Former Vice President Joe Biden has an “irregularly irregular” heartbeat and is taking medication to control cholesterol but is otherwise in good shape and ready to serve as president, according to medical records released on Tuesday.
“Vice President Biden is a healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State, and Commander in Chief,” Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, said in a statement. O’Connor served as Biden’s doctor from 2009 to 2017, while he was vice president.
“This patient has never required any medication or electrical treatments to address either his rate or his rhythm,” the doctor reported, adding there were “no signs of heart failure” and that his “heart demonstrates a regular pulse rate and characteristically ‘irregularly irregular’ rhythm.”
Questions about age and health have dogged Biden on the campaign trail. He is one of four candidates in their 70s; another is Bernie Sanders, who recently suffered a heart attack. Biden had said he would release his medical records before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. Releasing the records now gives Biden something concrete to reference should questions arise at Thursday’s debate.
In all, Biden has four health issues: irregular heartbeat, high concentrations of fat in the blood, acid reflux and seasonal allergies. To treat them, Biden “takes three common prescription medications [Eliquis, Crestor, and Dymista] and two common over-the-counter medications [Nexium and Allegra],” the doctor wrote.
“He has no known medication allergies,” the report said. “He does not use any tobacco products, does not drink alcohol at all, and he works out at least five days per week.”
Biden is so confident of his fitness he challenged an Iowa farmer two weeks ago to a contest of pushups, running or an IQ test after the man said Biden was “too damn old.”
Biden later said he regretted issuing the push-up challenge.
Biden’s biggest medical scare was two aneurysms discovered and treated in 1988. “He has never had any recurrences of any aneurysms,” the doctor wrote, adding that a “2014 CT angiogram showed no recurrence.”
In a prior story about Biden’s health, medical experts told POLITICO he was healthy and — along with the other candidates in their 70s — could be considered a “superager” whose physical and mental health is above average.
Dr. Neal Kassell, who performed the aneurysm surgery on Biden three decades ago, told POLITICO in August that Biden “is every bit as sharp as he was 31 years ago.”