Koch Is Hospitalized for Lung Ailment

Edward I. Koch, the former mayor of New York, was admitted to a hospital late Saturday night, and tests there showed that he had fluid on the lungs, according to a spokesman. It is the third time that Mr. Koch has been hospitalized in recent months.

Mr. Koch, 88, who led the city for 12 years beginning in 1978, looked unwell and complained of swollen ankles at a lunch on Saturday with former aides, said George Arzt, his former press secretary and a longtime friend. A physician whom he had dinner with that night examined him, Mr. Arzt said, and recommended that he seek medical attention.

Mr. Koch was admitted to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital about 10 p.m., according to a spokeswoman for the hospital.

Mr. Arzt said that Mr. Koch was in fine spirits when the two men spoke on Sunday evening. “He joked that ‘it’s not death dealing,’ ” Mr. Arzt said. The former mayor added: “I could die but not from this.”

Doctors have told Mr. Koch that they were waiting for the swelling in his ankles to go down, and that he might be released from the hospital as early as Wednesday, Mr. Arzt added.

Mr. Koch was last hospitalized in December when he was treated for a lung infection. He was released in time for his 88th birthday. Last September, he was admitted for treatment of anemia.

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