Presidential Historians and DoctorsInterviewed
Did You Know...
Nearly half of all U.S. presidents have been either overweight or obese according to their BMI. Only one was considered underweight.
More than half of the presidents used some form of tobacco.
More than half of the presidents have died within 10 years of leaving the White House.
The health of U.S. presidents has varied dramatically since George Washington first took the oath of office in 1789 while sterile, half deaf and with only a single tooth. Public awareness of the importance of health and well-being has increased in recent decades, and so has the scrutiny of modern U.S. presidents over their physical health.
Who really was the healthiest president? To set out to answer this question, we examined health factors for every president, including data ranging from illnesses to diet and exercise to sleeping habits and more. While the results of recent presidential physical exams have provided insight into objective health measures (e.g., blood pressure), these screenings are a modern convention. To consider the full scope of America’s presidential history, we turned to biographical records and looked beyond the numbers.
The results uncovered more than just who was especially healthy and who wasn’t. We found out more than we expected, and our findings help illustrate why Americans have such a healthy obsession with the well-being of our presidents.
"People want to think of the president as this ideal person, this role model or this superhuman," says Dr. Amy Greenberg, professor of History and Women’s Studies at Penn State University. "So we kind of put the man in some respect to every aspect of their life that they’ve behaved very well and are in very good health."
Just how superhuman are the U.S. presidents?
Overall Health Rankings
Presidents Health Score
For the full methodology, see Methodology section.
*Note: President Grover Cleveland served two non-sequential terms, serving as both the 22nd and 24th president sworn into office. Although President Trump is the 45th president, only 44 people have actually been sworn into the office.
So what made a president score well or not so well in our study? To better illustrate the results, let’s look at a few presidents who ranked near the top or bottom of the list and discuss how they got there.
Rutherford B. Hayes had a healthy diet, was not obese and abstained from any tobacco use or alcohol abuse (we did not subtract any points for light or social drinking). These factors gave Hayes a big advantage when compared to a number of the other presidents.
Hayes, however, lost six points on our health scale for "overall health issues." Five of those deducted points were attributed to his fatal heart attack at the age of 70 (five being the score we assigned to the most serious heart problems). Hayes began with a healthy foundation and was not penalized from there, leading our 19th president to arrive at an overall health score of 86 and a position atop our presidential rankings.
Barack Obama came in second place with 84 points, but took a slightly different route to get there. While his base score wasn’t quite as good as Hayes (smoking and poor sleep habits did him in there), Obama was one of just two presidents who didn’t lose a single point for health issues. It obviously helps that Obama is still just 56 years old and has not encountered some of the age-related health issues that many other presidents did. The only other president to not lose a point for health issues was 71 year-old Donald Trump.
Rounding out the top of our rankings were Harry S. Truman (83 points), Jimmy Carter (81), John Quincy Adams (79) and James K. Polk (79).
Hayes and Obama represent two different ways of getting to the top of our rankings. Now let’s look at two different ways of landing near the bottom.
Obesity, tobacco use and a very unhealthy diet meant William Taft’s base score did not get him off to a terrific start. From there, he was docked 25 points (by far the most of any president) for a range of health issues that plagued him throughout his life.
Though Taft’s overall health score came to just 43 points, Grover Cleveland managed to log only 37 total points and earned the bottom spot on our list. Although Cleveland lost only 15 points, he began with a lower base score thanks to a very unhealthy diet, a complete lack of physical exercise and a penchant for both tobacco and alcohol abuse.
Cleveland and Taft were joined at the bottom by James Madison (55 points), John F. Kennedy (55), Ronald Reagan (54) and Dwight D. Eisenhower (54).
Although certain data such as blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol are made readily available by the traditional presidential physical exam, that was not always the case. Gerald Ford was the first president for which those health statistics were released in such a public manner. Because of the small number of presidents for which this data is readily available, it was not used as part of our scoring system. (For those health results, please see the Appendix.)
Body Mass Index
Many health experts agree that body mass index (BMI) is not necessarily the best indicator of one’s fitness. The primary reason is that BMI does not distinguish between muscle and fat, leaving many professional athletes considered overweight or even obese by BMI standards, despite having a very low percentage of body fat.
On average, however, BMI can indeed be a good measurement of one’s overall fitness. And while we’ve seen some pretty decent athletes take a seat in the Oval Office, none of our presidents have been so muscular as to skew the averages of presidents’ BMI.
Life Expectancy: Do Presidents Live Longer?
Presidential life spans versus expectancy
The chart and data above were based on the chart from the following article from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/02/16/presidents-are-just-like-you-at-least-in-terms-of-lifespans/
A great way to measure health is by looking at life expectancy. To evaluate this, we looked at the age of each president on the date of their inauguration and considered the life expectancy for a man of his age at that time. For example, Harry Truman was 60 years old the day his presidency started in 1945. A 60-year-old white man in 1945 could expect to live for about 15 more years, meaning that Truman’s life expectancy at his inauguration day was around age 75. Because he surpassed this expectation and lived to age 88, we can safely surmise that he must have been on the healthier side. And our data confirms that, ranking him as the fourth healthiest U.S. president.
Disclaimer: Each president’s life expectancy on the date of their inauguration is rounded to the nearest multiple of 20.
Best & Worst Diets
A balanced diet is key to a healthy lifestyle. We analyzed the reported regular eating habits of each president, going all the way back to Washington’s fresh meals at his self-sustaining Mount Vernon home.
Exercise Activity Types
Exercise is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle. Several presidents had some pretty interesting ways of staying in shape. From swimming naked in the Potomac River to working toward a potential NFL career, many of our presidents found unique and exciting ways to keep themselves fit.
Quite a few presidents did not seem to adhere to the general recommendation of 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Some presidents were up working through the night, while others couldn’t get enough sleep and ended up scheduling naps or dozing off in meetings.
President Health Highlights
Ailments: Malaria, smallpox, tuberculosis, dysentery, boils, tooth loss, hearing loss, age-related farsightedness, infertility, tonsillitis complications, pneumonia, inflammation of the windpipe, throat infection, many other serious infections, depression during illnesses, skin lesion, epiglottis.
Synopsis: Most of Washington’s illnesses were common for his time, and he survived several that were fatal to many other people. Despite his ailments, Washington was often described as strong and muscular, and a fighter through illness. There is even one account of him being so sick with dysentery that he had to tie pillows to his horse to ride. During that time, his group came under attack and he rode (some say he even crawled) 40 miles to get reinforcements.
"He hated the desk job of the Presidency," says Dr. Willard Sterne Randall of Champlain College. "To help him survive two terms, he set the Presidential precedent of getting out of the city in the summer.
"Washington had some serious illnesses and died at age 67 from an inflammation of the throat that would have been easily dealt with today," says Dr. Gordon S. Wood, Professor of History Emeritus, Brown University.
Noteworthy: Washington was sterile and may have had XYY or XXY syndrome.
Ailments: Hair loss, vision problems, loss of teeth, depression, boils, heartburn, coma, rheumatism, variegate porphyria, somatization, hand tremor.
