THE FEMALE HEART by Marianne J. Legato

THE FEMALE HEART

The Truth About Women and Coronary Artery Disease

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Everywoman's guide to her heart, crafted by a cardiologist (Legato) and a medical writer (Colman: Love and Money, 1982), whose combined expertise and skills have produced a highly informative and thoroughly readable owner's manual. Long more the concern of romantic poets than of medical researchers, the female heart is here taken very seriously indeed. Although coronary artery disease is the number-one killer of women in the country, relatively little research into it has focused on, or even included, female subjects. As patients, the authors reveal, women presenting symptoms of heart disease are taken less seriously than men--and when women undergo cardiac surgery, they are less likely than men to survive. In the face of this, Legato and Colman take a practical approach, giving women the information they need to understand not just the heart, healthy and otherwise, but circumstances unique to the female--the role of hormones in cardiac disease, the special problems of pregnancy and menopause, etc. Their discussion of risk factors is similarly aimed specifically at women, addressing such issues as the neglected care-giver and the overloaded working woman. The authors include a wealth of practical advice about self-care and prevention, understanding medical tests, recognizing the symptoms of heart disease and especially those of a heart attack, and recovering from a heart attack. Stories about Legato's patients serve as object lessons and are generally reassuring. Of special interest is a chapter on what a woman should realistically expect from her physician and what tests should be performed at what ages. Finally, an epilogue calls for both additional funding for heart-disease research and for increased responsibility by women for their own health. A welcome and very timely counterpart to the extensive literature available on heart disease in men. (Illustrations.)

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1992
ISBN: 0-671-76110-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1991