Cardiologists not associated with the White House said Wednesday that President Trump’s physical exam revealed serious heart concerns, including very high levels of so-called bad cholesterol, which raises the risk that Mr. Trump could have a heart attack while in office.
.. Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, a rear admiral and the White House physician, said Tuesday in his report on the president’s medical condition that Mr. Trump was in “excellent” cardiac health despite having an LDL cholesterol level of 143, well above the desired level of 100 or less.
Dr. David Maron, the director of preventive cardiology at Stanford University’s medical school, said Wednesday that it was alarming that the president’s LDL levels remain above 140 even though he is taking 10 milligrams of Crestor, a powerful drug that is used to lower cholesterol levels to well below 100.
Dr. Maron said he would “definitely” be worried about Mr. Trump’s risk for having a heart attack if the president were one of his patients. Asked if Mr. Trump is in perfect health, Dr. Maron offered a blunt reply: “God, no.”
.. Several said Mr. Trump’s goal should be to get his LDL below 100, or even under 70. He has a real risk of having a heart attack or stroke, especially considering his weight and lack of exercise, they said.
.. “That’s a really high LDL,” Dr. Topol said. “We’re talking about a 70-plus-year-old man who is obese and doesn’t exercise. Just looking at the lab value, you would raise a big red flag.”
.. several said they wondered whether Mr. Trump was regularly taking his medicine as prescribed.
.. Dr. Daniel Rader, the director of the lipid clinic at the University of Pennsylvania’s medical school, said that taking a daily dose of 10 milligrams of Crestor should reduce LDL levels by at least 30 percent, which means that Trump’s LDL started out over 200, a dangerous level.
.. “One obvious question is, how long has he been on a statin?” Dr. Rader said. “What was his LDL before he started taking it?”
.. Asked whether Mr. Trump has heart disease, Dr. Jackson said he did not. “Technically, he has nonclinical coronary atherosclerosis,” Dr. Jackson told reporters.
.. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the chief medical correspondent for CNN, repeatedly expressed concern on Wednesday about test results that showed Mr. Trump’s coronary calcium score had increased to 133, from 34 in 2009. On CNN, Dr. Gupta repeatedly showed a chart suggesting that levels above 100 indicate someone with heart disease.
.. David Axelrod, who served as one of Mr. Obama’s top advisers in the White House, said Tuesday on Twitter: “I knew Dr. Ronny Jackson in the White House. In my experience, he was very good guy and straight shooter.”
.. Dr. Maron calculated the president’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years, based on the high LDL levels and normal blood pressure. The result placed him in the top 25 percent of the population.
“I would call that high,” Dr. Maron said.