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An article published in Annals of Internal Medicine discusses the surprising health history of President John F. Kennedy.
At the age of 43, Kennedy was the youngest man ever elected president. During his campaign and presidency, the media portrayed him as the epitome of youth and vigor. However, a review of Kennedy's White House medical records, as well as correspondence from his physicians, reveal that Kennedy had the most complex medical history of any U.S. president.
Unbeknownst to the public, Kennedy was diagnosed with Addison's disease, a rare endocrine disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough of the hormone cortisol.
Later, when Kennedy was a senator, he was found to have hypothyroidism. During the 1960 campaign for the presidency, Kennedy's physician denied the Addison's diagnosis and deflected further probes with a carefully-worded statement to the media.
Today, with newly available evidence, researchers can plausibly conclude that Kennedy had a rare unifying autoimmune endocrine disorder called polyendocrine syndrome type II, or APS II, which is characterized by the coexistence of hypothyroidism and Addison's disease, among other conditions.
This article was published in Annals of Internal Medicine on September 1, 2009.
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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American College of Physicians. "John F. Kennedy was able to hide serious health problems from the public in an era of less media scrutiny." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 22 Nov. 2013. Web.
25 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/269166>
American College of Physicians. (2013, November 22). "John F. Kennedy was able to hide serious health problems from the public in an era of less media scrutiny." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
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