At 6 feet 3 and 236 pounds, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is, like more than two-thirds of Americans, overweight. He takes a statin medication that keeps his cholesterol numbers well within healthy limits.
With a family history of alcoholism, he doesn't drink alcohol, and his blood-pressure reading is rock-solid normal — "I've always been lucky" on blood pressure, he says.
Trump, who would be the oldest president ever elected, considers golf a form of exercise, and points to his game — and his ability to "perform" daily in overheated venues — as evidence of his good health. He stays out of the sun (leaving it unclear how he seems to maintain a perennial tan). He was last in the hospital (to have his appendix removed) in the late 1950s, at the age of 10 or 11.
In a consult with television's Dr. Mehmet Oz on "The Dr. Oz Show" airing Thursday, Trump said he feels like a 35-year-old man — no different from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a friend and golfing buddy. His testosterone level (at 441, well above the low end of normal) is no longer that of a 35-year-old man, but was characterized as "actually good" by a momentarily flummoxed Oz.
At that, Trump smiled broadly and sat up a little straighter in his chair.
Welcome to Dr. Oz's "office," the New York set he has said he considers an extension of the room in which he queries surgical patients about their medical histories and symptoms. But not, he said recently, about things they don't want to talk about.
Striding onto Oz's set before a friendly audience on Wednesday, Trump appeared eager to share, and brought along the results of a physical and blood work conducted just last week at Lenox Hill Hospital by his primary care physician, gastroenterologist Dr. Harold N. Bornstein (whose last report on Trump's health stated "unequivocally" that he "will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency").
"My wife's a big fan of your show," Trump told Oz. "I view this, in a way, as going to see my doctor," he added gamely.
Oz, who has been roundly criticized for hawking unproven remedies and making flimsily-supported medical claims on his show, appeared to disregard Trump's flattery. He got right down to his "review of systems" — medical argot for a health history.
Trump, who was told by Oz that politics was not the subject of discussion, found backhanded ways to work in a few political talking points. The only movements he discussed with the television doctor was the "movement" that draws voters to his rallies by the thousands (although a recent colonoscopy revealed no polyps). His touted his temperament — "unbelievably strong and smart" — as his strongest health asset.
"I win. I know how to win," he said.
For his part, Oz wondered why he had waited so long to come forward with details of his health.
"If a patient of mine had these records, I'd be happy, and I'd send him on his way," said Oz. A cardiothoracic surgeon, Oz took note of Trump's cholesterol numbers (HDL 63 mg/dL; LDL 94 mg/dL; triglycerides 69 mg/dL), his blood pressure (116/70) and his C-reactive protein levels — a measure of inflammation that's closely watched by heart specialists — with satisfaction.
"It's very private," said Trump. "It's all very private stuff," he said. But, he added, "I think you have an obligation to be healthy," if you're running for the highest office in the land.
Trump acknowledged that some of his health advantages were inherited. His father, Fred Trump, died shortly before his 94th birthday, and may have suffered Alzheimer's dementia in his final years. His mother died in her early 90s, he said, and came from an exceptionally long-lived family, he said.
The Republican nominee also admitted to making some of his health choices on the basis of superstition. Noting that his health has held up for 30 years under the care of Dr. Bornstein, Trump said he was loathe to seek the counsel of any other physician for fear that doing so might snap his streak. "Are we a little superstitious?" he laughed.
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