ANALYSIS: 6 questions about President Donald Trump's health answered

A doctor weighs in on Trump's physical results.

ByABC News
January 17, 2018, 3:46 PM

— -- President Donald Trump’s physical exam results give an insight into his medical health and wellness for the first time in his presidency.

Despite Trump’s affinity for McDonald’s and diet Coke, he appears to be in “excellent” cardiovascular shape for his age, White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, who administered Trump’s nearly four-hour physical exam five days ago at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, said.

Here’s what we learned about the president’s health:

1. What medical issues does the president have?

The president’s medical issues are limited to high cholesterol, rosacea (a benign skin disease) and being considered “overweight,” as measured by the body mass index (BMI).

His BMI – or body mass index - is calculated at 29.9, using the National Institutes of Health calculator, which is just shy of the obesity classification, which starts with a score of 30. “The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

PHOTO: Physician to 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, Jan. 16, 2018, in Washington.
Physician to 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, Jan. 16, 2018, in Washington.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Trump has a 16.7 percent risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as a heart attack or a stroke, over the next 10 years, according to the American College of Cardiology risk calculator.

2. What medications is he taking?

The president takes a cholesterol-lowering drug called rosuvastatin, and because his cholesterol level is a little high, Jackson said, the dosage of this medication will be increased.

He also takes finasteride for male-pattern hair loss. That medication can also be used to treat prostate issues at higher doses.

Trump also takes aspirin daily to prevent heart disease, a multivitamin and applies a cream called ivermectin, as needed, to treat skin condition rosacea, Jackson said. Rosacea is a condition that causes redness on the face.

3. How was the president’s mental status assessed?

At Trump’s urging, his physician conducted a brief screening test called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. A score less than 26 may indicate a cognitive issue; Trump scored a 30/30, his doctor said.

This is a basic test of cognitive function using things such as identifying pictures of animals, elementary math equations and word memory questions.

4. How do his numbers look so good given that he reportedly doesn’t eat healthfully or exercise?

The simple answer cited during the press briefing: genetics.

"It is called genetics. I don't know," Jackson said Tuesday. "Some people have just great genes. I told the president that if he had a healthier diet over the last 20 years, he might live to be 200 years old."

Trump has also avoided alcohol and smoking, which could be helping his cause, his doctor says.

Regardless, he would benefit from exercise and dietary changes, which Jackson said he will include in Trump’s routine moving forward. Jackson’s target for Trump is to lose 10 to 15 pounds over the next year.

5. Are any of Trump’s lab tests outside the normal range?

Yes. Trump has a slightly elevated LDL count of 143, which is a kind of cholesterol called a low-density lipoprotein. Jackson is aiming to get it down to less than 120 by increasing his statin medication.

His calcium score was 133, which may indicate some mild-moderate heart disease but not overly concerning for a 71-year-old man, his doctor says. A calcium score of over 400 would be more worrisome for heart disease.

His prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, which is elevated for men with prostate cancer, was normal but the number may be affected by his hair-loss medication.

6. What’s the take-home message here?

Given his age, Trump is in very good to excellent overall health. With some lifestyle changes, his cardiovascular fitness would get better, and there doesn’t appear to be any cause for concern in the results of his mental status exam.

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