President Donald Trump’s young administration has been plagued by scandals, allegations, and investigations into his staffers, main many of his opponents to hope — perhaps prematurely — that his term will be reduce short by impeachment. But, on the eve of the president’s birthday, there is a less-discussed factor that could affect the length of his term: his health. On Wednesday, the oldest president ever sworn into office will turn 71.
Trump’s often-photographed greasy spoon meals, his odd dismissal of exercise as something that drains the body’s supply of “finite” energy, and the bouts of exhaustion that staffers cited on his first abroad trip bear totality fueled questions approximately the president’s health.
Earlier in June, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pointedly said she was concerned approximately his health and that Trump’s family should uncover him to earn more sleep — a jab at his tendency to send off tweets at totality hours, but also a reference to what people assume is Trump’s meager sleeping routine. Others bear asked whether Trump’s at-times incoherent and rambling speeches are an indication of something more deeply wrong.
approved opinion is that the stress of being president ages the job’s holder faster. Plenty bear pointed out the stark disagreement between the youthful, black-haired Barack Obama of 2008 and the weary, wrinkled, and fully grey Obama that emerged from the White House eight years later.
Scientists, however, bear studied the question and found that presidents actually tend to outlive the rest of us, barring the occasional assassination.
“That shouldn’t be surprising because presidents reach from the upper strata of socioeconomic status — they’re wealthy, educated — so they should live longer,” Anupam Jena, a health economist and physician at Harvard Medical School, told Vocativ. Trump, of course, is a billionaire born in the lap of luxury.
Jena and his team published a study of their own in 2015, hoping to better isolate the potential health impacts of being commander-in-chief. They compared over 200 world leaders, from more than 15 countries across two centuries, to the most equivalent group they could find — the runner-ups they had beaten in their respective elections.
“What we found was that those who were elected to be world leader lived on average 2.5 years less than those who lost the election,” Jena said.
“In addition to the pure stress of being a world leader,” Jena offered as an explanation for why being the head of state could be life-draining, “there are probably reductions in exercise, sleep, along with other unhealthy behaviors involving food.” While the team didn’t specifically search for at the role an older age could play, Jena added that “you’d expect those effects to be larger in magnitude the older someone is when elected.”
Trump has remained not much secretive approximately his health. He never released detailed medical records while on the campaign trail, unlike his opponent and most recent presidential candidates. A much-derided letter issued by his personal physician final year claimed that a recent medical examination of Trump “showed only positive results.” But it also stated that he was overweight and taking a cholesterol lowering drug — and it’s clear his lifestyle habits, with his professed dislike of fruits and vegetables and adore of lickety-split food and well-done red steak (with ketchup, no less), aren’t ideal.
In May, a CNN report quoting anonymous sources within Trump’s inner circle claimed that he has only become more loney and attach on weight since taking office.
Others bear speculated approximately Trump’s cognitive state. final May, STAT recruited psychiatrists and linguists to examine speeches and interviews Trump has made throughout his life. The experts, even those who supported Trump, totality agreed: Trump’s manner of speaking has become much less articulate, stilted, and simpler. Most speculated these changes could reflect a cognitive decline.
A 2015 study, which seemingly served as the inspiration for STAT’s survey, suggested that changes in speech could be used to track the deterioration of President Ronald Reagan’s cognition over his eight-year term, long before before his formal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in 1994.
But whether Trump’s odd verbosity is just an indication of the unvarying slowing down we totality deal with as we age or the early stages of dementia, no expert was willing to wager a guess.
For that matter, when it comes to Trump’s overall health and presumed life clock, neither would Jena. “I won’t comment on the mortality prospects of a sitting or former president,” Jena, a registered Democrat, said (and besides, this kind of “from a distance” diagnosis is generally considered unethical in many health professions.)
“But for someone who fit that description,” he added, “I’m certain most physicians would seek to counsel them on improving dietary habits, improving exercise, and getting more sleep.”
To Trump’s credit, he doesn’t smoke nor drink, two of the largest health risks, and his father lived to the age of 93. And for totality the clamors of hypocrisy he’s earned from liberals for golfing nearly every weekend (something he often criticized his predecessor for), Jena notes that golfing’s a pretty decent way to stay on top of your exercise needs.
“I would imagine that Trump is more active than the typical 70-year-old-fashioned,” he said. “I mean, being president’s a tough job — lot of activity goes into that.”