Trump Health ‘Excellent,’ Doctor Says, Issuing Test Results
(Bloomberg) -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is in “excellent physical health,” according to his longtime doctor Harold Bornstein, who on Thursday provided a range of details from the candidate’s laboratory reports for the first time.
Trump’s standard panel of laboratory tests showed normal cholesterol, blood pressure, liver and thyroid function, according to a one-page letter from Bornstein released by the campaign. Cardiac exams performed in 2014 and 2016 showed no sign of heart disease and he has no family history of the condition, the leading cause of death in the nation. Trump, 70, takes a cholesterol-lowering drug and aspirin daily to reduce his heart risk, and doesn’t smoke or drink, Bornstein said. He weighs 236 pounds and is 6 feet, 3 inches tall.
“In summary, Mr. Trump is in excellent physical health,” Bornstein wrote.
Health re-emerged as a key issue in the presidential campaign on Sunday, after an incident caught on video in which Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, 68, left a Sept. 11 ceremony in New York early, stumbling and feeling dizzy. That led her campaign to disclose that she had pneumonia. She’s set to return to the trail on Thursday with an event in North Carolina after resting for several days.
The incident set off dueling disclosures Wednesday by Clinton and Trump, with Clinton releasing a detailed letter from her physician describing test results and her current health, and Trump taping an appearance on “The Dr. Oz Show” with television personality Mehmet Oz.
On Thursday, Trump and his aids made subtle digs at Clinton’s spell of ill health.
“We are pleased to disclose all of the test results which show that Mr. Trump is in excellent health, and has the stamina to endure -- uninterrupted -- the rigors of a punishing and unprecedented presidential campaign and, more importantly, the singularly demanding job of president of the United States,” the Trump campaign said in a statement.
The candidate himself underscored the importance of good health in a president and pointed out that he hasn’t taken a day off since he began campaigning.
“When you are running for president, I think you have an obligation to be healthy,” Trump said on “The Dr. Oz Show.” “You can’t represent the country properly if you’re not healthy.”
Both candidates appear to be following the lead set by President Barack Obama, who released a letter summarizing his health history in 2008 when he was running for his first term. None went as far as John McCain, the Republican candidate that year, who allowed reporters to pour over 1,173 pages of his medical history in an effort to alleviate concerns about his health, including a bout of skin cancer and long-term effects from the time he spent as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.
The health debate comes as the presidential race tightens, causing some Democrats to worry. Clinton holds just a 1.1-percentage-point lead in the RealClearPolitics national poll average that also includes third-party candidates, the site said Thursday.
Good Health for Both
Both candidates’ health is impressive, given their ages, since measures such as blood pressure and cholesterol often rise over the years. Trump would be the oldest person ever elected to the nation’s top office should he win the election. Clinton, who will turn 69 before the election, would be the second-oldest after Ronald Reagan, who famously joked about his age during a presidential campaign debate with Democrat Walter Mondale.
The two candidates reflect a common experience among older Americans who remain active and healthy well past what was once considered the retirement years, said Greg Rosencrance, chair of the Cleveland Clinic’s Medicine Institute.
“There are many examples of individuals remaining in high-pressure and high-stress jobs, who perform well, well beyond age 65,” Rosencrance said. “People are staying active longer and working later in life.”
Both Trump and Clinton underwent the appropriate screening tests and seem able to perform the role, based on the limited information that has been released, Rosencrance said.
Trump’s cholesterol was 169, well below the traditional goal of 200 or less, with levels of unhealthy “bad” cholesterol at 94 and good cholesterol, which ferries fat out of the bloodstream, at 63. His blood pressure was 116/70, compared with normal scores of less than 120/80. The candidate’s prostate specific antigen level, a controversial test used to check for prostate cancer, was 0.15, with 4.0 or less considered normal.
Trump, who undergoes an annual exam every spring, had a colonoscopy that found no polyps or signs of cancer in 2013. He has been hospitalized only once, to have his appendix removed at the age of 11.
After Clinton’s incident on Sunday, Trump said he had happened to undergo a physical exam the previous week and would release results from it, augmenting a letter from Bornstein last year that critics said was inadequate. In August, Trump had called on Clinton to release “detailed medical records” -- after her doctor also released a letter last year -- and said he had “no problem in doing so.”
On Oz’s show, Trump said he would like to lose several pounds and to exercise more, though he also compared his activity on the campaign trail to exercise. The episode will air Thursday at 1 p.m.
Clinton’s doctor, Lisa Bardack, said the Democrat was on the mend from her bout of mild, non-contagious bacterial pneumonia. Bardack said Clinton was “recovering well with antibiotics and rest. She continues to remain healthy and fit to serve as president of the United States.”
Since Clinton’s incident, Trump has wished her well even as he continues to suggest she lacks the physical stamina necessary to be president. On Thursday, before the release of his records, Trump said he wouldn’t necessarily have discussed his health if his results were worse.
“I guess I wouldn’t be talking to you right now if they were bad,” Trump said in a phone interview on Fox News. “If they were bad I would say, ‘Let’s sort of skip this, right?’”