Former President George H.W. Bush was taken to a Houston hospital Tuesday evening as a precaution after experiencing shortness of breath.

A spokesman for Bush, 90, said he will be held for observation at the Houston Methodist Hospital as a precaution.

But his chief of staff, Jean Becker, said in an email that the former president should be home in a few days. 

"It's a hiccup," she said. 

Bush spent nearly two months in the same hospital and was discharged in January 2013 after treatment for a bronchitis-related cough and other health issues.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz released a statement late Tuesday saying that President Obama was made aware of Bush's hospitalization.

"President Obama and the First Lady send their good wishes to the former President and the entire Bush family during this holiday season," Schultz said.

Bush most recently appeared seated in a wheelchair at an event in November at Texas A&M University with his son, former President George W. Bush. He also served as the coin toss captain for the Houston Texans during a Nov. 23 game that honored the U.S. Armed Forces.

Bush, the 41st president, had served two terms as Ronald Reagan's vice president when he was elected in 1988. Four years later, after a term highlighted by the success of the 1991 Gulf War in Kuwait, he lost to Democrat Bill Clinton amid voters' concerns about the economy.

He was a naval aviator in World War II -- at one point the youngest in the Navy -- and was shot down over the Pacific.

The elder Bush has skydived on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House. In June, he celebrated his 90th birthday by making a tandem parachute jump near his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. During the winter, Bush and his wife, Barbara, live in Houston.

Bush, also a former U.S. ambassador to China and CIA director, suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease that has forced him in recent years to use a motorized scooter or wheelchair for mobility.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.