WASHINGTON — White House physician Ronny Jackson, MD, a rear admiral in the Navy, said President Trump’s overall health is “excellent,” and that the president aced a cognitive screening, during a press briefing on Tuesday.
“All clinical data indicates that the president is currently very healthy and that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency,” Jackson said, while releasing a summary of medical tests he conducted last week.
The 71-year-old president received his first annual physical as commander-in-chief at Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday. The full exam lasted about 4 hours and included 12 consultants.
Jackson described the president’s cardiac performance as “very good” owing to a lifetime of abstaining from alcohol and tobacco. He also reported that Trump did receive a cognitive assessment, showing no impairment.
The president weighs 239 lbs and his height is 6’3″, Jackson said.
The president currently takes rosuvastatin (Crestor) at 10 mg/day to lower his cholesterol, low-dose aspirin for his cardiac health, and Propecia to prevent male pattern baldness. He also uses a cream for his rosacea, as needed, and takes a daily multivitamin, Jackson said.
Trump’s resting heart rate was 68; his blood pressure 122/74 and his heart exam overall was “normal.” Jackson reported a “regular rhythm, no murmurs or other abnormal heart sounds” and his ECG was also “normal” with a sinus rhythm rate of 71 at a normal axis.
Trump received a transthoracic echocardiogram which showed an ejection fraction of 60%-65% which Jackson also described as “normal.” There were no signs of ischemia.
Christopher Cannon, MD, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said a standard risk calculator shows Trump with a 16.7% risk of a heart attack or other atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease event in the next 10 years.
That estimate is based on the age, lipid values, blood pressure, and other risk factors described at the briefing, using the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology risk calculator.
That score is “pretty high, actually,” Cannon told MedPage Today. AHA/ACC guidelines would suggest Trump’s cholesterol needs attention, with a more intensive statin typically recommended for a risk profile like his.
He said he would connect the White House chef with a nutritionist, because he believes the president would benefit from a diet lower in carbohydrates and fats. He also recommended that Trump begin an exercise regime, something “low impact” such as riding a stationary bike or riding a treadmill.
Trump agreed to a goal of losing weight, about 10-15 lbs, Jackson said, adding that he is raising Trump’s rosuvastatin dose “in order to further reduce his cholesterol level and further decrease his cardiac risk.”
“He’s more enthusiastic about the diet part than the exercise part,” Jackson said of the president.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said last week that the president’s physical would not include a psychiatric examination, and Jackson said he didn’t think a cognitive exam was clinically indicated, based on his previous interactions with Trump. But he said the president insisted on having a cognitive assessment. (Cognitive and psychiatric assessments are different, Jackson noted.)
Jackson chose the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and the president scored 30 out of 30.
“I’ve spent almost every day in the president’s presence since Jan. 20 … you know last year … I see him one, two, sometimes three times a day, because of the location of my office … I’ve got to know him pretty well and I have absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability or his neurological function,” he said.
“The reason that we did the cognitive assessment is plain and simple, because the president asked me to do it,” Jackson added.
Prior to the visit a discussion over whether the exam should include a psychiatric or cognitive component, played out online and in the media, after it was reported that the president had been forgetting friends’ names and repeating stories.
Publicly sharing the details of a president’s physical exam is not unprecedented, noted ABC News. When Jackson served under former President Barack Obama, Jackson shared a “detailed summary” of his medical assessment including the then president’s vitals, and a lengthy account of physical tests and laboratory results.