President Bush was pronounced "fit for duty" after an annual checkup yesterday that showed that the commander in chief, an avid mountain-bike rider, has lost 8 pounds since his last physical exam.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Bush, 59, said as he left the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.
In December, Bush weighed 199.6 pounds, 6 pounds more than in the summer of 2003. He attributed the gain to eating too many doughnuts during his reelection campaign. Yesterday, the nearly 6-foot Bush weighed 191.6 pounds.
A four-page medical summary issued by the White House said Bush remains in the "superior" fitness category for his age.
Nine doctors examined Bush for a little more than three hours, checking his heart, lungs, eyes, muscles and skin.
Doctors used liquid nitrogen to freeze a noncancerous skin growth on his neck. The medical summary indicated the president has skin lesions consistent with sun damage, and recommended that he use sunscreen and wear a hat.
Bush scored above average on a wide range of tests.
His overall cholesterol count remains at a healthy level, despite a slight rise to 178 from 170 seven months ago. There was a small drop in his high-density lipoprotein (HDL) count, or "good" cholesterol, and a small rise in his low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol. Still, both were within healthy ranges.
The president's medical profile shows a low to very low risk of coronary artery disease. His resting pulse rate dropped to 47 beats per minute from 52. Well-trained athletes typically have resting pulse rates of between 40 and 60 beats a minute.
Doctors made Bush run on a treadmill for more than 26 minutes as part of a test that evaluates the performance of his heart. His heart reached 183 beats per minute; no signs or symptoms of cardiovascular problems were noted. Other information from Bush's checkup included:
* His body fat percentage fell to 15.79 from 18.25. It was 14.5 percent at his physical in August 2003.
* His ability to see at a distance was 20/20 in both eyes.
* A prostate screening test registered 0.5. Under 4 is good.
* His exercise regimen includes mountain biking at up to 18 mph for 15 miles to 20 miles a week; doing low-impact "hill work" on a treadmill; and free weight resistance training and stretching.
* He smokes a cigar occasionally, takes a daily multivitamin, a low-dose aspirin, omega-3 fatty acids linked to lower heart disease, and glucosamine/chondroitin to ease stiffness in his joints.
After his exam, Bush met for more than an hour with 14 Marines wounded in Iraq. He awarded seven Purple Hearts.