara Bush, arrive for the premiere of HBO's new documentary on his life near the family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine. Former President Bush has been hospitalized for about a week in Houston for treatment of a lingering cough. Bushís chief of staff, Jean Becker, says the 88-year-old former president is being treated for bronchitis at Houstonís Methodist Hospital and is expected to be released by the weekend. He was admitted Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

HOUSTON – Former President George H.W. Bush was in a Houston hospital Thursday for treatment of a lingering cough.

Bush, 88, has been in and out of the hospital recently for complications resulting from bronchitis, Methodist Hospital said in a brief statement. Jean Becker, Bush's chief of staff in Houston, told the Houston Chronicle his most recent stay began Friday.

The hospital described Bush as in stable condition and said it expected to release him within 72 hours.

Becker told the newspaper that the former president's illness wasn't life-threatening, but there had been concerns early on that it could develop into pneumonia. Her office referred questions from The Associated Press to Bush's spokesman, who did not immediately respond to messages.

Bush and his wife, Barbara, make their winter home in Houston and spend summers in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Their son, former President George W. Bush, and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush, have been among the elder Bush's visitors. A spokesman for the younger Bush, who lives in Dallas, declined to comment and referred questions to the 41st president's representatives in Houston.

Bush was seen a few weeks ago attending a Houston Texans NFL game, something he does frequently.

The former president suffers a form of Parkinson's disease that has forced him to use a wheelchair or motorized scooter to get around.

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