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Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition

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Overview

Heart failure—the expression alone is scary. The idea that the blood-pumping organ in our chest can struggle, stutter, or suddenly stop is deeply disconcerting. But for those who get the diagnosis, the future is not necessarily bleak. With the right treatments and a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and good nutrition, many people with heart failure can improve their condition and live well.

Heart failure expert Edward K. Kasper, M.D., teams with journalist—and ...

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Overview

Heart failure—the expression alone is scary. The idea that the blood-pumping organ in our chest can struggle, stutter, or suddenly stop is deeply disconcerting. But for those who get the diagnosis, the future is not necessarily bleak. With the right treatments and a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and good nutrition, many people with heart failure can improve their condition and live well.

Heart failure expert Edward K. Kasper, M.D., teams with journalist—and survivor—Mary Knudson to give readers an honest account of this misunderstood condition. The authors explain the complex science of heart failure and look critically at the care available.

Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition will help readers understand:• The causes of the condition• Normal and abnormal heart rhythms• How to recognize symptoms and when to seek treatment• Which diagnostic tests to expect • The best treatments for different types of heart failure• How pacemakers work• The advantages and disadvantages of implantable cardioverter defibrillators • How to be safer in a hospital• What exercises result in increased heart, leg, arm, and core body strength • What foods to eat and what to avoid

Informed by the shared knowledge of doctor and patient, those diagnosed with heart failure and their loved ones will learn how to effectively manage the condition in this comprehensive and compassionate guide.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Hopkins Reader - Neil A. Grauer
A book that will enable people to begin learning the basics of heart failure—its causes, symptoms, treatment, and challenges.
Midwest Book Review
A bad ticker doesn't mean a bad life. Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition is a complete and comprehensive guide to heart failure.
Hopkins Reader
A book that will enable people to begin learning the basics of heart failure—its causes, symptoms, treatment, and challenges.

— Neil A. Grauer

Library Journal
The incidence of heart failure is increasing in the United States and is a common reason for hospitalization for people older than 65. Johns Hopkins cardiologist Kasper and medical journalist Knudson alternate medical information with Knudson's personal narrative as a heart failure patient. They describe the heart's role in the circulatory system and conditions that contribute to heart failure, including diabetes, hypertension, cardiomyopathy, and obesity. Symptoms and diagnostic tests are described. Drug therapies, the most common treatment, are thoroughly covered and include recommended target dosing. Surgical procedures, including assistive devices such as the artificial heart, also receive attention. Transplantation is mentioned as a last resort. The final sections provide advice for daily living, including nutrition and exercise, forming a good patient-provider relationship, hospitalization, and maintaining a positive attitude. VERDICT While the latter part of the book is good, the medical explanations and terminology are dry and unlikely to hold the attention of its intended audience. A better choice is Randall Starling's The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Heart Failure.—Janet M. Schneider, James A. Haley Veterans Hosp., Tampa
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801894237
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/5/2010
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,439,551
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward K. Kasper, M.D., is the E. Cowles Andrus Professor in Cardiology and Director of Clinical Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Mary Knudson is a national award-winning medical writer and editor. She was diagnosed with heart failure in 2003 and got well.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I The Causes and Diagnosis of Heart Failure

1 What Is This Thing Called Heart Failure? 9

2 Coronary Artery Disease: The Major Cause of Heart Failure 24

3 Cardiomyopathy: A Leading Cause of Heart Failure 37

4 Diagnosing Heart Failure and Its Causes 46

Part II Treatments for Heart Failure

5 Drug Treatments 65

6 Conversations of the Heart: Arrhythmias and Pacemakers 83

7 Straight Talk about Sudden Death: Should I Get an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator? 98

8 Surgical Treatments 109

9 Device Treatments for the Critically Ill 117

10 Getting a New Heart 124

11 Future Therapies 139

Part III The Challenges of Living with Heart Failure

12 Nutrition and Heart Failure Samantha Heller 151

13 Exercise: How Much and What Kind? 175

14 The Patient-Doctor Therapeutic Relationship 188

15 What You Need to Know about the Hospital 200

16 Heart Failure in Elderly People 214

17 What You Can Do for Yourself 218

18 Where to Find More Information 225

Epilogue 231

Appreciation 233

Appendix: Trade Names and Generic Names of Drugs 235

Notes on Sources 241

Index 267

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 5, 2010

    So Smart about the Heart

    This is just one of the best medical science, self-help books that I have ever read. Until I read this book, I had thought that heart failure meant inevitable death. Not only did I learn how wrong I was, but I learned a new appreciation and respect for the heart, how to take of it, and what modern medicine knows about treating heart failure. The lessons in this book are useful not only for people with heart disease but for people just seeking to learn how to best take care of themselves. Authors Dr. Ed Kasper and medical journalist Mary Knudson do an exceptional of providing new and good information in a highly readable form. And Knudson, who was once diagnosed with heart failure herself, does an exceptional job of mixing the human issues of any health challenge with the scientific ones. Highly recommended for its usefulness, its excellent research, and its easy reading qualities.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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