"The president remains in excellent health and fit for duty," the doctors said on Saturday after testing Bush for almost three hours at the National Naval Medical Centre in Bethesda, Maryland.
 
Bush had four small lesions called actinic keratoses - usually caused by the sun - taken off his cheeks and left arm with liquid nitrogen.

Such growths are usually removed because they can develop into skin cancer otherwise.

A skin tag, also a common and harmless growth, was also removed during the president’s annual physical examination.

Doctors said a calf strain that had slowed his regular running exercises had healed. He was also 2.3kg heavier than he was last year, the physicians found.

Bush flew to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, right to begin a four-week break.

A picture of health

The 57-year-old president has gone from about 85kg a year ago to nearly 88kg today, but his body fat percentage remains the same at 14.5 percent, the doctors said. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the weight gain was due to increased muscle mass.

A fitness advocate and nondrinker, Bush makes a 5km run almost daily and started lifting weights last year. Doctors noted that Bush has "an occasional cigar" and drinks diet sodas and coffee.

Most men over the age of 40 risk heart disease more than any other illness but Bush's results suggest he is at extremely low risk of developing a heart problem.

He still has an unusually slow resting heart rate of 45 beats per minute, which experts say is probably a reflection of his fit condition. His blood pressure is also a healthy 110 over 62.

His total cholesterol was 167, with levels of "good" HDL cholesterol at 45 and "bad" LDL at 112 - all within desirable limits.

The break on his ranch should give Bush some welcome respite from dealing with problematic issues, including troubles in Iraq, the sputtering economy and his declining popularity in the polls.