Book list
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In this empowering, lifesaving primer, cardiac surgeon Gillinov and cardiologist Nissen, who between the two of them have cared for more than 10,000 cardiac patients, authoritatively lay out what Americans must do to lessen their risk of dying of heart disease, the nation's number-one killer. For starters, don't get fat, and don't smoke. But the authors also mix in surprises. For example, they say cold weather can increase the risk of heart attack, while more education can lower it, and too much alcohol can increase the risk of high blood pressure (and breast cancer); and they explain why, medically speaking, husbands should stay faithful. Gillinov and Nissen also cover the warning signs of heart attacks and early symptoms of heart disease. The book is full of interesting asides (for example, in 1900, pneumonia was the leading cause of U.S. deaths, and the average life expectancy was 47), but impatient patients can skip to the end of chapters, which typically end with an Rx summary. In sum, an understandable and definitive guide by two top heart docs.--Springen, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Cardiac surgeon Gillinov and cardiologist Nissen, both of Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, efficiently render an overwhelming array of symptoms, tests, diagnoses, treatment options, diet, and exercise recommendations, drugs and supplements, and prognoses associated with the nation's top cause of death into an easy-to-use guide to preventing heart disease. The key to prevention, they state, is recognizing and reducing risk factors, many of which (e.g., migraines, gum disease, stress, negative emotions, and sleep apnea) are hidden. They consider the impact of excess weight, high cholesterol, and blood pressure, suggesting lifestyle and pharmaceutical interventions to bring ranges back to normal, and address particular concerns and links with heart disease for women (pregnancy, menopause, and HRT), men (erectile dysfunction; prostate cancer), and children (obesity). Much of their advice downplays the efficacy of media-touted "superfoods" like blueberries and miracle supplements like B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and coQ10. They caution readers to take their time and do their research before committing to care that may be limited because of where they live or their physician's knowledge. Gillinov and Nissen criticize physicians for suggesting stents to open blockages far more than necessary. This superior effort ends with an encouraging look at technological advances on the horizon, which may eliminate the need for invasive surgeries and drugs with dangerous side effects. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

According to the Center for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. In this informative manual for heart health, cardiac surgeon Gillinov and cardiologist Nissen (both, Cleveland Clinic) emphasize prevention and answer questions regarding smoking, drinking red wine, diet, exercise, fads, and medication. The extremely useful section "How To Tell Fact from Fiction" explains the difference between various types of studies and which ones should be taken seriously. For those who have suffered or are suffering from heart disease, Gillinov and Nissen explain the most common tests and procedures and advise on whether they are helpful or unnecessary, depending on the patient's condition. This combination of case studies, historic information on treatments, and explanations of subjects including stress, diet pills, and drugs is a surprisingly engaging read. VERDICT This book is a good choice for anyone with a heart; essential for those with heart conditions.-Susanne Caro, Univ. of Montana Lib., Missoula (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.