Synopsis: Adams suffered from several ailments and often went on extreme, limited diets in an attempt to alleviate some of his conditions. Despite his illnesses and unhealthy diets, he usually got a good night’s sleep and was fairly active. Once he wrote, "move or die is the language of our Maker in the constitution of our bodies."
"Adams stayed in Massachusetts all through the yellow fever epidemic of 1793, which killed 6,000 Philadelphians, one-fifth of the capital’s populace," says Willard Sterne Randall, Professor Emeritus of History at Champlain College.
Noteworthy: Adams signed legislation for the country's first pre-paid medical program, an early version of what we know today as health insurance.
Ailments: Chronic headaches, broken/fractured bones, dysentery, depression, rheumatism, constipation, boils, hearing loss, enlarged prostate.
Synopsis: Jefferson may have been one of the healthiest eaters of all the U.S. presidents. He ate fresh seafood and vegetables, with a preference for locally grown food. If Jefferson were alive today, he’d likely be a proponent of the farm-to-table movement. He also made sure to get his sleep and exercise. Though he didn’t approve of many sports because of the risk of injury, he exercised for at least two hours a day.
"Thomas Jefferson, though an early President, was very advanced in his ideas on diet and health. He was ‘holistic’ in his approach to medicine and health, emphasizing a healthy, natural diet, exercise, sleep and homeopathic medicines," says Dr. Garret Ward Sheldon from the University of Virginia College at Wise.
Noteworthy: Is thought to have had Asperger syndrome.
Ailments: Frostbite, frequent illness, inflamed gallbladder, arthritis, congestive heart failure, epilepsy.
Synopsis: Madison was short, thin and often described as weak and sickly. He got more sleep than many of our presidents, but he wasn’t especially active. He also did not eat an especially healthy diet. These factors, combined with his frequent illnesses and tobacco use, put him on the unhealthy side of our results.
Noteworthy: Suffered frostbite while on the campaign trail, which led to a scar on his nose.
Ailments: Malaria, gunshot wound, seizure, heart failure, tuberculosis.
Synopsis: Monroe’s diet was fairly average for his time, and he reportedly had a love of French cuisine and Southern U.S. foods. He survived a gunshot wound at the Battle of Trenton in 1776, and a severe seizure near the end of his term as president nearly claimed his life. He may not have been the healthiest of all of the U.S. presidents, but he was certainly one of the most resilient.
Noteworthy: Was shot during the Revolutionary War and the bullet remained in his shoulder for the rest of his life.
John Quincy Adams
Ailments: Hair loss, stroke, cerebral hemorrhage.
Synopsis: J.Q. Adams lived into his 80’s. Even at his advanced age, he had very few medical concerns. He was one of the more active presidents, getting exercise every morning. During these morning workouts, he walked 6 miles or swam (nude) in the Potomac River. At the time, swimming was considered an impressive exercise because many people didn’t know how to swim. J.Q. Adams didn’t eat unhealthy foods. In fact, he hardly ate at all. He liked fruit, but not much else, and he was know to say a few crackers was a reasonable meal.
Noteworthy: Adams was an avid swimmer who frequently swam naked in the Potomac River while in office. One time his clothes were stolen, and the naked president had to flag down a passerby to fetch him some clothes from the White House.
Ailments: Sword wound, smallpox, depression, gunshot wound, malaria, dysentery, frequent headaches, tuberculosis, swelling, heart failure.
Synopsis: Although Tuberculosis was the most common cause of death around the time of his death, he suffered from many other diseases. Most were from common infections, but he also chewed tobacco, drank heavily and engaged in fights.
Noteworthy: Suffered a sword wound to his hand during the Revolutionary War and was twice shot during post-war gun battles.
Martin Van Buren
Ailments: Frequent colds, indigestion, gout, asthma, heart failure.
Synopsis: Van Buren’s raucous snoring is historically and — possibly embarrassingly — noteworthy. Van Buren likely suffered from sleep apnea, which would put him on a short list that includes one of the least healthy presidents, President Taft. President Van Buren also reportedly suffered breathing difficulties later in life, possibly due to asthma. His lifetime of heavy drinking certainly keeps him from being considered one of the healthiest presidents.
Noteworthy: Had such a reputation for consuming large amounts of alcohol that he was nicknamed "Blue Whiskey Van.”
William Henry Harrison
Ailments: Stress, cold, pneumonia, inflammation of lung tissue, jaundice, blood poisoning, ulcers.
Synopsis: Harrison was in above average health until shortly after his inauguration. He didn’t drink or smoke and had few illnesses for his time. He also loved eating fresh vegetables. After standing in the cold and rain for hours on his inauguration day, however, he caught a cold. By the end of the month, he developed pneumonia, which was one of the leading causes of death at that time. He died 31 days after his inauguration, making his the shortest term in history.
Noteworthy: Caught pneumonia while giving a two-hour inauguration speech on a cold, wet day.
Ailments: Paralysis, dysentery, colds, arthritis, bronchitis, kidney problems, stroke.
Synopsis: Tyler suffered a few illnesses in his lifetime that were hard to diagnose. The cold weather during winter months often caused him to develop colds and respiratory problems, which was common at the time. Overall, he suffered fewer serious medical conditions than most other presidents, and he refrained from smoking and drinking heavily.
Noteworthy: A flu epidemic that ravaged the country early in his term was dubbed the "Tyler grippe.”
James K. Polk
Ailments: Kidney stone, sterility, cholera, debilitating diarrhea.
Synopsis: Although he didn’t have a long list of ailments, Polk’s illnesses were severe.
Both Polk and his wife were “incapacitated with some sort of flu or other malady several times for long periods,” according to Walter R. Borneman, author of Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America. “Polk once wrote in his diary after one such bout that he had not been in his office for over a month.”
In general, Polk didn’t venture far from the White House.
“The whole time we was in office he only left a handful of times,” said Dr. Amy Greenberg, a professor at Pennsylvania State University.
Shortly after leaving the White House, Polk contracted cholera, which was one of the leading causes of death at the time. The United States was in the midst of a cholera epidemic, during which two to six Americans died per day due to the disease.
“The fact that Polk died within three months of leaving office — the shortest post presidency of anyone — is most likely more attributable to cholera than his general health,” said Borneman. “Although it is certainly possible that his constitution was weekend by the stress of office.”
Noteworthy: Was said to have suffered from "debilitating diarrhea.”
Ailments: Yellow fever, malaria, dysentery, double vision, nearsightedness, heat stroke, bilious fever, indigestion, cholera.
Synopsis: Taylor had a number of ailments, most of which were common for the time. His most unhealthy habit was his chewing of tobacco. His unexpected death came a few days after suffering from heat stroke at an Independence Day celebration.
“Some early presidential health issues were either caused or exacerbated by environmental conditions and poor medical technology,” said Dr. Robert Watson, a professor at Lynn University. He suggested that poor quality drinking sources may have had something to do with Taylor’s death.
