Unlike the authors of many healthy-heart books, Simon (Staying Well), an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School, doesn't get up on a soapbox and preach. He's done the ``wrong'' things, himself: grown overweight, forgotten about exercise, smoked and put up with considerable stress. Moreover, his father was disabled by cardiovascular disease while in his 30s. Quick to acknowledge the benefits of advanced technology that make such surgeries as coronary bypass available, he emphasizes prevention, describing 15 ways to conquer heart disease. Of course, a low-fat diet, reducing cholesterol, controlling blood pressure, proper exercise, stress reduction and smoking cessation are recommended. But Simon discusses important studies, some not well known and others needing further confirmation, that can lead to other strategies in consultation with one's physician. He mentions, for example, the health benefits of a cautious and judicious use of small amounts of alcohol, although this might not be an option for women at risk for breast cancer; antioxidants; and niacin; among others. What makes this well-researched and -written book special is Simon's opinion that reducing cardiovascular risk can be accomplished. (Oct.)
Simon (Staying Well, LJ 8/92), a member of the Harvard Cardiovascular Health Center team, has written an informative, readable book on heart disease and how to prevent it. His text is divided into three parts. The first explains the biology of atherosclerosis and how it affects the human body; the second presents 15 ways to conquer heart disease; and the third examines the physician's role in the maintenance of cardiovascular health. While Simon does not delineate a step-by-step, "how-to" program, he provides enough solid information for the reader to construct a personalized plan to reduce risk factors. Simon is best at explaining antioxidants and other supplements in a rational, factual manner. For a basic text, the Yale University School of Medicine Heart Book (LJ 3/1/92) is still best, but this is a good second.-Janet M. Schneider, James A. Haley Veterans Hosp., Tampa, Fla.