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The president's personal physician has issued Biden a clean bill of health


President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous 80-year-old. That's according to his physician who completed Biden's annual physical. NPR's Allison Aubrey reports the doctor's findings are typical of what's found in a man of his age.

ALLISON AUBREY, BYLINE: Joe Biden weighs 178 pounds, has a healthy BMI, normal blood sugar levels and exercises at least five days a week. The president takes five medications. Two are over-the-counter allergy medicines to treat seasonal allergies. And another, Pepcid, treats acid reflux, which is sometimes the cause of his throat clearing or coughing. The president also takes a blood thinner for a previously identified heart arrhythmia. And his doctor says he remains completely asymptomatic. He also takes Crestor, a statin medication to help control cholesterol. His lab work shows his lipid levels are what his doctor described as remarkably low. As with millions of older adults, being on a statin to lower cholesterol is standard prevention. Here's Dr. R. Sean Morrison, chair of geriatrics at Mount Sinai Medical System.

R SEAN MORRISON: When I'm looking at a public report of lab values, would I like my president to have their cholesterol well-controlled. Yes, I'd like them to have their cholesterol well-controlled.

AUBREY: The White House physician says President Biden's stiff gait has not worsened since last year and reassured there was no finding of any neurological conditions such as Parkinson's, though the president does have moderate to severe wear-and-tear osteoarthritis in his spine, which is not uncommon in 80-year-olds. There was no mention of assessment of memory or cognition in the report released by the White House physician. That is typically evaluated at a physical of an 80-year-old. Mount Sinai's Dr. Morrison, who has never treated the president, says. As we age, there can be normal age-related decline.

MORRISON: As we get older, we're less able to multitask. That's normal. And our processing takes a little longer. Our reaction times are a little slower.

AUBREY: But he says in a healthy 80-year-old, decision-making and judgment can certainly remain intact.

MORRISON: I have patients who are performing high-level executive jobs or functions well into their 80s and 90s.

AUBREY: And bottom line, the White House physician concludes Joe Biden remains fit for duty to fully execute his duties as president. Allison Aubrey, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Allison Aubrey is a correspondent for NPR News, where her stories can be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She's also a contributor to the PBS NewsHour and is one of the hosts of NPR's Life Kit.