"President Bush was released from the Houston Methodist Hospital today," his spokesman Jim McGrath said in a statement.

"He is now resting at home, grateful to the doctors and nurses for their superb care."

Earlier, a statement from his office said that "President Bush's breathing has returned to normal, but he will remain at the Houston Methodist Hospital tonight pending final approval from his doctors to return home."

On behalf of both the President and Mrs Bush, the statement thanked everyone for their good wishes and prayers.

The 41st President spent last week at the hospital after experiencing shortness of breath on December 23. The oldest of the four living former US presidents, Senior Bush, who uses a wheelchair, appeared frail in recent public appearances.

Bush, patriarch of one of America's most prominent political dynasties, is father to the 43rd president George W Bush. Another son, Jeb Bush, last week announced his aim laying the foundation for his own 2016 White House bid.

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