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Clinton Releases Updated Health Information After Pneumonia Diagnosis


Hillary Clinton's campaign has now released more details about her health. Her doctor gives some more information about her bout with pneumonia and says a complete physical exam was otherwise normal. NPR science correspondent Richard Harris is with us now to talk about this. Hi there.


MCEVERS: So tell us what we've learned from this new medical information.

HARRIS: Well, Kelly, her doctor, Lisa Bardach, gives us a little more information about the pneumonia. The report says it was caused by a non-contagious bacterium. It was diagnosed Friday with a CT scan, and Clinton is now being treated with the antibiotic Levaquin which she's supposed to take for 10 days.

MCEVERS: The Clinton campaign says the pneumonia was the reason she left a 9/11 ceremony unexpectedly on Sunday and showed signs of being weak on her feet. She's been off the campaign trail since. What does the doctor have to say about that?

HARRIS: The note says that her doctor examined her again today and says Clinton is recovering well with the antibiotics and rest. It says she, quote, "continues to improve," close quote.

MCEVERS: What else is in this health summary that came out (inaudible)....

MCEVERS: Well, there's a list of laboratory findings which were all within the normal range according to the report. That includes fasting blood glucose, certain vitamin levels as well as cholesterol levels. Her total cholesterol, by the way, is 189, which is a good number.

And she also has a lower-than-average blood pressure, which is 100 over 70. That's not considered unhealthily low, but people with low readings are more prone to lightheadedness and potentially fainting.

MCEVERS: Are there any signs of more serious medical conditions?

HARRIS: No, there aren't, not in these records. It says she has been screened for breast cancer with normal readings. Dr. Bardach also says that Clinton is in excellent mental condition. The big picture here is that her doctor says she's fit to serve as president.

MCEVERS: What have we heard from other candidates?

HARRIS: Well, today her vice presidential running mate, Tim Kaine, also released a doctor's letter describing his last checkup, which was in February. That showed he was, quote, "overall in excellent health" in the words of Brian Monahan, who is Congress's attending physician. Kaine was 57 at the time, and like most people that age, his report isn't perfect. His total cholesterol was borderline high at 224, and his vitamin D was on the low side.

We have had no word yet on the health status of Mike Pence, the Republican candidate for vice president. And Republican Donald Trump says he had a physical exam last week. He said he would release those results sometime this week.

And he taped a conversation with a controversial TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz today, and that's supposed to air tomorrow. On that, Oz talked to Trump about his health, but we don't know the full details of that conversation. So presumably there will be something out of that and maybe other, more substantial releases.

MCEVERS: That's NPR's Richard Harris on the health of the presidential and vice presidential candidates. Thank you very much.

HARRIS: Anytime. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Award-winning journalist Richard Harris has reported on a wide range of topics in science, medicine and the environment since he joined NPR in 1986. In early 2014, his focus shifted from an emphasis on climate change and the environment to biomedical research.