Some experts believe Taylor was poisoned (with arsenic, specifically). His body was exhumed in 1991 and was found to have small traces of arsenic, but the amount detected was determined to not be a lethal dose.
Noteworthy: Served as a medical doctor in the Army, where nearly half of his men died of disease while encamped.
Ailments: Paralysis, stroke.
Synopsis: Fillmore was the first president to be known for being a “health nut.” He didn’t drink or smoke, and he often ate fairly balanced meals.
Noteworthy: On at least one occasion, Fillmore slept in Georgetown to avoid the higher malaria risk in the hot stagnant air of the capital.
Ailments: Horse riding injury, train accident, depression, alcoholism, tuberculosis, chronic liver damage.
Synopsis: Pierce’s greatest health issue was his alcoholism. He suffered from depression, which came about after witnessing the gruesome death of his only son in a train accident. Pierce decided his son’s death was a punishment for his sins.
Noteworthy: A known alcoholic who was involved in a serious train accident that took the life of his only child.
Ailments: Eye twitch, alcoholism, gout, respiratory failure.
Synopsis: Buchanan has a short list of physical ailments when compared to other presidents. He kept fairly active, taking an hour walk on Pennsylvania Avenue every day and often preferring to walk as opposed to riding a horse. He was a healthy man overall, aside from his alcohol abuse.
“He was such a heavy drinker,” said Dr. Amy Greenberg, a professor at Pennsylvania State University. “Even by the standards of the time, he could drink anyone under the table.”
Noteworthy: An eye defect caused him to often tilt his head and twitch his eye. Many who were unaware of this defect thought he was constantly winking at them.
Ailments: Cancer, cross eyed, age-related farsightedness, concussion, fractured jaw, malaria, depression, scarlet fever, dental phobia, toothache, smallpox, hair loss, axe wound, head wound suffered during a robbery, frostbite, syphilis, fatal gunshot wound.
Synopsis: Despite his long list of ailments, Lincoln was a very healthy man. He’s described as tall, muscular and “strong as an ox.” As a laborer and wrestler, his strength became legend. Stories of lifting a thousand pounds and winning cannonball throwing competitions and wrestling matches are found throughout his lifetime. He only lost one of about 300 wrestling matches he competed in, earning his spot in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Along with his legendary strength, Lincoln was also fast and tall. Professionals disagree about whether he had Marfan Syndrome or Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia, both of which would explain his tall stature and long limbs.
Despite his health ailments, Lincoln didn’t lose his sense of humor. “Lincoln often made jokes about being ugly,” says Dr. Jonathan W. White of Christopher Newport University. “Knowing that smallpox could leave scars, he quipped, ‘There is one consolation about the matter, doctor. It cannot in the least disfigure me!’”
“We forget that he was one of our younger presidents,” says Dr. Douglas R. Egerton of Le Moyne College. “We know how the sorrow of the war aged him badly. We see photos today of Lincoln on the eve of his death, and he looks old and worn and haggard … he was only fifty-six when he went to Ford's Theater.”
Noteworthy: As a child, Lincoln was saved from drowning in a lake and was kicked unconscious by a horse. As an adult, he suffered a clubbing to the head during a robbery, nearly cut off his own thumb with an axe, had his jaw broken by a dentist during a tooth extraction and was a frequent victim of domestic abuse at the hands of his wife.
Ailments: Typhoid fever, kidney stones, stroke.
Synopsis: Despite some reports, Johnson was not an alcoholic. In fact, he very rarely drank at all. Johnson was fairly healthy. He didn’t smoke, and there aren’t many records of him engaging in unhealthy habits. He managed to suffer only a few ailments before the stroke that killed him, far fewer than many presidents around his time.
Noteworthy: Johnson was so nervous before his inauguration speech that someone offered him a drink to settle him down. Johnson was not a drinker, but he obliged and ended up downing multiple drinks. Not realizing how badly he would be affected by the alcohol, Johnson became inebriated and rambled incoherently through his speech.
Ulysses S. Grant
Ailments: Throat cancer.
Synopsis: Though Grant suffered virtually no ailments before the cancer that killed him, his heavy smoking and drinking took a toll on his health. Grant was a great soldier and horseback rider, but he didn’t make much of an effort to eat healthy. He brought a quartermaster to cook for him at the White House. His wife disapproved, once commenting that the White House dining room felt more like a mess hall.
The war must have also taken a toll on Grant. It’s reported that after the war, he was so uncomfortable with blood that he couldn’t eat meat that was too near rare. He often ordered his steaks burnt.
Noteworthy: Was known to smoke up to 20 cigars a day prior to taking office.
Rutherford B. Hayes
Ailments: Poison ivy, heart attack.
Synopsis: Hayes was without a doubt one of the healthiest U.S. presidents of all time. While most other presidents suffered from several serious ailments, Hayes’ only recorded health issues were the heart attack that killed him and a bout of poison ivy. During Hayes’ term, the White House was free of tobacco, liquor and profanity. He ate everything in moderation and exercised each morning.
Noteworthy: Clean living: Tobacco, alcohol and even profanity were banished from the White House during his term, leaving one White House dinner guest to sarcastically remark that “water flowed like champagne.”
James A. Garfield
Ailments: Malaria, cold, weak stomach, anal fissure, infected gunshot wound, blood poisoning, pneumonia, heart attack.
Synopsis: Before his gunshot wound and related infections, Garfield was a very healthy man. He ate a well-balanced diet prescribed by his doctor, and he didn’t contract many of the common diseases of his time.
Noteworthy: His medical bill when he died was $18,500, equivalent to nearly $424,000 today when adjusted for inflation.
Chester A. Arthur
Ailments: Indigestion, Bright’s disease, hypertension, heart failure, stroke.
Synopsis: Food-wise, Arthur believed in taking everything in moderation. He ate light meals of fruit, seafood and meats. Arthur also went on a 30 mile horseback ride every morning. His healthy eating habits and moderate physical activity, however, were offset by his heavy drinking, smoking and lack of sleep.
Noteworthy: The New York Herald reported Arthur as having the kidney affliction known then as Bright's Disease. A White House spokesman denied the allegation, and Arthur remained coy about his health throughout his life.
Ailments: Obesity, leg laceration, typhoid fever, jaw cancer, hearing loss, kidney inflammation, gout, heart attack.
Synopsis: Unhealthy in just about every category analyzed, Cleveland earns the distinction of being the least healthy U.S. president. He was a heavy drinker, smoker and overeater. He likely had sleep apnea, which would have interfered with his sleep, and he admitted that he “detested exercise.” The public may not have been aware of his poor health at the time, because Cleveland, like several other presidents, hid some of his health issues. He once covered up a cancer surgery with a fake vacation, having the surgeons meet him in disguise on a boat where the surgery was performed.
“They actually took him out on the presidential yacht into the Atlantic Ocean and resected the mouth cancer. Nobody knew about it. It was held secret for years,” says Dr. Terry Simpson, who penned an article about how modern medicine could have saved the lives of some past presidents.
Noteworthy: The second-heaviest president to ever take office, he was nicknamed "Uncle Jumbo" by his nieces and nephews and had a candy bar named after his daughter (Baby Ruth).
