Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You'll Ever Need

Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You'll Ever Need

by Marc Gillinov, Steven Nissen
4.3 6

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Heart 411 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
kctoso More than 1 year ago
A researcher by both temperament and profession, I normally run in the other direction from such inflated publisher claims as "the only guide to heart health you'll ever need." After all, knowledge is empowering, and even credible and informed sources often disagree, a reality that generally makes relying on a single source a foolish proposition at best. But in a real sense that claim can justly be made for Drs. Gillinov and Nissen's Heart 411. Not because of any specific information or advice they offer (although there is a wealth of that, all backed up by the latest scientific findings explained in an engaging and accessible way for the intelligent layman), but rather because Drs. Gillinov and Nissen provide their readers the tools with which to evaluate the myriad health claims that daily clamor for our attention. Can we really "Reverse Heart Disease" or "End [...] Illness" now, as the titles of recent bestsellers assert? A chapter devoted to evaluating medical evidence (Chapter 9) explains how to interpret and judge the scientific evidence behind the day's health headlines. The qualitative difference between the validity of observational studies and that of randomized controlled trials is thoroughly explained, as well as such concepts as surrogate endpoints (just because a drug is effective at raising HDL, or "good" cholesterol, does not necessarily mean that it saves lives), confounding factors (what else may be responsible for this result?) and causality (an "association" between low vitamin D levels and heart disease does not necessarily mean that vitamin D deficiency causes heart disease.) With this knowledge, the reader can begin to navigate the tricky shoals of medical information with confidence. Unlike many other medical "experts" writing today who make authoritative-sounding claims but bring little beyond anecdotal "evidence" to support them, Drs. Gillinov and Nissen first present the scientific background of any given controversy, clearly explain the conflicting opinions, then guide the reader along the path of their scientific reasoning so that ultimately the reader understands not just what the authors believe, but also why they believe it. I, for one, am far more likely to follow the advice of a doctor--or anyone else, for that matter--who shows me the data and takes the time to explain why they are convincing. Heart 411 thoroughly examines the major controversies in the field of heart disease today: the role of vitamin D, the risks vs. benefits of daily aspirin, the safety of hormone replacement therapy, the appropriate (and often inappropriate) use of stents. The authors go on to explore other popular topics such as the cardiac benefits of daily exercise, a proper diet, and red wine. (Disclosure: Four years ago Dr. Gillinov operated on my husband and uses his story to begin the chapter on alcohol and the heart.) An entire chapter devoted to the mind-body connection discusses the emotions anger, depression, anxiety, and grief, and lays to rest any doubt about the heavy physical toll that they exact. Kudos to the authors for producing a work that is --as the very best teachers are-- engaging, informative and empowering; one that arms you not just with information you need at the moment, but also with the kind of knowledge and critical thinking skills you can rely on to guide your choices and decisions far into the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ya we know it should be in the hogwarts rp!!! There was no room so its here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After spending the time to read the only review, 5 stars, the anon reviewer finally reveals that one of the authors operated on their spouse. I won't buy the book until there is an unbiased post.