- On Tuesday, White House physician Ronny Jackson released new details about President Trump’s health.
- The president takes a handful of medications including statins, daily aspirin, and two drugs for skin and hair conditions.
- Jackson said Trump’s heart health was “the one thing that stood out” for being resoundingly healthy, but several indicators suggest that’s not entirely true.
For someone who doesn’t smoke or drink, President Donald Trump takes a fair amount of drugs.
His list includes Crestor for high cholesterol, aspirin to prevent heart attacks, antibiotics to treat skin rosacea, Propecia for baldness, and Ambien to help him rest on flights.
That’s according to White House physician Ronny Jackson, who released information about Trump’s yearly physical, which was conducted last week, at a press conference on Tuesday.
The medications aren’t unusual. Roughly a quarter of Americans over age 40 take a drug like Crestor, also known as a statin. Millions take Propecia and antibiotics for hair and skin issues, and 40% of US adults over 50 take baby aspirin as a preventive measure.
‘The one thing that stands out is his cardiac health’
Jackson said Trump’s overall health – especially that of his heart – is very good.
“The one thing that stands out more than anything to me is his cardiac health,” Jackson said. “He doesn’t have a lot of the traditional risk factors, things like a history of heart attack.”
Yet Trump is taking 10 milligrams of Crestor, the brand name for a larger group of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, and aspirin, which is known to help reduce the risk of heart attacks. Jackson said he is looking into increasing Trump’s dose of Crestor, but didn’t specify by how much.
Statins are typically recommended for older adults with a risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart disease – or with high cholesterol. People who already have heart disease are almost universally prescribed statins, according to the US Preventive Services Task Force.
The more obvious reason for Trump’s use of Crestor is his cholesterol. Trump’s cholesterol levels are above what’s considered healthy by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Trump’s diet – which reportedly includes fast-food, comfort dishes like meatloaf and spaghetti, and sweet treats like See’s Candies and ice cream – probably doesn’t help.
The president also take a daily low dose of aspirin, which may help prevent heart attacks and strokes in older adults.
But according to the US Preventive Services Task Force, there’s still not enough evidence to say if people over 70 who have not already had a heart attack or stroke should take aspirin. (Trump turned 71 in June.)
Jackson also said that Trump occasionally takes the sleeping pill Ambien to help him rest on flights.
“The President does take some Ambien on occasion” when he travels overseas, Jackson said. “Only during travel.”
Since sleeping pills come with a range of dangerous side effects that can linger into the following day, experts suggest using them sporadically and only in specific instances to avoid health risks.
Trump’s other drugs are fairly routine. Propecia is frequently prescribed to men and women with baldness. And antibiotics are regularly given to people with rosacea, a common but incurable skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels. The drugs keep the bacterial component of the illness under control.