Nash, a cardiologist in upstate New York, pontificates a bit at the outset, chiding the profession for practicing poor preventive medicine and admonishing the reader to heed the sound advice he's about to offer. Then, however, he launches into a clear exposition of the causes, treatment, and prevention of heart and other vascular disease. Citing the Framingham study and other epidemiological and genetic studies, he comes out strongly against high cholesterol foods and triglycerides in the diet. The risk: formation of plaques that choke arteries. He gives equal time to theories of thrombosis, platelet aggregation, and mutagenic changes in arterial muscle cells. His chapters describing danger signs, risk factors, and an actual heart attack are vivid, and he reveals a commendable compassion in discussing the psychological state of the hapless victim--from the dehumanization of the intensive care unit to the changes in lifestyle necessary for survival. The book is true to its word in emphasizing prevention. There are chapters on giving up smoking, on exercise, on self-assessment of personality, and so on. Several appendices enable the reader to plot risk factors or adopt the cereal-based low-cholesterol diet the doctor recommends for losing weight (set forth in Dr. Nash's Natural Diet Book, 1978). The serious but hopeful tone along with the attention to new forms of treatment make the book good therapy for those already patients, but also--and perhaps even more important--for those who may be at risk.