A look at McCain's health records

May 23, 2008 4:51:23 PM PDT
Republican presidential candidate John McCain's campaign allowed The Associated Press to review his medical records, spanning 2000 through May 2008. Highlights of the records: -His most recent complete physical was in March; his latest checkup was last week.

-Blood pressure was 134 over 84. Optimal is below 120 over 80, and high blood pressure begins at 140 over 90. An in-between reading is sometimes called prehypertension, but McCain's doctor said other recent readings were lower and his blood pressure is normal.

-Total cholesterol is a healthy 192, below the worrisome 240 level. His so-called bad or LDL cholesterol is a healthy 123. But his so-called good or HDL cholesterol is 42, below the recommended 60.

-He weighs 163 pounds, and stands 5-foot-9.

-His BMI, or body mass index, was just under 24, which puts him at upper end of normal; 25 or higher is overweight.

-He has had four separate melanomas removed, in 1993, 2000 and 2002. Most were very early stage forms but one, a spot on his temple in 2000, was invasive cancer deemed "intermediate-stage" melanoma. He has had no sign of melanoma since 2002, but has his skin checked every three or four months. Doctors frequently remove precancerous lesions and in February removed a small, early squamous cell carcinoma, an easily surgically cured skin cancer.

-Doctors removed common benign growths called polyps during a routine colonoscopy in March. Doctors often screen patients with polyps more frequently, as they can be precancerous.

-He has suffered occasional bouts of dizziness, usually when standing suddenly, since 2000 that repeated tests concluded were harmless vertigo.

-In 2001, he had successful minimally invasive surgery to reduce an enlarged prostate, common in older men, and shows no sign of prostate cancer.

-His medications include simvastatin, part of the popular statin family of anti-cholesterol drugs; a baby aspirin, commonly prescribed starting in middle age to prevent heart attacks; Claritin, Zyrtec or Flonase as needed for seasonal allergies; the sleeping pill Ambien as needed during travel; and HCTZ, or hydrochlorothiazide, to prevent kidney stones.

-McCain's stress test showed no signs of blockages, and his ejection fraction, a measure of the heart's pumping strength, was a very healthy 60 percent.

-He has small kidney stones and benign kidney cysts that don't impact his kidney function, which is normal.

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