In a segment on CNN that sparked outrage on the right as to whether a doctor who hadn’t personally examined Donald Trump had reason to claim anything about his health, Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta told Alisyn Camerota’s New Day that based on the numbers and data alone from Trump’s controversial health checkup with “Doctor” Ronny Jackson, it was likely that the President had an advanced case of heart disease.
It wasn’t the first time people heard the claim.
Another prominent cardiologist, Dr. Jon Reiner, told CNN’s Erin Burnett much the same thing on her program Out Front: That Trump was at terrible risk of heart attack based on simple data from that check-up. And Reiner’s assessment can be lent a certain amount of credence right off the bat — he was Dick Cheney’s heart doctor, so he knows a thing or two about heart attacks.
But when you combine what the two doctors said, it presents a unique situation for a sitting President of the United States. First, the idea that “a heartbeat away from the Presidency” is a real thing due to medical issues is kind of terrifying. But secondly, that the chances of this happening are actually very, very high because of something besides his weight and general health.
In the segment on New Day, Dr. Gupta explains coronary calcium levels and what they mean for chronic heart disease. But something that, back then, no one was willing to speculate on is the fact that Trump is widely believed to be taking the ADD medication Adderall, which is an amphetamine. And according to a study at the National Institutes, amphetamines are directly tied, negatively, to coronary calcium levels.
It could be that medication that Trump takes for the heart disease that Dr. Gupta believes he has — something like, say, Metoprolol, a beta-blocker — could reduce Trump’s heart rate sufficiently that the amphetamines he takes wouldn’t push him over the edge to a heart attack on their own.
Instead, a single missed dose of either medication, if he is taking them in that combination, could kill him.
Watch Dr. Gupta explain Coronary calcification here:
Featured image via screen capture
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