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Obama's Health "Excellent," White House MD Says

Obama's Health "Excellent," White House MD Says

By Alexis Simendinger - June 13, 2014

President Obama is healthy, the White House said Thursday.

An updated medical assessment for the 52-year-old commander-in-chief was delayed more than 2½ years, however.

The president waited from October 2011 until May to update his medical evaluations, the White House conceded, a gap that encompassed his campaign for a second term and remained unexplained by government physicians and his spokesmen.

“The president’s overall health is excellent,” his doctor said in a written statement. “He eats a healthy diet, exercises daily, remains tobacco free, and only drinks alcohol occasionally and in moderation,” U.S. Navy Dr. Ronny L. Jackson reported, adding that Obama chews nicotine gum as an alternative to smoking, and takes occasional over-the-counter pain medication for a tender right foot.

Obama enjoys 20/20 vision without correction; weighs 180 pounds at a height of 6-feet-1-inch; and had a resting heart rate of 62 beats per minute. His blood pressure at the time of the exam was 112/70, and his blood cholesterol levels were normal. His prostate-specific antigen test was 1.15 ng/mL, up slightly from 0.80 ng/mL in 2011. Jackson made no reference to a colorectal cancer screen conducted in May; in 2011, it was negative.

The president did not undergo annual physicals in 2012 or 2013, which would have been typical for presidents in the modern era, RealClearPolitics reported early this year. At the time, the president’s spokesmen did not respond to multiple requests for information about why Obama had not had a routine health check-up since October 2011.

The president -- who plays occasional basketball, golf and works out regularly -- underwent a January 2013 evaluation at the Pentagon’s “Fit to Win Clinic,” but the results were not made public, despite assertions at the time that they would be released.

Obama’s first medical check-up as president took place in February 2010.

Following custom, Jackson, who was named director of the White House Medical Unit last year, announced the recent exam results through the White House Press Office, with Obama’s “consent.”

The results included “appropriate specialty consultations and diagnostic testing” conducted through the month of May.

The White House did not indicate dates, cities, medical facilities or the names of specialists responsible for Obama’s recent health evaluations. In the past, the president has been examined at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. According to his public schedules, he last visited Walter Reed March 17. But according to the White House, he met on that date with wounded service members.

A White House spokesman declined to furnish additional details about whether the president consulted private-sector medical specialists this spring. Obama enrolled to receive health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, although his medical care on a routine basis is provided by the military.

Alexis Simendinger covers the White House for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at asimendinger@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @ASimendinger.

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