cover image Heart 411: 
The Only Guide to Heart Health That You’ll Ever Need

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

Marc Gillinov and Steven Nissen. Three Rivers, $19.99 trade paper (560p) ISBN 978-0-307-71990-4

Cardiac surgeon Gillinov and cardiologist Nissen, both of Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, efficiently render an overwhelming array of symptoms, tests, diagnoses, treatment options, diet, and exercise recommendations, drugs and supplements, and prognoses associated with the nation’s top cause of death into an easy-to-use guide to preventing heart disease. The key to prevention, they state, is recognizing and reducing risk factors, many of which (e.g., migraines, gum disease, stress, negative emotions, and sleep apnea) are hidden. They consider the impact of excess weight, high cholesterol, and blood pressure, suggesting lifestyle and pharmaceutical interventions to bring ranges back to normal, and address particular concerns and links with heart disease for women (pregnancy, menopause, and HRT), men (erectile dysfunction; prostate cancer), and children (obesity). Much of their advice downplays the efficacy of media-touted “superfoods” like blueberries and miracle supplements like B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and coQ10. They caution readers to take their time and do their research before committing to care that may be limited because of where they live or their physician’s knowledge. Gillinov and Nissen criticize physicians for suggesting stents to open blockages far more than necessary. This superior effort ends with an encouraging look at technological advances on the horizon, which may eliminate the need for invasive surgeries and drugs with dangerous side effects. (Jan.)