A State Department cable asserted that Abdullah was born in 1916, which
would make the king 95-years-old. The cable by the U.S. embassy in Riyad
said Abdullah appeared to be sexually active and was using Viagra simulants
as late as 2008.
The cable reviewed Abdullah's health amid U.S. concerns over the aging
of the Saudi leadership. The State Department was told that Abdullah,
described as a "true Bedouin," remained a heavy smoker and was receiving
both Viagra as well as hormone injections.
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Details of the king came from an unidentified Western physician. The
cable said the physician was summoned to Riyad to examine one of Abdullah's
four wives but was given, apparently by accident, the king's medical file.
For decades, Western diplomats believed Abdullah was born around 1925, Middle East Newsline reported.
In 2010, Abdullah underwent a series of back and spinal operations that were
said to have forced him to suspend his daily duties.
Much of Abdullah's duties were said to have been taken over by his
half-brother Nayef. Nayef, both deputy prime minister and interior minister,
was believed responsible for domestic security, including
An earlier cable said Abdullah distrusted modern medicine until he
underwent a heart attack. The State Department said Abdullah was told that
he needed to swim three laps every morning and walk for 45 minutes in the