What Is Donald Trump’s Chance of Getting Heart Disease?
The release of President Donald Trump’s physical last year certainly got a lot of attention, and perhaps the most jarring takeaway from the results was his weight.
At 6’3″, Trump clocked in at 239 pounds as of January 2018. If you calculate his BMI, which is the most common measurement used to determine how healthy someone’s weight is in proportion to their height, you’ll see that he slid in just beneath the obesity marker with a score of 29.9. For context, one is considered obese when their BMI is at least 30.
Despite his unhealthy weight, the official physician to the President, Navy Rear Adm. Ronny L. Jackson, confidently said the President’s overall health was “excellent” in his physical.
However, there has been much debate about whether or not Trump is, in fact, in supreme health. Though his physical results were released last year, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has not specified if this year’s results will be made public (she did, however, confirm that he will get a physical this year). What we do know is that his yearly physical is approaching, and there could be some telling clues into his health—specifically his heart health.
Last year, there was talk about whether or not Trump was in good heart health. We did some investigating to uncover just how susceptible the President is to falling victim to the leading cause of death in the United States: heart disease.
For starters, Trump has high cholesterol.
If you haven’t heard, Trump has some pretty terrible dietary habits. In the book, Let Trump Be Trump, the President’s two former aides wrote, “on Trump Force One there were four major food groups: McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza, and Diet Coke.” Missing from this food group is his love for steak. A well-done steak, that is.
Foods that are loaded in saturated fat such as fast-food cheeseburgers, fried foods, and full-fat dairy products and meat, are the predominant causes of high cholesterol, excluding genetics. And what a coincidence: some of his favorite foods include McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and deep-fried taco bowls, among other meat and fried foods. What’s more is that Trump already has a medical history of hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol. The 72-year-old currently takes medication to keep it at bay, and even that doesn’t seem to be controlling it enough.
Trump’s presidential physical also showed that his LDL cholesterol levels—the harmful kind of cholesterol—scored within the borderline high range. This cholesterol likes to stick to the artery walls, and as a result, builds up and hardens in the form of plaque. The arteries then become inflamed, which is an indicator of heart disease. And, not to mention, that plaque has the potential to eventually block his arteries, which could put him at serious risk of cardiac episodes such as heart attack and stroke.
He also has elevated blood pressure levels.
Likely as a result of his high BMI, Trump has an elevated blood pressure score of 122/74 mmHg, according to his last physical. The number of concern here is that top one: 122. That number represents systolic blood pressure, the measurement of how much pressure your blood exerts against your artery walls each time your heart beats. The American Heart Association describes the “elevated” range as a score of 120-129 and that’s the step before the first stage of hypertension. Hypertension is the clinical term for high blood pressure. Over time, hypertension can lead to a heart attack if left untreated. If Trump continues to eat fried and processed foods in excess every day, he will likely enter the danger zone of hypertension.
The verdict? His chance of getting heart disease is pretty high if his lifestyle habits don’t change.
After assessing both his cholesterol and blood pressure levels from his 2018 physical, we think it’s safe to say that Trump is at relatively high risk of developing heart disease if such patterns continue.
In addition to high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure levels, his everyday eating habits are far from healthy when you factor in his many public stops at fast food joints, his love of well-done steak with a side of ketchup, his alleged 12 Diet Cokes a day, his hatred of exercise (he plays golf, but takes the cart around instead of walking), and that one of his favorite snacks is greasy potato chips.
The results of his physical from last year are telling of his diet and exercise habits, and it will be interesting to see if his 2019 physical will be made public for us all to see how he’s doing this time around.