Ailments: Food poisoning, scarlet fever, contact eczema, nervous breakdown, cold, pneumonia.
Synopsis: Harrison’s health may have taken a hit when electric lighting was installed in the White House. He and his wife were so scared of electrocution that they wouldn’t touch the light switches. They often slept with the lights on, which we know today can severely impact the quality of your sleep. He died of pneumonia in 1901, a common ailment at the time. In 1900, pneumonia was the number one cause of death in the U.S.
Noteworthy: Developed a hand irritation while in the military that required him to wear gloves at all times. Became known as "Kid Gloves Harrison" while campaigning for governor of Indiana.
Ailments: Pancreatic infection, fatal gunshot wound, blood poisoning, obesity.
Synopsis: McKinley smoked and ate starch-heavy meals in large portions, causing him to become obese. He suffered few physical ailments, however, and was known for his great memory. He once approached a veteran saying he remembered him from a speech a month before. The veteran was shocked, as he had been in a large crowd while McKinley was giving his speech.
Noteworthy: Developed a peculiar handshake to protect his hand from soreness while greeting scores of people during campaigns.
Ailments: Nearsightedness, asthma, hyperactivity, gunshot wound, obesity, detached retina, blindness in one eye, throat infection, deafness in one ear, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary embolism.
Synopsis: Teddy Roosevelt was the epitome of the American outdoorsman. He was a talented horseback rider, hunter and soldier. He also boxed, swam, hiked and went rock climbing. Teddy even became the first American to achieve brown belt status in judo. He was prone to accidents, however. He suffered multiple serious injuries throughout his life, in addition to surviving several diseases and infections. Once, he was shot during a speech and continued to give his speech with the bullet in his chest. Teddy likely gained his strength from surviving his sickly childhood. He was tough, despite the fact that his illnesses unfortunately followed him throughout his life.
Noteworthy: Was known to drink large quantities of milk but not much of anything else. A White House boxing match left him blind in one eye.
William Howard Taft
Ailments: Skull fracture and head injury, sunburn, typhoid fever, severe obesity, anal abscess, dysentery, food poisoning, heartburn, sleep apnea, motion sickness, constipation, headache, gout, cold, eye injury, pink eye, lower back pain, hypertension, indigestion, atrial fibrillation, rheumatoid arthritis, recurrent bladder infection, prostate problems, cystitis, clogged arteries, inflammation of the heart, heart failure, coronary disease.
Synopsis: Taft had health issues across the board. He was obese, he smoked and he had a number of diseases and medical conditions. Many of these likely stemmed from his weight. With the highest BMI of any president, Taft weighed about 340 pounds at his heaviest. He ate heavy, large meals, and he didn’t get enough physical activity. This led to a number of heart conditions and, eventually, his fatal heart attack. Taft also struggled with sleep apnea, which was likely linked to his weight. This kept him up at night, caused him to be exhausted throughout the day and even resulted in him falling asleep in important meetings.
“He's someone who probably would have benefited from weight loss surgery. He met the criteria,” says weight loss surgeon Dr. Terry Simpson.
However, notes Dr. Peri Arnold of Notre Dame University, “Weight, or obesity, was much less a marker of failure around 1900. Big was not a detriment. They were powerful figures. Weight was less a social demerit in the early 20th century.”
Noteworthy: On a visit to Yosemite National Park, the horse designated to carry Taft was unable to support his weight, and the president was forced to walk while everyone else in the group rode by horseback.
Ailments: Eye twitches, clogged arteries, headache, cold, hypertension, multiple strokes.
Synopsis: Despite his multiple heart conditions, Wilson ate typical southern meals and didn’t engage in regular exercise other than golf, which he was known for playing often.
“He should have stepped down from the presidency (after a 1919 stroke), but the White House campaign of deception convinced enough members of Congress that he could finish the job,” says Dr. Stephen F. Knott of the United States Naval War College.
Noteworthy: Wilson suffered a number of strokes that led to weakness and numbing on the right side of his body and loss of vision in his left eye.
Warren G. Harding
Ailments: Nervous breakdown, mumps, nasal allergy, eczema, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, stroke, pneumonia, infertility, mild aphasia, heart attack.
Synopsis: Harding struggled with both his physical and mental health. Aside from his heart problems, poor eating habits and heavy tobacco use, he spent a few years in a sanitarium for a nervous breakdown. It’s likely that his poor physical health was in part a result of his mental health.
Noteworthy: Both of his parents were homeopathic practitioners, and he maintained an affinity for the practice throughout his life.
Ailments: Depression, heart failure.
Synopsis: Just a year after Coolidge took office, his 16-year-old son died of a bacterial infection that developed from a blister on his toe. Coolidge slipped into depression, sleeping long hours and eating terribly. The country entered a depression of its own the year Coolidge left the White House, and four years later he was dead at only 60 years old. He was one of the youngest presidents to die of natural causes.
Noteworthy: Slept for 11 hours each day, including a 2-4 hour afternoon nap.
Ailments: Throat infections, measles, mumps, chicken pox, hatchet injury to finger, burn injury to foot, gallbladder disease, shingles, intestinal cancer, deafness, near blindness, pneumonia, fatal internal bleeding.
Synopsis: Hoover suffered some childhood illnesses that were common for the era, along with some age-related health issues at the tail end of his 90 years. His worst health problem while in office was a hand that became so battered and swollen from countless handshakes that he sometimes wasn’t able to write for days.
“Herbert Hoover was the most outdoor-oriented President up to his time, perhaps all time, except for Theodore Roosevelt,” says Dr. Glen Jeansonne of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Noteworthy: Worked out with a medicine ball six days per week while in the White House and never missed a day of work due to illness as president. He even played his own game for exercise, called “Hoover-ball.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Ailments: Polio, hypertension, hemorrhoids, anemia, anorexia, indigestion, cyst, clogged arteries, heart muscle disease, angina, gallbladder inflammation, melanoma, clubbing of the hand, cerebral hemorrhage.
Synopsis: Paralyzed in both legs at age 39 from polio, Roosevelt’s health didn’t get any better with age. He was plagued by health issues during his 12 years in the White House and remains one of only two presidents to die of natural causes while in office. Upon his death, Roosevelt’s arteries were so clogged that the embalmers could not get a needle into them.
Noteworthy: His sudden death (just 6 months after being elected to a fourth term) drew suspicion from the FBI. Roosevelt's medical record was stored in a safe at the Bethesda Naval Hospital but has been missing since the time of his death.
“His doctors knew and he knew that there was no chance he'd survive a fourth term,” says Dr. George Annas of Boston University. “He forbade his doctors and anybody else to ever mention his heart condition and said that they would be tried for treason if they did.”
Harry S. Truman
Ailments: Farsightedness, throat infection, headache, dizziness, sleeplessness, riding injury, sore throat, asthma, flu, gallbladder disease, allergy to medications, hernia, broken ribs, lung congestion, heart failure.
