By Joel Kahn M.D., Special for USDR
At the intersection of politics and health, one thing that’s not up for debate is the documented medical records of candidates Clinton and Trump. Both candidates recently revealed details of their medical examinations. And when it comes to heart health, cardiologist Joel Kahn M.D. says Donald Trump, in particular, would be wise to heed his test scores’ warnings, despite being pronounced on “The Dr. Oz Show” as “healthy enough” to serve as president.
Dr. Kahn, “America’s Heart Attack Prevention Doc” and author of “The Whole Heart Solution,” recently published a Huffington Post article detailing his analysis of the candidates’ heart health scores, along with sources and advice for the Republican candidate as a patient, at http://huff.to/2dT7pkM.
The focal point of Dr. Kahn’s concern is the candidates’ coronary artery calcium scores, or CACS. Derived from a rapid CT scan of the heart, the test is considered superior to clinical measures alone in calculating risk scores.
Dr. Kahn notes that records released by Hillary Clinton indicated a CACS of zero. Donald Trump’s score, released from a 2013 examination, was 98. His records also showed that he takes a low-dose daily aspirin as well as rosuvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering agent.
“The ideal score on a CACS is zero, indicating the absence of detectable calcified atherosclerosis and providing an excellent prognosis,” writes Dr. Kahn. “Assuming Trump was 67 at the time of the scan, his score would be in the 50th percentile, not ‘normal’ but average.”
Does Trump’s score mean his arteries are blocked and narrowing? Probably not, says Dr. Kahn.
“However, it is likely that if his CACS were to be repeated today it would be over 100. Being treated with a statin medication like he is may increase the CACS over time. Assuming his CACS is now 101-400, his risk would actually be 28 percent for the combined end-point of significant narrowing and high-risk plaque.”
Dr. Kahn, who teaches patients and university students the science behind low-fat, plant-based diets for improving and even reversing atherosclerosis, would review candidate Trump’s diet, exercise, sleep and stress-relief programs, with a focus on increasing his intake of vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains and decreasing foods rich in added sugars and saturated fats.
“Aged garlic, vitamin K2 and other unique supplements shown to lower the CACS would be discussed with him as well.”
“While it’s likely that both of our presidential candidates should be able to serve one to two terms without heart disease events, a 28 percent chance of serious heart blockage shouldn’t be ignored.”
Joel Kahn M.D. is a cardiologist, professor of medicine, author of “The Whole Heart Solution” and “Dead Execs Don’t Get Bonuses,” and owner of the plant-based bistro GreenSpace Café in metro Detroit. Follow Dr. Kahn on Twitter @drjkahn.
SOURCE Joel Kahn M.D.