Monday, February 19, 2024

Health Issues and Age of United States Presidential Candidates

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, Miscellaneous, Science & Society, History of Science, Nature of Science

Ed Hessler

A Reading Recommendation

The author is Lawrence K. Altman who has "reported on the health of every president since Reagan."

Altman reported "on the health of American and foreign political leaders for the New York Times, bringing (his) experience as a physician to what became a new journalism niche." Altman is a clinical professor of medicine at New York University.

The period Altman covers is from Reagan to the current candidates, Trump and Biden. He discusses problems with Special Counsel Robert Hur's report in which Biden's cognitive capacities were called into question. Altman reminds us that  "Hur is a lawyer, not a doctor with expertise in evaluating cognitive function decline."

It may seem long - my access copy is frequently divided into sections by announcements, etc. so I suspect it is not as long as it appears. The important thing is that it is reported in sufficient detail to inform. He reviews one reason we can't draw conclusions from the Hur report. So far full access to the tapes and transcripts have not been made available.
Altman closes with some advice for all of us.

What is indisputable "is that risks of developing many ailments increase with advancing age. A particular concern is the incidence of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia among older people." Altman cites studies showing "that 17% of Americans aged 75 to 84 years and 32% if those 85 or older have dementia.

"But that means more than two-thirds do not have dementia. (My underline)

"It would behoove voters and political journalists to keep that in mind." (My italics)

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