Candidates' Health: Barack Obama
Monday, August 11, 2008 – updated: 5:44 pm EDT October 13, 2008
Gone are the days when Americans were kept in the dark about the health of their presidents, and presidential candidates. Could Franklin Delano Roosevelt's polio have been kept from the public eye today? What about Dwight Eisenhower's heart attacks and stroke, or John F. Kennedy's Addison's disease? It doesn't seem likely.
|Quiz: Presidential Health Through History |
Barack Obama's biggest red flag: He's an oft-recovering smoker with a penchant for chewing Nicorette. But in a May 29 public letter from his long-time Chicago physician, Dr. David L. Scheiner, he was reported to be "in excellent health."
The senator works out regularly, jogs up to three miles a day when he can, and has "no excess body fat," said Scheiner, of Hyde Park Associates in Medicine in Chicago. His fitness regimen has even brought criticism from rival John McCain's campaign.
Obama has a family history of cancer -- his mother died of ovarian cancer and his grandfather died of prostate cancer. But all of his systems appear to be fine, and the 46-year-old continues to have regular examinations where issues including upper respiratory infections, skin rashes and minor injuries have been addressed.
Obama's diet is balanced with "good intake of roughage and fluids," said Scheiner. This is maintained by his foods of choice: roasted almonds, protein bars, and vegetables, especially broccoli and spinach, said Love.
The health site WebMD published some details from the Scheiner letter:
• Blood pressure: 90/60 (in the normal range)
• No excess body fat
• Total cholesterol: 173 (in the desirable range, which is below 200)
• HDL ("good") cholesterol: 68 (desirable is 60 and above)
• LDL ("bad") cholesterol: 96 (in the optimal range, which is under 100)
• Triglycerides: 44 (in the normal range, under 150)
"In short, his examination showed him to be in...