Whether or not you’re glad that Obama won re-election, Here’s something you should know (and it applies to BOTH sides of the political spectrum): Ten of the nation’s 44 presidents likely suffered strokes during their presidencies or after leaving office. Seven of them–John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford–suffered strokes after leaving office.
Woodrow Wilson was so incapacitated by a series of strokes that his wife, Edith, became the virtual acting president. Franklin Roosevelt died of a massive stroke on April 12, 1945, leaving the presidency to an unprepared Harry Truman just as World War II was ending. And in 2000, former President Gerald Ford began slurring his words during a TV interview.
Chester Arthur was obese and got little exercise (too bad he didn’t have a copy of Anne Strieber’s famous diet book!). The afflicted presidents had several stroke risk factors in common. Being men, they were more likely than women to suffer strokes. Seven of the 10 presidents were older than 65 when they suffered strokes. And, of course, the presidency is an extremely stressful job.
Plus, some of the presidents who suffered strokes had unhealthy lifestyles. Franklin Roosevelt was a heavy smoker. Andrew Johnson may have abused alcohol. Wilson and Dwight Eisenhower suffered nonfatal strokes while in office. (Unlike Wilson, Ike did not suffer serious disabilities).
Neurologist Dr. Jose Biller says, "Strokes affect the brain. And everything we do–from simple motor functions to more complex behaviors such as planning, reasoning and judgment–is brain-related. (And) when a stroke affects a president, it can have a major impact not only on the individual, but on the world."