Synopsis: Truman suffered a number of accident-related injuries prior to his presidency. These include a car accident, a fall from a horse, losing his big toe in an accident with a slamming door (and having it surgically reattached) and even breaking his collarbone after falling out of his chair while combing his hair. Truman escaped any serious health problems during two terms in the White House (including an assassination attempt) and lived for 19 more years after leaving office before succumbing to heart failure.
Noteworthy: Truman developed diphtheria at the age of 10 and was paralyzed for several months. He was wheeled around in a baby carriage and treated with whiskey.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ailments: Heavy smoker, Crohn’s disease, gallstones, multiple heart attacks, stroke, appendectomy, seborrheic keratosis, mild arthritis, left anterior myocardial infarction, slightly overweight, two surgeries for intestinal obstructions, occlusion of the left middle cerebral artery, prostatic hypertrophy.
Synopsis: Despite a number of health issues later in life (four heart attacks and 14 cardiac arrests in just five months shortly before his death), Ike remained relatively healthy through middle age and was an avid golfer late into his life. He quit smoking 20 years before his death and remained cognitively sharp and positive until the end.
Noteworthy: Eisenhower nearly became the first human to receive an intra-aortic balloon pump to help his heart pump blood. But the scientists who developed the technology refused to perform the operation, fearing that if their invention killed the former president, it would never gain popularity. The same technology is widely used today.
John F. Kennedy
Ailments: Scarlet fever, measles, knee injury, bronchitis, jaundice, rubella, whooping cough, inflammation of the colon, osteoporosis, malaria, pneumonia, appendicitis, urethritis, colitis, age-related farsightedness, back aches, Addison disease, hyperthyroidism, celiac disease, UTI, STD, diphtheria, fatal gunshot wound.
Synopsis: Kennedy was just as unhealthy as he was popular. He was a sickly child who took steroids during his presidency to boost testosterone levels. He was read the Catholic last rites three times in his life and was hospitalized on more than three dozen occasions. Kennedy’s poor health was a stark contrast to his public image as a fit and handsome president who was the youngest ever to be elected.
Noteworthy: Kennedy had a bad back and often wore a back brace. He was wearing it the day he was assassinated, and it’s believed that after the first bullet pierced his neck, the brace held him upright just long enough for the second (and fatal) bullet to strike him in the head.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Ailments: Angina, gallbladder disease, heart disease, multiple heart attacks, depression.
Synopsis: Johnson reportedly once said, “I don’t have ulcers. I give them!” Both of those were likely true, as the iron-fisted Johnson quit smoking and lost weight during middle age before taking the presidential reins during the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, the busy U.S. Space program and the introduction of Medicare. Johnson slipped into a state of depression, however, over how the war played out under his guidance. He died just four years after leaving office.
Noteworthy: A heart attack in his 40's left him with a fear of being alone. Sure enough, he died alone while reaching for the telephone.
Richard M. Nixon
Ailments: Vein inflammation, “furious eye blinking,” stroke.
Synopsis: Nixon enjoyed a relatively healthy life before becoming president, but he was hospitalized just weeks after leaving the White House due to blood clots and a pulmonary embolism. Because of his ailing health, Nixon was unable to testify in court regarding the Watergate scandal and was forced to give a deposition from his home six weeks later.
“Looks can be very deceiving. Overall, Nixon was an extremely fit man, not just physically but intellectually, until the end of his life,” says Dr. Robert Kaufman of Pepperdine University, who assisted Nixon in writing his book Beyond Peace.
Noteworthy: Nixon exhibited uncontrollable blinking during his resignation address. The "Nixon effect" is now used to describe blinking 70 times or more per minute while under stress.
Gerald R. Ford
Ailments: Rare bacterial disease, pneumonia, stroke, appendectomy, double knee replacement, smoker, various injuries, tongue abscess, pneumonia, pacemaker.
Synopsis: Ford endured WWII, two assassination attempts and a college football career. Later in life, he regularly swam in the mornings and played golf in the evening. Ford was only recently surpassed by George H.W. Bush as the president with the longest lifespan.
Noteworthy: Ford was rushed to the hospital at age 5 with severe abdominal pain. The doctors removed his appendix only to find that it was in good working order.
Ailments: Severe chronic hemorrhoids.
Synopsis: Carter had three siblings and two parents who died of cancer, but he himself has remained remarkably healthy and owns the distinction of having the longest post-presidency lifespan in history at 37 years and counting.
Noteworthy: Carter suffered from chronic hemorrhoids. On Christmas Eve, 1978, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat publicly called for all Egyptians to pray for his friend Carter. The day after Christmas, Carter reported being completely pain-free for the first time in many weeks.
Ailments: Nearsightedness, pneumonia, fractured thigh bone, urinary tract infections, prostate stones, severe cold, jaw joint disease, hay fever, gunshot wound, collapsed lung, hearing loss, colon polyp, colon cancer, skin cancer, enlarged prostate, stomach flu, bleeding of the brain, Alzheimer’s disease, hip fracture.
Synopsis: Reagan weighed 10 pounds at birth and would need the extra bulk during a life that included two bouts with cancer, a chainsaw accident, a bullet to the chest and a fall from a horse that resulted in a broken femur. With the addition of arthritis, hayfever and prostate surgery, it’s no wonder there were health concerns among the general public about the oldest man ever to seek the presidency at that time.
“Did he have Alzheimer's before he retired? I think he was on his way. He was forgetful, he was ailing. I have always wondered whether in the future we will find an Alzheimers' personality type, or various indicators, and see Reagan's big picture fogginess as part of that,” says Gil Troy, author of The Age of Clinton and Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s.
Noteworthy: Reagan was so nearsighted that when delivering a speech, he would remove one contact lens in order to read his notes and leave the other one in so he could see the audience.
George H.W. Bush
Ailments: Staph infection, bleeding ulcers, arthritis, cysts, glaucoma, atrial fibrillation, hyperthyroidism, Graves disease, depression, skin damage due to sun exposure.
Synopsis: Bush’s plane was downed twice during WWII, including one instance when he ejected and landed in the Pacific Ocean. This was after nearly dying of a staph infection in high school. Bush was also a jock and had a reputation as a bit of a fitness enthusiast, playing on the baseball team in college and actively running throughout middle age.
Noteworthy: Once vomited on the Prime Minister of Japan while attending a formal dinner with a case of the flu.
Ailments: GERD, rectal bleeding, allergy, two knee injuries, cyst, skin cancer, rosacea, angina, clogged arteries, coronary artery disease, hearing aids.
Synopsis: Clinton’s cholesterol level has long been a health concern, and he underwent two coronary bypass surgeries within just a few years of leaving the White House. Clinton was a dedicated runner, however, who created headaches for the Secret Service through his insistence on taking long jogs through public streets.
Noteworthy: Slipped on a step at the home of professional golfer Greg Norman and ruptured a tendon his knee, requiring two hours of surgery and weeks of crutches and rehabilitation.
George W. Bush
Ailments: Hemorrhoids, colon polyps, alcohol abuse, drug use, tobacco use, skin damage due to sun exposure, knee injury, appendectomy, back surgery.
