Clinton Will Have Bypass Surgery

Former President Bill Clinton checked into a Manhattan hospital Friday with chest pains and will soon undergo bypass surgery, his office announced.

An angiogram given to Clinton, who had been expected to campaign for Sen. John Kerry in his run for the White House, revealed "significant blockage," said a Democratic official. It did not appear that Clinton suffered a heart attack, said the official, who had discussed the condition with the former president's staff and spoke on condition of anonymity.

There was also no official word on when the surgery would take place. A source said it was not likely to take place Friday, but Sen. Hillary Clinton said her husband was advised "to do it as soon as he could."

Clinton, 58, was admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia after undergoing initial testing near his suburban home, his office said. He canceled a two-day joint trip with his wife across upstate New York.

Sen. Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, were to be with the former president in the city, the statement said.

The former first lady made a brief appearance Friday at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, after which she noted that her husband was hospitalized and would need heart surgery, and apologized for leaving right away. "He's in excellent hands," she said.

Clinton had a cancerous growth removed from his back shortly after leaving office in early 2001. It turned out to be basal cell carcinoma, the most treatable form of skin cancer. In 1996, he had had a recancerous lesion removed from his nose and a year before that had a benign cyst taken off his chest.

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