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America's 10 Unhealthiest Presidents

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4. Dwight Eisenhower

34th President (1953-1961)

Heavy smoker: As in four-packs-a-day heavy smoker. Eisenhower's physician recommended that he cut down to one pack a day, but after limiting his intake for a few days, the president decided to quit cold turkey. Asked how he did it, Eisenhower said that he simply didn't think about it, and that it helped to develop a scornful attitude towards those who couldn't kick the habit.

Crohn's disease: In 1956, six months before the election, Eisenhower was diagnosed with Crohn's disease (an inflammatory disease that affects the digestive system, generally causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or weight loss). That June, the president successfully underwent emergency surgery to alleviate his inflamed small intestine.

Gallstones: Eisenhower had his gallbladder (containing 16 gallstones) removed in 1966.

Heart attacks: In 1955 Eisenhower suffered a heart attack so severe that his primary cardiologist advised the president not to run for a second term. Eisenhower chose not to take his advice, however, and was reelected. His second term was marred by even more heart trouble: during a five-month span alone in 1968, he suffered four heart attacks and 14 cardiac arrests. These attacks weakened him to the point where he could only be out of bed for 45 minutes a day, and he died soon after the next year.

Next:  3. John F. Kennedy


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drthan wrote:

Ummm...Where's FDR on this list? polio with paralysis, severe heart disease with CHF due to chronic hypertension, probable metastatic melanoma, severe atherosclerosis. Died shortly into 4th term. A glaring omission maybe due to the fact that his medical records were lost/destroyed.

10/3/2011 11:16:51 PM Report Abuse

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