Oct. 28, 2020 — Uncertainty and contention surround the presidential election that is mere days away, but there is one thing we know for sure: No matter who wins, the next president of the United States will be the oldest to ever take office.
President Donald Trump set the most recent record when he was sworn in at the age of 70. Now 74, he is only slightly younger than the soon-to-be 78-year-old Joe Biden.
So just how healthy is Biden? Quite healthy, according to the most recent medical assessment released by Biden’s doctor in December 2019. The report from Kevin O’Connor, DO, associate professor of Medicine at George Washington University, called Biden “vigorous” and fit to successfully be president.
The information in the assessment noted that Biden is taking blood thinners and medication for acid reflux, cholesterol, and seasonal allergies.
Biden does not use tobacco or drink alcohol and exercises 5 days a week, O’Connor said.
In addition to several sinus surgeries, Biden has had his gallbladder removed and has had several non-melanoma skin cancers removed.
At the time of the exam, he was 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighed 178 pounds, and had a blood pressure of 128/84.
O’Connor said when he first met Biden in 2009, the then-vice president had episodic atrial fibrillation, which is when the heart occasionally begins to beat out of rhythm. But by the time of the assessment, O’Connor said Biden no longer had symptoms of atrial fibrillation.
Medical professionals say evaluating Biden’s chronological age is not the best way to tell whether he should be president.
“An older person who has an active lifestyle and is consistently being challenged cognitively can fulfill those duties,” says Richard Dupee, MD, chief of geriatrics at Tufts Medical Center. “Someone who is 95 could have the memory of someone who is several decades younger.”
Although Biden has said he would serve only one term if elected, he is in good enough health to probably survive even a second term, according to an academic paper released by the American Federation for Aging Research. Biden has a 79% chance of living through a first term and a 70% chance of surviving through a second term, the paper states.