Progress against Heart Disease

Article excerpt

3. Progress against heart disease By Fred C Pampel and Seth Pauley. Published by Praeger, Westport, USA 2004. Hardback 233 pp. Price $39.95 ISBN 0-275-98151-7

As cardiovascular disease will kill the majority of people in the western and developed world (with the developing world not far behind) it is perhaps unsurprising that there is a considerable mass of literature on the subject: the current publication is a good example of such a book.

The approach is standard: epidemiology, mechanisms, with facts and figures and prescriptions. The opening chapter adequately introduces historical perspectives and basics of cardiovascular disease and its pathophysiology. This is followed by four chapters (collectively called 'Medicine') on personalised examples of different aspects of heart disease, its diagnosis (electrocardiograms and blood tests) and treatments (pharmacology and surgery). Part 3 is 'Lifestyle', notably the causes (tobacco, poor diet, lack of exercise), but also a chapter on women and heart disease. The final sections are '20th Century Trends' (changes in perceptions and the frequency of heart disease) and 'Looking Ahead' - predictably those areas that either demand action or are amenable to intervention. …