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Heart Health

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We do not give much thought to our heart until something goes wrong with it. Weighing a little less than three-quarters of a pound, it has the Herculean task of pumping oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood through the 60,000-mile highway of blood vessels to all the tissues of the body. Your heart does this nonstop, decade after decade, for as long as you live. 

If your physician has diagnosed you with coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease, you are not alone—nearly 17 million Americans suffer from this health problem. CHD is diagnosed when your coronary arteries—the arteries that carry blood to the heart—become narrowed by the buildup of deposits called plaques within the artery walls. This process, known as atherosclerosis, impairs the ability of the body to pump enough blood through the coronary arteries to provide adequate oxygen and nutrients to the heart. Even worse, formation of a blood clot on top of a plaque can cause a fatal heart attack. 

  • But the good news is that the death rate from and the severity of heart attacks has been declining steadily for many years. There have been significant improvements in identifying the risk factors associated with heart attacks, and today doctors can choose from a variety of medications to help control high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and diabetes. 
  • There is also a greater focus on improving lifestyle, with changes like losing weight, exercising regularly, stopping smoking, and eating a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Overall, the approach has become one of prevention, involving a combination of lifestyle measures, medication, and, sometimes, revascularization procedures like angioplasty or bypass surgery. 

If you or someone you care about has heart disease, obtaining accurate information is an important part of the treatment plan. This area of Health After 50 provides potentially life-saving information on the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease and the proven strategies for preventing a heart attack. These strategies are also recommended for managing heart disease once it’s been diagnosed. 

  • Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D., Roger S. Blumenthal, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., and other leading cardiologists explain the latest advances in medications, angioplasty, and bypass surgery for treating heart disease; new guidelines to lower cholesterol; and the latest screening and diagnostic tests that can detect a heart-related problem before a heart attack occurs. 
  • You’ll find articles on: risk factors for an aortic aneurysm, non-HDL cholesterol, key heart attack prevention strategies, trans-fat-free advice, metabolic syndrome, healthy teeth = health heart, choosing a heart health hospital, genetic testing for heart disease, and much more. 

For more information on Heart Health please visit the BOOKSTORE .


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Scientific American Heart Bestsellers

Atrial Fibrillation: The Latest Management Strategies

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) can be a debilitating even deadly condition -- but it doesn't have to be this way. There are many steps you can take to manage your AF BEFORE it seriously impacts your quality of life. If you're looking for straightforward, informed answers to your most important questions about living with AF, our comprehensive new report can help. Written by Hugh Calkins, M.D., and Ronald Berger, M.D., Ph.D., experts in the diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias, Atrial Fibrillation: The Latest Management Strategies explains the full-range of your anticoagulation therapy choices . . . the benefits of rate versus rhythm control for AF . . . surgical ablation of AF . . . the differences among paroxysmal AF, persistent AF, and chronic AF . . . and much more.
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Recovering From a Heart Attack: How to Regain Vitality and Protect Your Heart

If you've survived a heart attack, probably your biggest worry is whether you're going to have a second one . and if you do, will you be lucky enough to survive that one, too. Our new report provides a customized plan for heart-attack recovery and secondary prevention, including a detailed discussion of cardiac rehabilitation and practical guidelines for a heart-healthy diet. Topics discussed include: omega-3 fatty acids, resuming an active sex life after a heart attack, treating depression, controlling lipid levels, and much more. Written by Dr. Roger S. Blumenthal Recovering from a Heart Attack contains life-saving information you won't find in any other single source.
Read more or order Recovering From a Heart Attack: How to Regain Vitality and Protect Your Heart

2015 Coronary Heart Disease White Paper

The Coronary Heart Disease White Paper reports on the latest life-saving advances for your heart health, to help you prevent or treat coronary heart disease. Topics include preventing first heart attacks; heart attack recovery and its effects on your overall lifestyle and health; preventing a second heart attack; angina; cardiac arrhythmias; and congestive heart failure.
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2015 Diabetes White Paper

The Diabetes White Paper teaches you how to manage Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and avoid complications, such as nerve damage, heart disease, kidney failure, and retinopathy. This comprehensive report explains the basics of how your body metabolizes glucose and reviews the latest medications and tools for monitoring your blood glucose. Includes diagrams, glossary, and recent research.

2015 Hypertension and Stroke White Paper

High blood pressure, or hypertension, gives few warning signs before it erupts with major complications, such as a stroke. Fortunately, in most cases the condition can be easily detected during a regular check-up and can usually be controlled with a combination of diet, exercise, and medication. In the Hypertension & Stroke White Paper, medical experts explain what you can do to manage high blood pressure in order to prevent stroke, and much more important information.

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