Palin’s Family Physician Says She’s in “Excellent Health”

By Dotcomabc

Nov 4, 2008 12:29am

ABC News’ Imtiyaz Delawala and Kate Snow report:  Gov. Sarah Palin’s personal family physician says she is in excellent health and “has no known health problems that would interfere with her ability to carry out the duties and obligations of Vice President of the United States of America.”

Late on the eve of the election, the McCain-Palin campaign released a brief two-page letter from Dr. Cathy Gladwin Johnson, a family physician affiliated with the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center near the Governor’s home in Wasilla, Alaska.

Dr. Gladwin Johnson says Palin has been a patient at her clinic since 1991.  It was not immediately clear if Gov. Palin receives all of her medical care at the Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.  The letter says her visits were “related to routine women’s health care and pregnancy.”

“Governor Palin has had no major medical problems. Her hospitalizations have been for childbirth,”  Gladwin Johnson writes. “She is physically fit with a regular exercise regimen. At the time of her most recent medical evaluation, she continued to be in good health and was recovering well from the birth of her last child, Trig.”

Gov. Palin delivered her first four children at full term, according to the letter—in 1989, 1990, 1994 and 2000.

A paragraph is devoted to the birth earlier this year of Gov. Palin’s fifth child, Trig, who was born with Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome.  Trig was born at 35 weeks.

“At the time of her most recent pregnancy, Governor Palin had no health risk factors other than her age,” the letter reads.  “Routine prenatal testing early in the second trimester showed evidence of Trisomy 21, which was confirmed by perinatology consultation and amniocentesis. She followed the normal and recommended schedule for prenatal care, including follow-up perinatology evaluations to ensure there was no significant congenital heart disease or other conditions of the baby that would preclude delivery at her home community hospital. This child, Trig, was born at 35 weeks in good health.”

Gladwin Johnson says Trig had some minor problems with jaundice but was able to go home at two days of age with his mother.

She notes that at the time of Trig’s last office visit, he was growing and developing normally for a child with Trisomy 21 or Down Syndrome.

In 1992, the letter notes that Gov. Palin had a breast biopsy for what turned out to be a benign lesion.

Gladwin Johnson says the Palins vital signs have been normal and she has not had any electrocardiogram or liver enzyme panels performed because she is a healthy young woman with “no risk factors.”

“Additionally, Governor Palin’s family medical history includes no first degree relatives with major medical problems,” Dr. Gladwin Johnson writes.

She also noted that Gov. Palin was not taking any routine prescription drugs.

Gov. Palin had said twelve days ago that she would be fine with releasing her medical records. 

Gov. Palin was flying to Reno, Nevada at the time of the release of the letter and neither she nor her staff discussed the document with reporters on her campaign plane.

ABC News medical contributor, Dr. Tim Johnson, read the letter and said:  “Assuming they left nothing important out in her summary, Palin appears to be in very good health – takes no medication, has never been hospitalized other than for births, her blood pressure and pulse (the only two numbers given) are very normal.”

“In short,” ABC’s Dr. Johnson said, “Her health would appear to be a non-issue, which makes you wonder why they waited until the literal last minute to release the information.”

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