Romney and Ryan are in excellent health, according to their physicians

September 21, 2012

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are fit as fiddles and healthy as horses. That’s the only possible conclusion from the summaries their physicians released to the public Friday afternoon.

Neither the Republic presidential nominee nor his running mate has a serious illness. Both have low heart rates indicative of physical fitness. Their blood pressures are normal, their body mass indexes in the healthy range and their cholesterol readings on target in almost every way.

Romney has “no physical impairments that should interfere with his rigorous and demanding political career as the next President of the United States,” wrote Randall D. Gaz, an endocrine surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston. He described himself as the former Massachusetts governor’s personal physician since 1989.

Brian P. Monahan, the attending physician of Congress, concluded in a letter to Ryan, a House member from Wisconsin, that “I consider your overall health to be excellent.”

The letter summarizing Romney’s health was two pages; Ryan’s was one.

Romney suffered a concussion and a left wrist fracture in a car accident in France in 1968 while he was working as a missionary for the Mormon church. His appendix was removed in 1965, and a benign fatty tumor known as a lipoma was excised from his back in 1985. In 1987, he cut his hand and required stitches. He has a mildly enlarged prostate — a nearly universal condition in 65-year-old men. His blood triglycerides — a kind of fat — fall in the “borderline high” range.

Romney is allergic to the antibiotic penicillin. He takes a baby aspirin and the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor every day, according to the report.

Ryan has “airway hypersensitivity” — an asthmalike syndrome that can lead to breathlessness and wheezing — for which he occasionally uses an inhaler. His medical history includes a herniated disk in his lower back and a cartilage injury in his right knee.

Neither candidate smokes, the reports noted. Romney also doesn’t drink and Ryan has “infrequent” alcohol use.

In their most recent exams, both men had resting heart rates below 60, a condition known as “bradycardia” and often the result of aerobic fitness. Romney’s heart rate was 40 beats per minute, Ryan’s 59.

Why Romney’s primary care physician is an endocrine surgeon and not an internist was not explained.

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