Doctor: Pres. Trump is healthy, did ‘exceedingly well’ on cognitive test

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s overall health “is excellent” and he did “exceedingly well” on cognitive screening designed to detect early signs of memory loss and other neurologic functions, the Navy doctor who performed Pres. Trump’s medical checkup said Tuesday.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 16: Physician to U.S. President Donald Trump Dr. Ronny Jackson speaks during the daily White House press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House January 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. Dr. Jackson discussed the details of President Trump’s physical check-up from last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Ronny Jackson had issued a blanket declaration that Pres. Trump was in “excellent health” after last Friday’s exam and promised to provide a fuller readout on Tuesday.

He reported that the 6-foot-3 (1.9-meter) president weighed in at 239 pounds (108 kilograms) — 3 pounds (1.36 kilograms) heavier than he was in September 2016, the last time Pres. Trump revealed his weight to the public.

Pres. Trump’s blood pressure was 122 over 74, and his total cholesterol was 223, which is higher than recommended.

Pres. Trump was 70 when he took office on Jan. 20, 2017, making him the oldest person ever elected to the presidency.

Pres. Trump’s heart exam was normal, with regular rhythm and no abnormal sounds, which Jackson said led him to conclude with confidence that Pres. Trump “has a very strong and a very probable possibility of making it completely through his presidency with no medical issues.” Pres. Trump has no heart disease.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 16: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he stops by a Conversations with the Women of America panel at the South Court Auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building January 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. The three-part panel features ÒAmerican women from various backgrounds and experiences who will speak with high-level women within the Trump Administration, about what has been accomplished to date to advance women at home, and in the workplace.Ó (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The 71-year-old president performed “exceedingly well” on cognitive screening, which is not a standard exam for the checkup but which was requested by Trump. The doctor said he had “absolutely no concerns” about Pres. Trump’s cognitive abilities. He speculated that Pres. Trump requested the exam in an attempt to beat back the narrative of the past few weeks that he is mentally unfit for office.

“He’s very sharp. He’s very articulate when he speaks to me,” Jackson said. “I’ve never known him to repeat himself when he’s around me. I found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought process.”

Pres. Trump last revealed details about his health two months before the November 2016 election.

US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach on January 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Nicholas Kamm

Pres. Trump’s cholesterol reading from Friday’s exam was borderline high even though he takes a low dose of the statin drug Crestor. Jackson said he would increase that dose in an effort to get Pres. Trump’s bad cholesterol, or LDL level, below 120; it currently is 143.

Pres. Trump’s body mass index, or BMI, of 29.9 puts him in the category of being overweight for his height. A BMI of 30 and over is considered obese.

Jackson said he prescribed a diet lower in fat and carbohydrates, and exercise. He’d like the president to lose 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kilograms) over the next year.

President Donald Trump is seen here speaking at an immigration with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday, January 9, 2018.

Despite the diet and cholesterol concerns, Jackson stressed that Pres. Trump’s “cardiac health is excellent.” He passed a battery of heart exams including a stress test that Jackson said showed an above-average exercise capacity for a man of his age, despite some calcium buildup in his arteries. He also takes a low-dose aspirin for heart health.

Jackson said Pres. Trump has avoided some big heart risks — he’s never smoked and isn’t diabetic — and has no family history of heart problems.

Pres. Trump did not undergo a psychiatric exam, but he did undergo a cognitive screening test. Called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, it is designed to detect early signs of memory loss and other neurologic functions — and Pres. Trump had a perfect score, the doctor said.

Cognitive assessments aren’t routine in standard physicals, though they recently became covered in Medicare’s annual wellness visits for seniors.