Synopsis: The second Bush to serve as president lived hard in his youth, suffering several sports injuries and having bouts with alcohol and (allegedly) cocaine use. But he developed healthier habits by the time be became president. Bush jogged regularly (and even ran a marathon), gave up drinking and scored in the top two percent of men his age in cardio fitness during his presidential physical.
Noteworthy: While watching a football game in the White House, Bush passed out, fell and hit his head on the floor. The culprit? An “improperly eaten pretzel” that affected his breathing.
Barack H. Obama
Ailments: Arm injury, smoker, drug use.
Synopsis: Other than having measles as a child and having a run-in with a barbed wire fence that left him with 20 stitches in his arm, Obama has so far escaped any serious health scares. He’s an on-again, off-again smoker but also enjoys playing basketball and was declared healthier than most men his age after a checkup during his final year in the White House.
“(Smoking) was his only real health threat. He was a pretty active, physically fit president otherwise. Very rigorous about his diet, ate absolutely nothing with sugar in it, but a lot of other things,” Dr. Terry Simpson said.
Noteworthy: Admitted to using marijuana and cocaine in high school. According to his memoir, Obama was also curious about injecting heroin but ultimately did not ever do it.
Ailments: Hypercholesterolemia, appendectomy
Synopsis: Trump’s presidential physical exam revealed that he is borderline obese based solely on BMI (and is known to drink up to 12 Diet Cokes per day). Both his cholesterol and blood pressure levels are a bit high. But the oldest president ever to take office has never had any serious health scares and was declared by his doctor to be in “excellent health.”
Says Dr. Greenberg, “He doesn’t work as much as other presidents so that’s probably going to keep him healthier.”
Noteworthy: Trump has stated that he believes the human body is born with a finite amount of energy and exercise only depletes it of such.
From the Experts
On public perception and expectations for a president’s health:
We want to worship our presidents. We want our gods to be healthy. Presidential health is an extremely important expectation. We lodge in the presidency an expectation of a mortal human to keep us safe, to keep us secure, to ease our fears. So they better be healthy so they can do it.– Dr. Peri Arnold, Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame
The presidency itself--look at Obama, look at George W., four years or eight years--ages you tremendously. Those guys look terrible when they come out after eight years.- Dr. Otto Janke, Doctor of Chiropractic, Janke Family Chiropractic
The press basically had an understanding that there was some stuff that you weren't going to report about presidents.- Dr. George Annas, William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Health Law, Ethics and Human Rights, Boston University
If your guy isn't in power, you want [the president] to be unhealthy, and if your guy is in power, you want him to be healthy.- Dr. Terry Simpson, weight loss surgeon
A number of presidents contracted malaria. And it was easy to get it in Washington D.C., because until the early 1900s, Washington DC had many swamps. And that's why certainly many of the presidents got the hell out of Washington D.C. during the summer because you're going to get sick.- Dr. Ludwig Deppisch, pathologist and author of The White House Physician: A History from Washington to George W. Bush.
Technology has quickened the speed with which presidential decisions must be made, but the stress of assimilating information and making those decisions has always been a part of the presidency.- Walter R. Borneman, author of Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America
A president is as fit or as unfit, given all the opportunities he has, as they make it.- Dr. Robert Kaufman, Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University
Most modern presidents, who have had to live in the public eye, have thus had to pay greater attention to their appearance than perhaps the average American male does. Most American men have their time at their own disposal, can call in sick without worldwide concern, and have nowhere near the stress of the president.- Stacy A. Cordery, Professor of History, Iowa State University
Presidents have access to the best available health care, but the unrelenting pressure of the job wears most people down. Many other high-stress positions provide for early retirement – police and firefighters, for example – but presidents usually spend a good bit of their time in office trying to extend rather than shorten their tenure.- Dr. Kendrick A. Clements, Retired Professor of History, University of South Carolina
The presidency is – with normal presidents – time-consuming, anxiety-producing, exhausting, unnerving and debilitating. We expect our leaders to work really hard, non-stop, and such schedules inevitably take their toll on presidents.- Dr. Harold Holzer, Jonathan F. Fanton, Director, Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Hunter College
The thing that I think makes the most impact on a president is having a very strong sense of purpose of what they want to accomplish and the likelihood that they are going to be able to do it. The most stress you have in the world is having too much on your plate to get done, or not having enough and being criticized for it.- Dr. Stanley Renshon, Professor of Political Science, City University of New York, Certified Psychoanalyst
Nobody wants a president to die in office. Nobody wants to deal with the kind of national crisis that comes along with having a president die. And given that everyone knows that being a president is stressful, people are hyper aware of how his health is doing.- Dr. Amy Greenberg, Professor of History and Women’s Studies, Pennsylvania State University
I think people are fascinated with the health of presidents because so many presidents have been secretive about their health!- Dr. Katherine A.S. Sibley, Professor of History, St. Joseph’s University
I think it’s very easy to forget how much our environment and who we lean on [matters], because it’s hard to measure. But it actually can really make such a huge difference in how well and how long you can do what you’re doing. Because you’ve made it to a certain point for a lot of these candidates.- Dr. Carolyn Kaloostian, Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine and Geriatrics, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
A president must always be prepared to respond to a crisis, anticipated or unanticipated; his time and energy are precious resources not to be wasted. There is no time off to rest and recover. A president running for reelection faces even more stress, since he is both candidate and officeholder.- Dr. Brooks D. Simpson, ASU Foundation Professor of History, Arizona State University
The presidency is the most demanding office imaginable. The duties and responsibilities are too much for any one person, which is why the office is comprised of such a large staff and numerous institutions to support the president. Still, the presidents have found the glorious burden of office to be taxing on their health. It is often said that a president ages at twice the normal rate while in office.- Dr. Robert Watson, Professor of American Studies, Lynn University
Mostly, presidents have hidden their ailments or minimized their seriousness so as to avoid questions about their ability to carry out their duties. However, this is a highly stressful job for those who take it conscientiously. Moreover, most are mature males, which means that they have reached the danger zone years of increased serious risk to their health. Denial of serious health issues becomes incumbent to quash doubts about presidential fitness for office.- Dr. Bert Rockman, Professor of Political Science, Purdue University
One has to be pretty fit to stand the demands of the campaign trail and the endurance it takes.- Dr. Vernon Burton, Professor of History, Clemson University
A physician always accompanies the president. Accordingly, the president is much less likely to be able to ignore health problems. On the other hand, the stress level is unusual. The presence of Secret Service agents is a constant reminder of the risk of assassination.- Dr. John J. Pitney, Jr., Roy P. Crocker Professor of American Politics, Claremont McKenna College
To calculate an overall health score, we rated each president’s diet; exercise; tobacco and alcohol usage; sleep habits; vision, hearing and dental problems and their history of health issues. Scores were totaled on a 100-point scale, with 1-5 ratings for diet and exercise, and points deducted from the total score based on the presence and severity of health problems. The average health score was 67. Scores were then given a grade of A through F based on the range of health scores. The health of each president is thereby relative to that of other presidents, not in relation to the average male.
