Doctors have expressed concerns about the condition of Donald Trump’s heart, contradicting the White House physician who said the US President was in “excellent” cardiac health.
White House doctor Dr Ronny L Jackson gave the positive medical assessment of Mr Trump despite his LDL cholesterol level being 143, well above the ideal score of 100 or less.
Cardiologists said Mr Trump was at risk of having a stroke or a heart attack, particularly since he is overweight and has a sedentary lifestyle. He should work to dramatically lower his LDL level to below 100 or even 70, they said.
Dr David Maron, director of preventive cardiology at Stanford University’s medical school, told The New York Times Mr Trump’s LDL level was surprising, since he was on powerful cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor.
He said he would “definitely” be worried about Mr Trump’s risk of having a heart attack if the President were one of his patients. When asked whether Mr Trump was in perfect health, Dr Maron said, “God, no.”
Dr Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Research Institute, was also concerned about the LDL cholesterol reading. “We’re talking about a 70-plus-year-old man who is obese and doesn’t exercise," he told The New York Times. "Just looking at the lab value, you would raise a big red flag.”
He said describing a man with such levels as in “excellent health” was “completely contradicted”.
Other doctors also disputed the White House physician’s assessment of the President’s health. CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta said coronary calcium CT scans carried out on the President showed he had a common form of heart disease.
The levels of calcium-containing plaque in the blood vessels that feed Mr Trump's heart had increased since 2009, Dr Gupta said,
In 2009 his coronary calcium score was 34. In 2013, it was 98. The score on his most recent medical assessment was 133. Anything over 100 “means he has heart disease,” Dr Gupta said.
The highly-anticipated White House medical report said Mr Trump received a perfect score on a cognitive test designed to screen for neurological impairment.
“I’ve found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes,” Dr Jackson said.
It followed speculation that Mr Trump’s erratic behaviour was due to neurological deterioration, fuelled by a tell-all book from the journalist Michael Wolff.
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