George HW Bush has been hospitalised after experiencing shortness of breath, a spokesman for the former US President revealed.

The 90-year-old Republican was taken to the Methodist Hospital in Houston as a "precaution", where the 41st President of the US will be held for observation.

Bush, father to George W Bush, was hospitalised and discharged in January 2013 after treatment for a bronchitis-related cough and other issues.

President Obama was notified of the hospital admission.

"President Obama and the first lady send their good wishes to the former president and the entire Bush family during this holiday season," said White House spokesman Eric Schultz.

Bush suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease, which has forced him to use a motorized scooter since 2012.

Bush skydived on his 90th birthday in June this year after jumping from a helicopter near his home in Maine.