While we took efforts to meticulously research each president’s health and cross reference findings against additional sources for verification, not all data was available for all presidents. In cases where data was not available (e.g. their typical amount of sleep), an average was chosen.
Our study encompassed the adult lifespan of each president and was not limited solely to their years in the White House.
In many cases, the only information regarding a president’s weight was based on estimates. While we tried to validate these figures using primary sources, some of these weight estimates should not be taken as a strict matter of historical record.
Evaluations of mental health and stress were not included due to their subjective nature.
Health Scoring Table
|Diet||5||4||20||5 = "Very Good", 1 = "Very Poor"|
|Exercise||5||4||20||5 = "Very Active", 1 = "Very Inactive"|
|Tobacco/Alcohol||5||4||20||Deduct 2 points for each|
|Sleep||5||4||20||Deduct 1 point for every hour under 7 hrs. (*if no data available assume 7 hrs.)|
|Vision/Hearing/Dental||5||4||20||Deduct 1 point for every issue|
|Health Issues||See note||1||0||Deduct points for every major ailment; 1 = minor, 3 = moderate, 5 = severe|
Health Grading Scale
|Description||Health Score||Health Grade|
- While we tried to remain as scientific as possible in our methodology, any study of health remains highly subjective. Weighing the effects of one given health issue against another is subject to debate.
- Health complications are not always black and white. Detailed and accurate medical records simply do not exist for some presidents, particularly so for the earliest presidents. For example, it’s now speculated that Abraham Lincoln may have had a form of thyroid or adrenal cancer, but not much was known about these forms of cancer during the 1860’s. We did our best to make a decision based on the evidence available and current medical opinions. For this reason, some of our conclusions could potentially be open for debate.
- It can be argued that injuries could and should be counted toward one’s overall health. Some of our early presidents were injured on the battlefield during the Revolutionary War, and nearly every president suffered some sort of broken bone or laceration due to a range of causes including train accidents, sports or breaking a collarbone falling out of a chair while combing their hair (that dubious distinction belongs to Truman). Ultimately, we decided not to include injuries as part of our scoring system due to their highly subjective nature, a shortcoming of information (especially for earlier presidents) and to distinguish injuries from "health."
ContributorsGeorge Annas, J.D., M.P.H., William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor, Boston University, Director of the Center for Health Law, Ethics and Human Rights at Boston University School of Public Health Peri Arnold, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame, education contributor to The New York Times Walter Borneman, Author, Polk: The Man Who Transformed the Presidency and America Vernon Burton, Ph.D., Judge Matthew J. Perry, Jr. Distinguished Professor of History, Clemson University Kendrick A. Clements, Ph.D., Former Professor of History, University of South Carolina Stacy A. Cordery, Professor of History, Iowa State University Ludwig Deppisch, M.D., Author, The White House Physician: A History From Washington to George W. Bush and The Health of the First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama Douglas R. Egerton, Ph.D., Professor of History, Le Moyne College Amy Greenberg, Ph.D., Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Pennsylvania State University Harold Holzer, Ph.D., Jonathan F. Fanton Director, Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, Hunter College Otto Janke, D.C., Author, You Were Born to Be Healthy Glen Jeansonne, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Carolyn Kaloostian, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Family Medicine and Geriatrics, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine Robert Kaufman, Ph.D., Robert and Katheryn Dockson Professor of Public Policy, Pepperdine University Stephen F. Knott, Ph.D., Professor, United States Naval War College John J. Pitney, Jr., Ph.D - Roy P. Crocker, Professor of American Politics, Claremont McKenna College Willard Sterne Randall, M.A., Professor Emeritus of History, Champlain College Stanley Renshon, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science, City University New York, certified psychoanalyst Bert Rockman, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Political Science, Purdue University, Visiting Scholar in Political Science, University of Pittsburgh Garrett Ward Sheldon, Ph.D., John Morton Beaty Professor of Politics, University of Virginia College at Wise Katherine A. S. Sibley, Ph.D., Professor of history, Saint Joseph's University Brooks D. Simpson, Ph.D., ASU Foundation Professor of History, Arizona State University Terry Simpson, M.D., Author, Would Modern Medicine Saved President’s Lives? Gil Troy, Distinguished Scholar of North American History, McGill University, author of works including The Age of Clinton and Morning in America: How Ronald Reagan Invented the 1980s Robert Watson, Ph.D., Professor of American studies, Lynn University, author of works including America's First Crisis: The War of 1812 Jonathan W. White, Ph.D., Associate Professor of American studies, Christopher Newport University Gordon S. Wood, Ph.D., Professor of History Emeritus, Brown University
ReferencesThe following websites served as our main sources: Health conditions
Sotos, John. M.D. Medical History of American Presidents. (2016, Oct. 18). DoctorZebra.com. Retrieved January 2018, from http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/index.htm. Health conditions (secondary)
Presidential Diseases. (2011, Sep. 8). HealthInPlainEnglish.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.healthinplainenglish.com/presidential-diseases/index.htm. Diet informtion
Olver, Lynn. American Presidents’ Food Favorites. (2015, Feb. 22). FoodTimeline.org. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.foodtimeline.org/presidents.html. Additional information came from the following sources: Superville, Darlene, & Thomas, Ken. (2018, Jan. 13). President Trump Gets ‘Excellent Health’ Report From White House Doctor. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/5102145/trump-health-report. Pesce, Nicole. (2016, March 9). President Obama Is Healthier than Most American Men in Their 50s. NY Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/president-obama-physical-healthier-americans-article-1.2558263. Morrissy-Swan, Tome. (2018, Jan. 17). All the President’s Meds: Who Was the Fittest U.S. Leader of the Past 100 Years? The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/presidents-meds-fittest-us-leader-past-100-years. Schuler, Lou. (2016, Feb. 15). Who Was America’s Fittest President? Men’s Health. Retrieved from https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/fittest-american-presidents. Vanhooker, Brian. (2015, April 16). The Secret Illnesses of U.S. Presidents. Men’s Health. Retrieved from https://www.menshealth.com/health/secret-illnesses-of-us-presidents/slide/3. Watson, Kathryn. (2018, Jan. 12). Doctor Declares Trump to Be in “Excellent Health” After Physical, White House Says. CBS News. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/doctor-releases-initial-results-of-trumps-first-physical. Biek, Ryan. (2017, Feb. 8). How Trump’s Sleep Schedule Stacks Up to Other Presidents’. NBC26.com. Retrieved from https://www.nbc26.com/newsy/how-trumps-sleep-schedule-stacks-up-to-other-presidents. Belville, Russ. (2014, Feb. 17). 