King Reports Ailments After Examination

Diagnoses by doctors in China of King Norodom Sihanouk have shown that the monarch’s health problems persist, with some of them worsening, the King wrote in an open letter.

The King has been in China since mid-March to receive a routine round of examinations.

“The results of these examinations showed that there are a lot of health problems, and a number are problems [that] are more serious than before,” King Sihanouk wrote.

“Professors and doctors of the People’s Republic of China pay at­tention especially to some diseases such as liver disease and diabetes,” he wrote.

The letter exemplifies a trend of candor by the King that was un­known just a few years ago. Talk of his health, and his eventual death, have typically been taboo in the country, despite assurances from the monarch himself that such talk should be encouraged in order to maintain stability in the country after his passing.

In his most recent letter, dated April 13 and addressed to all his “respectful, beloved compatriots,” the King wrote that he had at­tached the doctors’ report so that other doctors in Cambodia could have it explained to them.

The report, dated April 2, in­cludes results from blood examination, chest X-rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the head and pelvis and other tests.

The MRI of the head discovered “no obviously abnormal findings,” and the MRI of the pelvis showed “no evidence of the re­cur­rence of tumor, nor lympho­adenopathy.”

Other findings in the report in­clude a diagnosis of remission in “non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” which is a benign tumor of a lymph node; a “fatty infiltration of liver”; “a gallbladder stone”; “chron­ic pharyngitis,” or sore throat; and “chronic right maxillary sinusitis,” which is an inflammation of the sinus.

The exam also found a “degenerative valvular disease of aor­tic and mitral valve” of the heart.

The King’s physicians recommended that he “avoid over-fatigue and respiratory infection [and] persist in doing appropriate exercise.”

“Keep low cholesterol, low fat and low sugar diet…continue present medications,” the doctors recommended.

They also recommended “follow-up laboratory examinations every three months, key point physical examination every half- year and general physical examination every year.”

In his letter, the King did not say when he was scheduled to re­turn to Cambodia.

(Additional reporting by Kim Chan)

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