NON FICTION BOOK REVIEW
Review: 405 words Heart Owner's Handbook: Live Longer and Feel Better; by Denton A. Cooley, M.D.; John Wiley & Sons Inc.; ISBN: 0-471-13326-4, paperback, 415 pages.; US$16.95 / CAN$23.95 REVIEWER: A.T. Connellan, discovers "an all-encompassing heart-smart lifestyle plan....the author's advice on how to choose and work with your doctor alone is worth the price of the book." Have a Heart, a Healthy One Preferably Everybody comes equipped with one. Our hearts are built to last a lifetime, but some lives are longer than others, and some hearts fail and have to be replaced. How long that life will be depends almost entirely on the owner/operator. Denton A. Cooley, MD, is the Founder and Surgeon-in-Chief at Texas Heart Institute. In 1968 he and his team performed the first successful heart transplant in the United States, and a year later, implanted the first artificial heart in a human being. In 1996, in seven parts and 34 chapters, he has authored the "Heart Owner's Handbook" a definitive, easy-to-understand operator's manual. In non-preachy, down to earth language, Dr. Cooley covers the essential components of a sound maintenance program designed to extend the working life of our hearts to the maximum. The bottom line is; take care of the heart, and the heart takes care of us. Between the covers is an all-encompassing heart-smart lifestyle plan. In highly readable detail, he examines the role of stress management, exercise, weight control, high blood pressure and cholesterol as factors in healthy heart maintenance. Dr. Cooley acknowledges the differences between women's and men's heart health. Chapter 11 explores the relationship to heart disease of pregnancy, childbearing, menopause, and hormones. Two chapters are devoted to nutrition and a large array of practical, and easy to prepare recipes. There is extensive examination of vitamins and their application in heart health. Perhaps the most important section is Part Seven; "When Something Goes Wrong," how to identify, and deal with, an emergency. This section is a well-written explanation of the cardiovascular system, how it works, and how it can go terribly wrong. The author's advice on how to choose and work with your doctor alone is worth the price of the book. The Heart Owner's Handbook is solidly supported by an extensive index. There is a substantial glossary, alphabetically listed selected references by chapters and, best of all, an appendix "Resources for More Information." As an extension to the book, a no-cost phone link is provided to on-line, expert advice at the Texas Heart Institute, from anywhere in the U.S.A. and Canada. From cover to cover, Dr. Cooley's message reeks of commonsense. He places before us a low pressure, laid-back lifestyle approach for a healthy heart and longevity. This is the book to buy if you have someone you care a great deal about. Get it for "the two" of you.