Moser--a cardiologist and clinical professor of medicine at Yale University--presents a superbly organized compendium of authoritative, current information on our most common chronic illness (an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from hypertension, many unknowingly). Between 1972 and 1987, the U.S. death rate from strokes dropped 50%, and that from heart attacks 35%, due mainly, Moser believes, to improved detection and treatment. Yet some cases remain under-, over- or inappropriately treated. The author, who clearly respects readers and patients, carefully explains and defines the disorder and its known causes; examines available therapies from simple diet modifications to complex drug regimens (complete with brand names, price tags and side effects); and offers valuable warnings about both over-used medical procedures and over-promoted ``alternative'' approaches. (May)
According to the author, the role of this book is to provide information about the detection, treatment, and possible prevention of hypertension and to help readers become informed partners in the process of making decisions about health care. His emphasis is on the simple approach to treatment, which ranges from appropriate weight loss by cutting food portions in half to not submitting to expensive tests without thorough discussions of what they will reveal. The major drugs used to treat hypertension are reviewed as are nondrug therapies like biofeedback and relaxation. Each chapter concludes with a very useful ``summing up'' section. The information presented here is timely and easily accessible. Recommended. See also Controlling High Blood Pressure , reviewed in this issue, p. 72.-- Ed. -- Susan E. Holmer, Peninsula Lib. System, San Mateo, Cal.