President Donald Trump is in “excellent” physical and cognitive health, according to his physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, who shared the results of Trump’s first physical at a press conference Tuesday.
“It is called genetics … ” Jackson said. “Some people have just great genes. I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old.”
Trump’s only health concern, according to Jackson, is his weight of 239 pounds. Jackson said the president wants to lose 10 to 15 pounds over the next year, and plans to exercise more.
Jackson, who served as the White House physician for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said he planned to help the 71-year-old Trump devise a new exercise regime and would get a nutritionist to work with the White House chef to prepare healthier meals.
Several mental health professionals who have not examined the president have speculated that he might be suffering from early-stage dementia or have some other mental health issue. But Jackson reported that Trump got a perfect 30 out of 30 score on a common dementia screening exam called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment.
“I can reliably say, and I think that the folks in the mental health [field] would back me up on the fact that if he had some kind of mental, cognitive issue, that this test is sensitive enough, it would have picked up on it. He would not have got 30 out of 30 … ” Jackson said. “And my personal experience is that he has absolutely no cognitive or mental issues whatsoever.” He added that the president had requested the cognitive test be included as part of the exam.
As expected, the report of the presidential physical exam was largely a show of the president’s vigor and fitness.
When a reporter asked if he thought Trump was fit enough to carry out this presidential term, Jackson said yes, and added he would be fit enough to carry out a second term if he were elected.
Jackson said he wasn’t worried about the fact that Trump only reportedly sleeps four to five hours a night. That’s because Trump “has a very unique ability to just get up in the morning and reset” or “push the reset button,” which “has helped him with his stress level.”
The president also takes a pretty standard range of medications for his age, including Ambien to help him sleep when he travels overseas; Crestor, a statin that lowers cholesterol; a low dose of aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease; antibiotics to control rosacea; Propecia for baldness; and a multivitamin.
Here are some highlights:
Trump needs to lose a few pounds
Trump is 6-foot-3 and 239 pounds — one pound shy of obesity, according to the body mass index. This weight is also three pounds higher than last reported in September 2016, according to a note from Trump’s colorful longtime doctor Harold Bornstein.
The fact that the report said Trump only gained a few pounds since entering the White House raised eyebrows, as some people close to him have speculated that Trump has put on more than that.
Politico also got ahold of his New York driver’s license, which says Trump is 6-foot-2 — which if true, would mean Trump is obese.
Trump doesn’t have a daily exercise routine, but Jackson said he will work with him to develop one. Jackson also said he will meet with a nutrition specialist to go over the president’s diet and find ways to cut his calorie, fat, and carbohydrate intake.
Trump passed a cognitive test with flying colors — and had good results in other standard tests
At Trump’s request, Jackson administered the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test, a common screening test for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (though not necessarily the best way to assess cognitive decline, according to the Alzheimer’s Association). According to Jackson, Trump requested a cognitive test, in the hopes of putting to rest questions about his mental fitness. And he scored a 30 out of 30.
His score suggests he has control of the basic faculties of his mind. “I’ve found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes,” Jackson said.
In a battery of tests, Trump had generally good results — but he has heart disease
In the presser, Jackson emphasized some of the positive findings from a battery of tests the president underwent:
- Trump has excellent cardiac health, according to a stress test and echocardiogram.
- His blood pressure is 122/74, which is in the normal range.
- Trump’s PSA is very low, meaning he has no prostate troubles.
- Trump’s 20/30 vision is very good for his age, according to Jackson.
- His total cholesterol is 223, and his LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol is 143, which is borderline high.
CNN’s Sanjay Gupta pointed out something Jackson failed to mention: The president also has heart disease.
When a patient has high cholesterol, doctors use something called the cardiac calcium score to measure plaque buildup in the arteries that lead to the heart. In 2009, according to Gupta, Trump’s calcium score was 34. Now it’s 133. A score of more than 100 is worrying: it means you’re at a high risk of heart attack or heart disease.
”When they get to a certain range … that means he has heart disease,” Gupta said. And Trump’s scores have gone up over the years despite the fact that he’s on cholesterol-lowering medications.