11 U.S. Presidents Who Smoked Marijuana. High Times. Retrieved from https://hightimes.com/culture/11-us-presidents-who-smoked-marijuana. Howard, Jacqueline. (2016, Dec. 1). From Horses to Hooverball: How Presidents Stay Fit. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/01/health/presidents-fitness-donald-trump/index.html. Tinker. Ben. (2018, Jan. 16). Past Presidents’ Physicals: What We Learned. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/12/health/us-presidents-physicals-documents/index.html. Fox, Lauren. (2012, Feb. 29). Bill Clinton’s Running Habit: A Secret Service Nightmare. USNews.com. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/02/29/bill-clintons-running-habit-a-secret-service-nightmare. Cain, Aine. (2017, July 29). A Look at the Daily Routine of John Adams, Who Woke Before Dawn, Walked 5 Miles at a Time and Drank Hard Cider at Breakfast. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/john-adams-daily-routine-2017-7. Cain, Aine. (2017, July 4). A Look at the Daily Routine of Thomas Jefferson, Who Rose Early, Drank Coffee and Wrote a Lot. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/thomas-jefferson-daily-routine-2017-6. Klein, Christopher. (2013, Oct. 25). 10 Things You May Not Know About Teddy Roosevelt. History.com. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-teddy-roosevelt. Klein, Christopher. (2012, Nov. 16). 10 Things You May Not Know About Abraham Lincoln. History.com. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-abraham-lincoln. Mattimore, Ryan. (2018, Jan. 18). 5 Presidents Who Hid Their Health Issues. History.com. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/news/5-presidents-who-hid-their-health-issues. Pruitt, Sarah. (2013, July 12). 9 Things You May Not Know About Gerald Ford. History.com. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-may-not-know-about-gerald-ford. Dowell, Meg. The Healthiest (and Unhealthiest) U.S. Presidents of All Time. (2018, Jan. 2). CheatSheet.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/healthiest-and-least-healthy-us-presidents-of-all-time.html/?a=viewall. (1865, March 7). Newspaper article accusing President Andrew Johnson of drunkenness at his inaugural ceremony. Boston Post. Retrieved from Ball State University University Libraries Digital Media Repository at http://libx.bsu.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/LSTACivWar/id/2759. Mancini, Mark. The Healthy Habits of 15 U.S. Presidents. (2016, Jan. 19). MeentalFloss.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://mentalfloss.com/article/73533/healthy-habits-15-us-presidents. Hi Excellency’s Daily Schedule. (2018, Feb. 2). Moland.org. Retrieved January 2018 from http://moland.org/his-excellencys-daily-schedule. Bass, Matthew. 5 Daily Routines of Successful People. (2014, March 5). SuccessGroove.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://successgroove.com/articles/5-daily-routines-of-successful-people.html. Eating Habits of U.S. Presidents. (2016). BerkleyWellness.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/slideshow/eating-habits-us-presidents. Respectable United States Presidents. (2017). LingerAndLook.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.lingerandlook.com/Names/Presidents.php. Stiehl, Christina. The Most Unhealthy Habits of 10 American Presidents. (2017, Aug. 1). EatThis.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.eatthis.com/unhealthy-habits-presidents. Harrison, Benjamin. (2006). Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/harrison-benjamin-0. Top 10 Health and Fitness Tips From George Washington. (2016, May 30). HealthFitnessRevolution.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-fitness-tips-george-washington. President James Monroe. (2018, Jan. 3). JamesMonroe.net. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.jamesmonroe.net. The Liberty Era. (2016, June 6). Legacy.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.legacy.com/life-and-death/the-liberty-era.html. Profiles in Snorage: Surprising Presidential Sleep Habits. (2017, Feb. 20). Wrapanap.com. Retrieved January 2018 from http://www.wrapanap.com/blog/2017/2/20/profiles-in-snorage-surprising-presidential-sleep-habits. Barnes, John A. (2007). John F. Kennedy on Leadership: The Lessons and Legacy of a President. New York, NY: AMACOM, American Management Association. Jeansonne, Glen. (2012). The Life of Herbert Hoover: Fighting Quaker, 1928-1933. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Watterson, John Sayle. (2006). The Games Presidents Play: Sports and the Presidency. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. Adelson, Bruce. (2006). Benjamin Harrison. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century Books. Whitcomb, John and Whitcomb, Claire. (2002). Real Life at the White House: Two Hundred Years of Daily Life at America’s Most Famous Residence. London, England: Psychology Press. Levy, Debbie. (2005). John Quincy Adams. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications Company. Klosowski, Thorin. George Washington’s Best Productivity Tricks. (2013, April 29). LifeHacker.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://lifehacker.com/george-washingtons-best-productivity-tricks-483182858. 10 Leading Causes of Death in 1850 and 2000. (2013). NonProfitUpdate.info. Retrieved January 2018 from https://nonprofitupdate.info/2010/10/21/10-leading-causes-of-death-in-1850-and-2000-2. The Wacky World of Presidential Sleeping Habits. (2017, July 11). Restonic.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://restonic.com/blog/president-sleeping-habits-97410. Lawler Kent, Patricia. The Surprising Sleep Habits of U.S. Presidents. (2016, Feb. 15). VanWinkles.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://vanwinkles.com/the-sleep-habits-of-us-presidents. Goldman, Chelena. From Donald Trump to Teddy Roosevelt: U.S. Presidents’ Most Unhealthy Eating Habits. (2017, Dec. 28). CheatSheet.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/from-donald-trump-to-teddy-roozevelt-u-s-presidents-most-unhealthy-eating-habits.html/?a=viewall. Lehnardt, Karin. 99 Fun Facts About U.S. Presidents. (2016, Sep. 17). FactRetriever.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://www.factretriever.com/us-presidents-facts. Legg, Timothy. Ph.D. 10 Presidential Diseases. (2017, Sep. 22). Healthline.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://www.healthline.com/health/diseases-of-presidents. Unusual Sleep Habits of 10 Driven Presidents. (2017, June 28). HowSleepWorks.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://www.howsleepworks.com/unusual-sleep-habits-10-driven-presidents. Biek, Ryan. How Trump’s Sleep Schedule Stacks Up to Other Presidents’. (2017, Feb. 8). Newsy.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://www.newsy.com/stories/trump-says-he-gets-4-to-5-hours-of-sleep-a-night. T., Adam. Sleep Facts About the U.S. Presidents. (2017, Feb. 20). SleepOutfitters.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://www.sleepoutfitters.com/Blog/Sleep-Facts-About-the-U.S.-Presidents/117. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). United States Life Tables: 1969-71. CDC.gov. (Original tables published 1975, May). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/life_tables.htm#1969_1971. (2018). Retirement and Survivors Benefits: Life Expectancy Calculator. Retrieved January 2018, from the Social Security Administration Web Site: https://www.ssa.gov/cgi-bin/longevity.cgi. Notable Epidemics. (2018). TullyHistoricalSociety.com. Retrieved January 2018 from https://www.tullyhistoricalsociety.org/tahs/medical.php#notable. Walton, Geri. (2014, Jan. 23). Common Ailments, Complaints and Diseases [Weblog post]. Retrieved January 2018 from https://www.geriwalton.com/common-ailments-complaints-and-diseases.
|President||Year of exam||Blood Pressure||Resting Heart Rate||LDL||Total Cholesterol||Reference|
|George W. Bush||2001||118/74||43||112||170||Source|