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Doctor Says Palin In Excellent Health

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is in excellent health with no known health issues that would interfere with her ability to perform her duties if she and John McCain are elected Tuesday, her family doctor says.

McCain's campaign released a summary of Palin's medical history Monday night.

Palin had promised several weeks ago to release the information, following similar releases by McCain, and Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

In a two-page letter, Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson, Palin's personal family physician in Alaska since 1997, said Palin has only been hospitalized for childbirth.

The Alaska governor is a 44-year-old mother of five. Son Trig, born earlier this year, has Down syndrome.

Palin had a breast biopsy in 1992 for what turned out to be a benign lesion. Her vital signs, including blood pressure and pulse, have been normal, the summary said.

Baldwin-Johnson said Palin has no close relatives with major health problems.

Palin also takes no routine prescription medications and exercises regularly.

The campaign's decision to release a brief summary letter is consistent with what Obama did earlier this year.

Obama did not release records, but rather a letter from his personal physician attesting to the 47-year-old's good health. Obama has very good cholesterol levels, outstanding blood pressure and no sign of heart disease. He is a smoker who has quit but relapsed several times. He announced in February that he was quitting again with the aid of Nicorette gum. His doctor said only that Obama is using Nicorette "with success."

Last month, Biden, Obama's running mate, released medical records that showed the 65-year-old to be very healthy, with some routine aging issues. There was no evidence he's had a brain scan to completely rule out another aneurysm like the one that required emergency surgery 20 years ago.

The records showed no reason for concern about another aneurysm: Biden has no symptoms, has healthy blood pressure and seems to have healthy heart arteries.

The records for McCain, 72, showed him in generally good health, cancer-free and with a strong heart. He maintains a healthy weight and blood pressure and takes medicine for his cholesterol.

Critics raise lingering questions, however, about his melanoma, the worst kind of skin cancer. McCain's doctors performed extensive surgery that raised no concern that it had begun spreading, giving him a good prognosis. He undergoes regular skin exams.

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