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Former first lady Barbara Bush hospitalized

By Chelsea J. Carter, CNN
updated 12:57 AM EST, Wed January 1, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Barbara Bush acknowledged in 1989 she had been diagnosed with Graves' disease
  • Bush, 88, was admitted to the hospital Monday, a family spokesman said
  • "She is in great spirits," the spokesman said
  • The former first lady was hospitalized in 2008, 2009 and 2010 for various ailments

(CNN) -- Former first lady Barbara Bush has been hospitalized in Houston, Texas, for treatment of a "respiratory-related issue," a family spokesman said Tuesday.

Bush, 88, was admitted Monday at Methodist Hospital, spokesman Jim McGrath said in a written statement.

"She is in great spirits, has already received visits from her husband and family, and is receiving fantastic care," the statement said. "Updates will be issued when warranted."

CNN was first alerted to Bush's hospitalization by tweets from affiliate KPRC.

Her husband, George H.W. Bush, was the 41st President of the United States. He also served as vice president for two terms under President Ronald Reagan.

In her role as first lady, she championed the cause of literacy. She formed the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 1989.

That was the same year that she acknowledged she had been diagnosed in 1988 with Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease that commonly affects the thyroid.

In 2010, she was hospitalized for what doctors at the time described as a recurrence of Graves' disease.

Bush underwent heart surgery in 2009 after doctors found hardening in one part of her aorta.

In 2008, she was hospitalized after suffering abdominal pain. She underwent surgery for a perforated ulcer.

Fast Facts: Barbara Bush

Ticker coverage: Barbara Bush

CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

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