AP News

Romney releases doctor's letter, says he's healthy


WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney's longtime physician declared that he's healthy and physically fit to meet the rigorous demands of a presidency, in a letter released by the Republican's presidential campaign on Friday.

Dr. Randall Gaz of Massachusetts General Hospital wrote that Romney's heart appears healthy, and he takes a baby aspirin and medicine to treat high cholesterol to help keep it that way.

He doesn't smoke or drink, or have any serious illnesses, Gaz wrote in a letter dated a few weeks after Romney's last check-up in August.

Romney's total cholesterol currently is a normal 169, but his triglycerides, another kind of fat, are borderline high, Gaz wrote. The presidential candidate does have a slow resting heart rate — it was 40 at his last check-up, in the range of well-trained athletes — and Gaz attributed that to his past intensive exercise.

Romney is 6 feet 1½ inches tall and weighs 184 pounds. His blood pressure was 130 over 80. Normal is less than 120 over 80, but high blood pressure doesn't begin until the top number hits 140 or the bottom one hits 90.

Gaz wrote that Romney, 65, will continue to undergo regular cardiac evaluations and prostate checks because of a family history of heart disease, including irregular heartbeats, and prostate cancer.

"He is a vigorous man who takes excellent care of his personal physical health," Gaz concluded.

A cardiologist not connected to the campaign said Romney's numerous heart exams and other tests that are normal for his age, including colon and prostate cancer screenings, show no cause for concern.

"I'd say looks good," concluded Dr. Robert J. Applegate, acting chief of cardiology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The campaign also released a health summary for Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, which declared his health excellent.

Ryan has said his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all died of heart attacks in their 50s — and at 42, Ryan pays close attention to his own heart health. Ryan exercises vigorously and has good heart health and lung function although he sometimes uses an albuterol inhaler, said the report from Congress' attending physician. He doesn't smoke and uses alcohol only infrequently, wrote Dr. Brian P. Monahan.

Presidential and vice presidential candidates routinely release summaries of their medical standing and the White House releases results from President Barack Obama's annual physical. At his last exam last fall, Obama's physician also declared him in excellent health and found he had quit smoking.


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