After the death of John F Kennedy on 22nd November 1963 and the disclosure that he was already suffering with Addison disease, candidates for the US presidency must reveal the state of their health.
So, how healthy is the Republican candidate John McCain and the Democratic candidate Barack Obama?
Senator John McCain is 72 years-old and an ex-smoker but hasn’t smoked for more than ten years. However, he has suffered multiple bouts of melanoma (skin cancer) and also suffers with degenerative arthritis due to injuries he sustained during his 5 years as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. His Electrocardiogram (ECG) test suggests he is in the health of someone ten years younger.
Barack Obama is 47 years-old and a smoker - although claims he has recently quit. To be classed as a non-smoker in the US he needs to have been nicotine free for at least a year. When he did smoke, he was considered to be a moderate smoker of about 10 cigarettes a day. Other than that, Obama is seen as being in extremely good health. His cholesterol level is low, he has a low body mass index and normal blood pressure levels. His medical records do show some respiratory problems and a family history of cancer but neither are felt to be of any impact to his long term health.
Both candidates are believed to be in a healthy enough state to become US president and there are no immediate threats that would put that into question. Ultimately, the voters will decide on policy, rather than life expectancy.
What would you do to improve both McCain’s and Obama’s health should they win the election?