The 6 Major Health Risks Associated With Being Donald Trump

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Over the weekend, Hillary Clinton, 68, clad in a bulletproof vest beneath a dark suit on an 80-degree morning, overheated at a public event; she later disclosed she had pneumonia. Donald Trump, a 70-year-old man who has described the act of giving a speech as “almost a form of exercise,” has seized upon the incident as further proof of the former secretary of state’s questionable fitness for office.

Somehow Trump has made Clinton’s health an issue in the presidential race, this though she is two years younger than he is and, by dint of her membership in the developed world, statistically likelier to live 5% longer than him. Come January 20 — Inauguration Day — Clinton will be the same age Ronald Reagan was when he became president; Trump, should he win, will be the oldest president in American history to take the oath of office.

Trump will tell you — and he has a doctor’s note to prove it — that he’s the fittest man for the job. It’s true that he does have some things going for him: He’s white (or, on the earlier end of the ROYGBIV spectrum), rich, famous, and privileged, doesn't drink alcohol, and eschews cigars and smoking. Also in his favor: He’s a documented germaphobe with a strangely acute aversion to bodily functions like, say, going to the bathroom. No wonder we’ve not seen him with so much as a sniffle on the campaign trail. (Dr. Oz, take note!)

Still, The Donald has managed to cram a lot of hard living into seven decades, enough certainly to raise reasonable questions about his health, too. And so we’ve compiled a list of the top six health concerns associated with being Donald Trump.

Michael Maiello is a columnist, writer, and playwright. The views expressed here are his own.
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His Multiple Marriages

Trump endured two high-profile divorces before his marriage to current wife Melania in 2005. A study of 10,904 men conducted over nine years by Harvard Medical School found that divorced men showed a 37% increased likelihood of dying versus men who stay married. Research also suggests that divorced men tend to eat badly, gain weight, and are more likely to develop high blood pressure and other symptoms associated with strokes and heart attacks. Fortunately, offsetting the potential health risks of his marital strife, Trump’s current wife Melania is 46, 24 years his junior. Men who marry younger women live longer, says science.
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His Lifestyle and Eating Habits

Donald Trump is an enthusiastic fat-shamer who has mocked Rosie O'Donnell, Chris Christie, and anonymous protesters at his rallies. He even allegedly called a Miss Universe contestant "Miss Piggy." Unlike Trump, we know here at Refinery29 that you can’t tell anything about a person’s health by the size of their body. But it doesn't appear that the presidential hopeful subscribes to any sort of balanced eating regimen that would give him proper fuel to, you know, lead the free world. In fact, he has claimed to eat whatever he wants, and is a well-documented fan of red meat, fried chicken, hamburgers, and sweets. (Let’s not forget those taco bowls.) Although there's nothing wrong with a burger every once in a while, it probably shouldn't be your main source of protein. In 2012, a team of Harvard researchers studied the diets of 84,000 women and 38,000 men and found that those who ate the most red meat died younger, and more often from cancer and cardiovascular disease. And while there’s nothing wrong with eating food you enjoy, it’s also important to listen to your body’s needs. Which presumably includes vegetables.
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His Fitness Regimen

Trump appears to believe that talking animatedly is exercise. More pizza rat than gym rat, Trump considers the campaign trail his real workout. "When you're making speeches for 25,000 people and shouting and screaming and having fun with everybody and making America great again, you get a lot of exercise,” he told People magazine earlier this year. He does play golf, which, he says, "keeps you away from the refrigerator because you're out on the course." But lifting babies and the occasional round of golf probably won’t get him to the two-and-a-half hours per week of mild to intense aerobic activity that Harvard University says he needs to stay in top form.
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His Bankruptcies and Lawsuits

Trump’s current enterprises owe at least $650 million in debt, and four Trump businesses have gone bankrupt. Not surprisingly, debt has been linked to stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental-health issues. That’s on top of the stress associated with being party to a lawsuit. Yep, litigation stress syndrome is a real thing, though, full disclosure: No one in the study clocked in with as many cases as The Donald, who, according to USA Today, has filed an estimated 3,500 lawsuits during the last three decades.
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His Seemingly Quack Doctor

New York gastroenterologist Dr. Harold Bornstein has been Donald Trump’s personal physician since 1980. In the back of Trump’s limousine, he dashed off a four-paragraph memo, declaring the candidate would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” specifically calling out Trump’s mental health as top rate. By the doctor’s own admission, it was written during a five-minute car ride. That’s troubling for many reasons, not the least of which is that Trump was decidedly shortchanged: The average doctor visit in the U.S. is upwards of 13 minutes. Sad!
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His “Basket of Deplorables”

Borrowing an ill-conceived phrase from the art of floral design (is there anything she doesn't know?), Hillary Clinton recently described the racist, sexist, and homophobic members of the Trump movement as a "basket of deplorables." And though Trump has persistently refused to acknowledge said basket, that, er, checkered following could be bad for his health, as a 2015 Berkeley Law Scholarship Repository study suggests that the presence of racism in a community increases mortality risk for all its members, including both those discriminating and those discriminated against. The researchers believe that communities with low racial tension have more “social capital,” and a greater ability to band together to overcome hardship. In short, racism makes society more dangerous, and to the extent that Trump is elevating racists into the national conversation, he is hurting everyone, including himself.