Elizabeth Warren releases results of medical exam, and her doctor says she is "very healthy"

The senator becomes the first septuagenarian in the Democratic presidential contest to release her health records

By Shira Tarlo
December 6, 2019 9:40PM (UTC)
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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to guests during a campaign stop at the Val Air Ballroom on November 25, 2019 in West Des Moines, Iowa. The 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses will take place on February 3, 2020, making it the first nominating contest for the Democratic Party in choosing their presidential candidate. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on Friday released the results of her most recent annual physical exam, as well as a letter from her doctor describing her as "very healthy," making her the first septuagenarian in the Democratic presidential contest to offer an inside look at the details of her health.

"There are no medical conditions or health problems that would keep her from fulfilling the duties of the president of the United States," wrote Dr. Beverly Woo, a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who has seen Warren since 1999.

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Warren's latest physical was conducted on Jan. 14, according to Woo. The results of the exam revealed that the senator's blood pressure, heart rate and blood tests were normal and her cholesterol was "excellent." Warren also had a mammogram to screen for breast cancer. Warren is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 129 pounds, and received a flu shot in October, Woo wrote in the letter.

Woo noted that Warren's one medical condition is hypothyroidism, and she takes levothyroxine every day to restore her thyroid hormones to normal levels. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid does not produce enough of certain hormones. It most often affects middle-aged and older women, according to Mayo Clinic.

"Senator Warren has never smoked, used drugs or had any problem with alcohol use. She exercises regularly and follows a healthy diet despite her very busy schedule," Woo wrote in the letter. "In summary, Senator Elizabeth Warren is a very healthy 70-year-old woman."

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In addition to the letter from her physician, which is similar to what most recent presidential candidates have released, Warren, 70, released five pages of supporting medical records that includes information on everything from her glucose levels to the amount of red blood cells in her blood.

Warren's disclosure of her medical exam comes as several of her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination — who are in their 70s, along with President Donald Trump, who is 73 — have faced questions about their age and physical fitness.

The other septuagenarians in the race — former Vice President Joe Biden, 77, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 78 — have also vowed to release their medical records before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3.

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Despite the concerns of some about their ages, Warren, Biden and Sanders have lead national and early state polls of the Democratic primary. If they were to defeat Trump next year, both Biden and Sanders would be more than 80 years old by the end of their first term in the White House. Trump currently holds the record for oldest sitting president.

Concerns about age and health took the spotlight earlier this year, after Sanders, the oldest candidate in the race, suffered a heart attack while campaigning in Las Vegas. The senator had two stents inserted to fix a blockage in an artery and took himself off the campaign trail for days to recover.

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Biden has also batted questions about his age. Asked in September by a reporter whether he would disclose his medical records, Biden said he would then quipped: "What health concerns, man? You want to wrestle?"

Biden lashed out at a voter who called him "too old" to be president and questioned his son's business dealings in Ukraine on Thursday at a campaign event in Iowa.

"The reason I'm running is because I've been around a long time, and I know more than most people know. And I can get things done. That's why I'm running," a visibly frustrated Biden said. "And if you want to check my shape, let's do push-ups together man. Let's run, let's do whatever you want to do. Let's take an IQ test."

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Though Trump's doctors have described his health as "excellent," he recently raised suspicions about his health after making an unplanned visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for reasons which still remain unclear. Trump's doctor described the visit as an "interim checkup," which was only kept secret because of "scheduling uncertainties."

The president's health has prompted skepticism. During the 2016 campaign, Trump's doctor, Harold Bornstein, released a letter describing the president's lab tests as "astonishingly excellent," his strength and stamina as "extraordinary" and noted his recent examination showed "only positive results."

Bornstein concluded the letter by writing, "If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency." Three years after the letter's release, Borstein admitted that Trump wrote his own health letter, dictating it to the physician over the phone.

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Warren, on the other hand, frequently jogs onto the stage at campaign events, and has said she keeps healthy by walking between 6 and 7 miles every day while talking on the phone or listening to audiobooks — or by doing laps around hotels in the evenings when she's traveling.

"But I don't always hit it," she has told reporters.

Earlier this year, a video of Warren sprinting to a train in New York City's Penn Station went viral as the camera man, by the time he caught up with Warren, was out of breath.


Shira Tarlo

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