Checkup finds Joe Biden 'healthy, vigorous' but showing signs of ageing
- Joe Biden's doctor said he is fit to serve for the top job
- The president underwent a battery of examinations
- Biden was investigated for increased instances of "throat clearing"
Joe Biden remains "healthy" and "vigorous" and is fit to serve for the top job but is showing some signs of ageing, his doctor said on Friday after the oldest president in United States history underwent his first routine physical check-up in office.
Over more than five hours Friday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the president underwent a battery of blood, physical, gastrointestinal, dental, vision and neurological examinations. During the period he underwent a colonoscopy, Biden briefly transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris for one hour and 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a White House memo, Dr Kevin O’Connor, who has been Biden’s primary care physician since 2009, wrote that Biden, who turns 79 on Saturday, "remains a healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency."
However, O’Connor revealed that he investigated Biden for increased instances of "throat clearing" while making public remarks and stiffening of his gait. O’Connor reported that Biden’s coughing was the result of gastrointestinal reflux and that the stiffened gait was the result of a new diagnosis of "mild peripheral neuropathy," spinal arthritis and compensation for a broken foot sustained a year ago.
As part of the screening, Biden underwent an "extremely detailed neurological exam" that ruled out stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but caught the neuropathy, which is nerve damage in the hands and feet. O’Connor said the most common cause of the condition is diabetes, but Biden is not diabetic. Biden, he said, would soon try custom orthotics to improve his gait.
During the course of Biden's colonoscopy, a “benign-appearing polyp” of about 3 millimetres was identified and removed and would be studied over the coming week. O’Connor said Biden has never had colon cancer.
Biden's reported body mass index classified him as slightly overweight, but his cholesterol was under control. Biden, O'Connor said, is prescribed the anticoagulant Eliquis, the statin Crestor and the seasonal allergy spray Dymista, and regularly takes the over-the-counter allergy pill Allegra and the antacid Pepcid.
Furthermore, O'Connor reported that Biden does not use tobacco products or drink alcohol and that he exercises at least five days per week.
With inputs from the Associated Press