Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 124 (3), 1133-42

Taft and Pickwick: Sleep Apnea in the White House

Affiliations

Taft and Pickwick: Sleep Apnea in the White House

John G Sotos. Chest.

Abstract

As President of the United States from 1909 to 1913, William Howard Taft's minimum body mass index was 42 kg/m(2). This article presents evidence that he suffered from obstructive sleep apnea, manifested by excessive daytime somnolence, snoring, systemic hypertension and, perhaps, cognitive and psychosocial impairment. As president, Taft's hypersomnolence was severe and obvious, but never prompted official discussion of his fitness to govern. Within 12 months of leaving office, Taft permanently lost over 60 pounds. His somnolence resolved. As Chief Justice of the United States from 1921 to 1930, he was not somnolent. President Taft's case illuminates historical puzzles of his performance as President, raises public awareness of sleep apnea, and informs discussions of presidential disability and the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Comment in

  • Apnea and history.
    Polkey MI, Morrell MJ, Simonds AK. Polkey MI, et al. Chest. 2004 Apr;125(4):1587-8. doi: 10.1378/chest.125.4.1587. Chest. 2004. PMID: 15078779 No abstract available.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 2 articles

Personal name as subject

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback