Woman's Heart: An Owner's Guide


If you ask the average American what the leading cause of mortality in women is, most would probably guess breast cancer. In fact, heart disease is the #1 killer of women, and more women die each year from heart disease than men. Moreover, the symptoms of heart problems in women are very different from those in men, making detection more difficult.
In this invaluable and engaging guide to the woman’s heart, two leading heart specialists focus on the unique factors affecting ...
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If you ask the average American what the leading cause of mortality in women is, most would probably guess breast cancer. In fact, heart disease is the #1 killer of women, and more women die each year from heart disease than men. Moreover, the symptoms of heart problems in women are very different from those in men, making detection more difficult.
In this invaluable and engaging guide to the woman’s heart, two leading heart specialists focus on the unique factors affecting women’s cardiovascular health. Writing in language that is completely accessible to the general reader, they provide crucial, potentially life-saving information and guidance to help women monitor their own heart health. Among the topics discussed in clear, easy-to-follow language are:

• In what ways is a woman’s heart different from a man’s?
• How do pregnancy and childbirth affect the heart and circulation?
• What are the symptoms of heart disease in women?
• What are the most prevalent diseases of the heart among women —including mitral valve prolapse—and how dangerous are they really?
• What cardiac tests should women be taking?
• When are medications enough and when is surgery necessary?
• How is the heart affected by menopause and aging?
• What are the future prospects for improving heart health and treatment for women?

For both healthy women and those already coping with heart disease, this comprehensive
"owner’s manual" on the female heart provides essential information for living life to its fullest.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591025627
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

John A. Elefteriades, MD (New Haven, CT), is the William W. L. Glenn Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, and professor of surgery at Yale University School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital. A past president of the International College of Angiology, he serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Cardiology, Journal of Cardiac Surgery, and Cardiology. The winner of the prestigious "Socrates Award" for the teaching of cardiac surgery, he is the author, with Lawrence S. Cohen, MD, of Your Heart: An Owner’s Guide and House Officer Guide to ICU Care.

Teresa Caulin-Glaser, MD, FACC (Columbus, OH), is Director of Preventive Cardiology and Research at the McConnell Heart Health Center, Riverside Methodist Hospital (OhioHealth) and a clinical associate professor of Internal Medicine at Ohio State University. She is the coauthor of four medical textbooks and numerous journal articles.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgment     11
Preface     13
Introduction: The "Broken Heart" Syndrome     21
The Female Heart     27
Normal Structure and Function     27
Anatomy and Physiology of a Woman-How the Female Heart Differs     32
Changes Associated with Pregnancy     33
Diseases of the Heart     37
Vessels-Coronary Artery Disease     37
Valves-Mitral Valve Disease (Including Mitral Valve Prolapse), Aortic Valve Disease     47
Rhythm-Irregular Heart Rhythms Frequently Seen in Women     57
Muscle-Causes for Heart Muscle Failure     67
Phases of a Woman's Life: What are the Heart Risks?     71
Younger Than Forty-Five: The "Honeymoon" Period     71
Ages Forty-Five to Sixty-Five: The Beginning of Change and Menopause     74
Older Than Sixty-Five: Aging and the Female Heart     76
Are You a Woman at Risk for Heart Disease?     79
Does Age Impact Your Risk?     79
Do Race and Ethnicity Impact Your Risk?     80
How Does Family History Affect Your Risk?     81
The Danger of Diabetes in Women     82
Tobacco Can Make a Woman's Life Go Up in Smoke     84
Hypertension: The Silent Killer of Women     85
Are Women Treated Appropriately for High Cholesterol?     86
Obesity: The Growing Risk Factor for Women of All Ages     87
Is Your Diet a Heart Health Hazard?     95
How Do You Know If You Have a Heart Problem?     97
Are a Woman's Symptoms Different from a Man's?     97
Know the Symptoms     98
What Are the Risk Factors for Women?     99
Take Action against Heart Disease     100
Cardiac Rehabilitation     101
The Heart of the Matter on Hormone Therapy and Oral Contraception     103
Hormone Therapy     103
Oral Contraception     119
Medications to Treat Heart Disease     123
Beta Blockers     123
Diuretics     124
ACE Inhibitors     124
Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers     125
Calcium Channel Blockers     126
Statins     126
Fibrates     127
Other Lipid-Altering Medications     127
Aspirin     128
Other Blood Thinning Medications     129
Herbal and Natural Supplements: How Effective and Safe are They?     131
Overview     131
Black Cohosh     132
Coenzyme Q10 (COQ10)     132
Ephedrine and Ephedra (Ma Huang)     133
Fish Oil     133
Flaxseed     133
Garlic     134
Ginkgo Biloba     134
Plant Stanols and Sterols     135
Red Yeast Rice     135
Soy Protein     136
St. John's Wort     136
Stress, Depression, and Anger: Is Your Heart at Emotional Risk?     139
The Effects of Stress on a Woman's Heart and Health     139
Depression-Often Overlooked But a Serious Risk to Women     142
Methods and Treatments to Handle Stress     142
Cardiac Testing     147
What Is the Best Test for Women and Why?     147
Electrophysiologic Testing     150
Stress Testing     155
Angiography     159
Procedures and Surgery: Why Women Do More Poorly Than Men     161
Angioplasty     161
Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery     164
Valve Surgery     183
Pacemakers and Defibrillators     195
Heart Transplantation     197
The Artificial Heart     202
Genetics and the Female Heart: What You Should Know about Your Genetic Legacy     207
Case Vignette: Three Generations of Aortic Dissection     207
Case Vignette: Another Family with Aortic Dissection     208
The Importance of Heredity     209
Living with Heart Disease     215
Knowing Your Options     215
Accepting the Diagnosis     216
Support from Family Members     217
Lifestyle Modifications     217
Nine More Things You Need to Know     223
How Are Women Protected from Arteriosclerosis until Menopause?     223
How about the "Pill"? Is It Really as Bad as They Say?     225
I Heard on TV That My Migraines Might Be Caused by a Hole in My Heart. How Can This Be?     226
Does a Woman Need Any Special Wound Care after Open Heart Surgery?     227
I Don't Want the Incision Down the Middle of My Chest. What Alternatives Do I Have?     228
What Are the Dangers of Pregnancy on the Heart?     229
What Is Peri-Partum Cardiomyopathy?     232
What Is Peri-Partum Aortic Dissection?     233
How Does Heart Disease Affect Sexuality in Woman?     234
Prospects for the Future     239
Increase Your Strength and Stay Healthy     241
Notes     265
Glossary     275
Index     285
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