Joe Biden a ‘Healthy, Vigorous 77-Year-Old’: Doctor’s Report From Biden’s Campaign

December 17, 2019 Updated: December 17, 2019
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Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is deemed fit and healthy for the potential role of president, according to a doctor’s report released Tuesday by the Biden campaign.

“Vice President Biden is a healthy, vigorous 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency, to include those as chief executive, head of state, and commander in chief,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor concluded in a 3-page report (pdf) requested by Biden.

O’Connor has been Biden’s primary care physician since being assigned the role of Physician to the Vice President in 2009. At the time, O’Connor was also serving in the Army at the White House. Now, he serves as Director of Executive Medicine at The George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates, an independent physician practice in the Washington D.C. Metro area.

Biden exercises and keeps his cholesterol at healthy levels with the use of statin medication, the report says.

The report says that Biden has experienced episodes of atrial fibrillation since at least 2003. Atrial fibrillation is a type of abnormal heart rhythm that’s potentially serious but treatable. Biden has never needed any treatment for this, and he currently has “no signs of heart failure,” the report says.

The report acknowledged that in 1988, Biden, then aged 44, suffered from intracranial hemorrhage from a cerebral aneurysm, for which he underwent surgery. Later that year, Biden’s medical team found another aneurysm, which was treated and has not bled.

Biden unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential nomination that same year.

O’Connor’s report added that Biden is taking medications for seasonal allergies and occasional reflux. Biden has had several small, non-melanoma skin cancers removed over the years.

The former vice president has also been treated for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and had a gallbladder removal in 2003, and surgery on his sinus and nasal passages.

The report adds, “[Biden] has no history of diabetes, thyroid disease, hypertension, tobacco use, angina, myocardial infarction, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), ulcer disease, inflammatory bowel disease, any neurologic disorder, or cancer of any kind other than localized non-melanoma skin cancers.”

Preventive screenings, including colonoscopies, show no other significant health concerns to-date.

Biden has been copping media spotlight for his various apparent memory lapses. He has regularly gotten dates, people, and places mixed up. They’re usually referred to as “gaffes” or “verbal stumbles,” but others argue the mixups are a possible sign of cognitive issues.

The Associated Press reports that Biden has longevity in his family, his father lived to age 86, and his mother to the age of 92.

If Biden happens to win the 2020 presidential election, he would hold the record for being the oldest person to be inaugurated. The same applies to Sanders and Bloomberg.

Currently, President Donald Trump holds that record, having assumed office at the age of 70 years and 220 days. Trump is now 73.

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President Donald Trump makes the thumbs-up sign as he exits a motorcade to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., en route to Philadelphia to attend the Army-Navy football game, on Dec. 14, 2019. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo)

Biden said in September that he would release his medical records before the Iowa caucuses in February 2020. He’s now the third Democratic presidential candidate to release his medical records.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), 70, released a doctor’s note earlier this month that said she is in “excellent health.” A letter from Democratic candidate, Michael Bloomberg‘s physician said the 77-year-old New York billionaire was in “outstanding health.”

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gestures as she speaks during a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H. on Nov. 23, 2019. (Mary Schwalm/AP Photo)
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Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during an event to introduce his gun safety policy agenda at the Heritage Christian Center in Aurora, Colorado on Dec. 5, 2019. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders, the oldest candidate in the Democrat field at 78 years old, said that he’d release his records “probably by the end of the year.”

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks during an event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa on Nov. 9, 2019. (Scott Morgan/Reuters)

Sanders suffered a heart attack in October and subsequently took a few days break from the campaign trail. He later said he did not pay attention to fatigue symptoms ahead of his heart attack.

Zachary Stieber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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