Trump's doctor says he's in 'excellent physical health' but shares few new details

Donald Trump released a one-page doctor’s letter Thursday saying he is “in excellent physical health” while pressing his case that he has more strength and stamina than Hillary Clinton.

The letter from Harold N. Bornstein, a Manhattan doctor who has treated Trump since 1980, said the Republican presidential nominee takes low-dose aspirin and a statin drug to lower his cholesterol.

It summarized lab findings from Trump’s physical last week, saying his cardiac, liver, thyroid and other test results were normal for a 70-year-old man.

Trump is 6 foot 3 and weighs 236 pounds – too heavy, the candidate conceded in a television appearance on “The Dr. Oz Show” that aired Thursday. Trump enjoys fast food and rarely exercises, but said he wants to lose 15 or 20 pounds. Trump’s body mass index, calculated by weight and height, was 29.5, which is at the upper end of the overweight category and on the verge of entering the obese range.

“It’s tough, because of the way I live,” he said.

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The TV appearance and the letter did little to clarify what had trickled out on Wednesday from audience members present at the show’s taping. His campaign said Trump was releasing “medical records,” as many other White House contenders have done, but Trump disclosed nothing beyond the one-page note.

The letter said Trump had an appendectomy when he was 11 years old and has not been hospitalized since then. Trump’s last colonoscopy, in 2013, “was normal and found no polyps,” it said.

It also said an EKG and chest X-ray this year were normal. His cholesterol levels fell in the range that experts deem normal.

Trump said Thursday morning that he would not have released his medical records if his lab tests were deficient.

"I wouldn't be talking to you right now if they were bad," Trump said on “Fox and Friends.” "If they were bad, I would say, 'Let's sort of skip this.'"

In Trump’s television appearance, taped Wednesday, the host, physician Mehmet Oz, read some of the lab results in Bornstein’s letter.

“People are amazed,” Trump said, “because I don’t get much with the colds.”

“Your testosterone is 441, which is actually good,” Oz said, drawing laughter from the audience. Trump flashed a sheepish grin.

Bornstein’s letter was incomplete, said Dr. Ranit Mishori, a family medicine physician at Georgetown University School of Medicine.

“It’s a huge improvement over the last letter his physician wrote, but it still leaves something to be desired,” she said.

Mishori said the letter was not written in the customary method for such assessments and is missing such routine information as immunization history, a description of the examination and lifestyle details including diet and exercise. And Trump’s medical and family histories are incomplete, Mishori said.

“The summary statement [says], ‘This person is in excellent physical health.’ This letter doesn’t show me the details for me to reach the same conclusion,” said Mishori, who has no affiliation with Trump and hasn’t examined him.

Trump released the letter came as Clinton, his Democratic opponent, resumed campaigning Thursday in North Carolina after a bout of pneumonia prompted her to scratch events in California and Nevada. Her campaign also released details about her health Wednesday, including a letter from her doctor saying she’d prescribed Clinton an antibiotic after diagnosing her with pneumonia.

Trump’s campaign has spread theories alleging Clinton is in failing health. At a rally Wednesday night in Canton, Ohio, Trump told the crowd how hard he works and asked: “I don’t know, folks, you think Hillary would be able to stand up here for an hour?”

“In all fairness,” he said later, “she’s lying in bed, getting better, and we want her better, we want her back on the trail, right?”

Clinton kept her pneumonia diagnosis secret until after she was caught on video stumbling as she stepped into a van on Sunday.  

Trump has long argued that Clinton lacks the “strength and stamina” to be president, a phrase that critics have called misogynistic.

Trump has avoided the phrase since Clinton fell ill. But his campaign statement Thursday said his test results showed that Trump was “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.”

On the Oz show, Trump said, “I don’t think you can represent the country properly if you’re not a healthy person.”

In its statement, Trump's campaign claimed incorrectly that Trump was “setting records for number of events, size of crowds, and breadth of travel on the campaign trail.” Presidential candidates candidates routinely travel more than Trump does, and President Obama’s crowds in 2008 were far bigger than Trump’s.

Times staff writer Seema Mehta contributed to this report.

michael.finnegan@latimes.com

Twitter: @finneganLAT

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UPDATES:

1:50 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Dr. Ranit Mishori about the new letter from Donald Trump’s physician.

12:30 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Donald Trump and details on his body mass index.

This story was originally published at 12:20 p.m.

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