The rhetoric around the health of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump keeps ratcheting up, with Trump campaign aides now publicly floating theories about Clinton’s well-being.
Here’s what we actually know about the medical condition of the presidential candidates.
Setting aside the academic debate about whether candidates should disclose their full and unedited medical records, Clinton, 68, has released a physician’s letter that includes about the same amount of detail as letters issued by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012. Her doctor, who said she has cared for Clinton since 2001, concluded she was “in excellent physical condition.”
Trump’s letter, written by a New York City doctor who said he has treated the real estate mogul since 1980, did not offer as many specifics but did conclude that the Republican nominee, who is 70, was healthy — even stating that he would be the healthiest person ever elected president.
The letter from Clinton’s doctor reported her vital medical signs (100/65 blood pressure, heart rate 72, cholesterol of 195, normal lab tests) and briefly reviewed her major medical history. She has hypothyroidism, for which she takes medication, and suffers from seasonal allergies.
Clinton was also found to have blood clots in 1998 and 2009; she takes a blood thinner regularly. She has some family history with stroke and heart disease.
Trump’s physician reported his blood pressure reading of 110/65 and declared he had “astonishingly excellent” lab results. Trump takes aspirin daily and a low dose of a cholesterol medication. The only surgery he has ever received, according to the letter, was an appendectomy at age 10. The doctor reported “no significant medical events” over the last 30 years.
A concussion that Clinton suffered in December 2012 has been the foundation for much of the speculation about her health. The doctor’s letter reported that Clinton had a stomach virus, became dehydrated, fainted, and sustained the concussion. During an evaluation after the concussion, a blood clot was found in her head.
She was hospitalized to treat the clot about two weeks after the concussion, according to contemporary news reports. She was released from the hospital a few days after that and returned to work about a week later. She also suffered from double vision after the concussion and wore special glasses for a time to cope.
A few weeks after her hospitalization, Clinton testified before Congress about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, her last major public appearance as secretary of state.
Clinton’s doctor said in the letter that follow-up evaluations showed she had recovered from the concussion and the clot and that she tested negative for clotting disorders. However, as a precaution, she is taking the blood thinner.
In response to the recent rumors in conservative media about her health, Clinton’s campaign released another statement from her doctor this week reiterating that the doctor believes Clinton is “fit to serve as President of the United States.”
Trump’s letter made no mention of the bone spurs in his heels that he cited when he got a deferment for the Vietnam War draft, which the New York Times reported this month.
Trump told the newspaper that the spurs had been a “minor” problem that didn’t have a long-term effect.