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Hillary-Clinton-Coughing | First Ladies of AmericaIt is appropriate that any consideration of the cause and significance of Ms. Hillary Clinton’s cough should be proceeded by an analysis of both the character and the circumstances of the problem.

First, it is a chronic condition. The cough has occurred on many occasions between the end of 2015 and May, 2016.  Moreover, similar episodes of coughing were recorded during Clinton’s previous presidential campaign in 2008. The coughing is spasmodic and lasts or more than a minutes at a time. It is non-productive of sputum. It has occurred at different times of day, and has been documented both at the first political event of the day and in late afternoon after eleven hours of congressional testimony. A throat lozenge usually produced an end to the problem.

Varied causes have been offered as explanations. However most can be discarded quickly after initial analysis:

  1. The chronicity and the dryness of the cough likely rules out a viral or a bacterial etiology.
  2. Antihypertensive medication, especially of the ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor) class often produces a recurrent cough. However, Mrs. Clinton’s 2015 medical report did not mention either hypertension or antihypertensive drug use.
  3. The same medical report stated that the former First Lady is hypothyroid o which she takes pills. Although hypothyroidism uncommonly produces a chronic cough,  other explanations remain more likely.
  4. Clinton on one occasion blamed allergies for the spasms, and the aforementioned report documented seasonal allergies. However, her symptom is not seasonal; it  occurred at different times of the year.

One cause cannot be excluded, that of gastro esophageal reflux disease. Two physicians (1,2) were quoted as considering this as a likely possibility. Dr. Jonathan Aviv opined, that with her cough, “There was some hoarseness, there’s some throat clearing, in fact there’s frequent throat clearing. When you have this trio of symptoms, you have to think of what I call burn reflux, which is acid reflux affecting the throat.” (2)

Finally, the most likely explanation for her malady is the simplest one. The candidate talks too much, and frequently when she talks, she screams. Mrs. Clinton probably suffers from a politician’s occupational hazard – throat irritation produced by too much abuse. The only significance is, should Hillary Clinton be elected president, the electorate will not suffer from her too many speeches and press conferences.


Dr. Daniel Kassicieh, as quoted in Jerome Corsi, Hillary Mum on Coughing Fit, Special Eyeglasses, World News Digest, February 19, 2016.

Dr. Jonathan Aviv, Inside Edition, http://www.insidediti.com/headlines/14747-why-does-hillary-clinton-keep-coughing, February 17, 2016.

Lud Historian
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