Biden Is Healthy, Medical Records Show

No Repeat of Aneurysm Suffered 20 Years Ago

Medically Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on October 20, 2008
From the WebMD Archives

Oct. 20, 2008 -- Medical records released by the Obama-Biden campaign suggest that vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden is in good health, according to media reports.

The campaign released Biden's medical records to some news organizations on Monday. They reportedly show that Biden, who is 65, has not had another brain aneurysm since the two he suffered 20 years ago.

Biden had emergency surgery for an aneurysm in an artery in his brain two decades ago but suffered no permanent damage as a result. An aneurysm is a bulging of an artery due to a weakened area of the vessel wall. He also had a second, smaller, unruptured aneurysm that was removed a few months later.

An aneurysm can cause damage by crowding brain tissue, or, as was the case with Biden in 1988, bursting and leaking blood into surrounding tissue.

Biden also had an episode of irregular heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation in July 2006, reports said. A stress test of the heart at the time indicated no heart disease. He was started on aspirin therapy.

Biden also suffers from an enlarged prostate but has no signs of prostate cancer, the reports indicated. He takes Flomax for his enlarged prostate. He also takes allergy medications and the cholesterol-lowering drug Zocor.

Doctors for presidential candidates Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama have declared them medically fit to be to be president.

McCain allowed a group of reporters to view some of his medical records in May. They showed that McCain, who is 72, has had multiple diagnoses of malignant melanoma, which have been surgically removed. McCain also has limited mobility in his arms and an abnormal gait because of injuries suffered during the Vietnam War.

Obama released a one-page letter in May from his doctor saying the candidate was in excellent health. The letter said Obama has used Nicorette gum -- with success -- to help the candidate quit smoking.

Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, has not released any of her medical information. Palin is 44 years old.

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