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The Heart of the Matter Paperback – 3 Mar 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st Perennial Currents Ed edition (3 Mar. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060544295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060544294
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,396,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By the head of the Open Heart ICU at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital--an incredibly persuasive and revolutionary approach for lowering the risks of heart disease -- this plan links high cholesterol and Chlamydia as risk factors and lays out a program to combat both. We are on the cusp of an enormous breakthrough in preventing heart attacks - forever. We are in the same place we were just before penicillin revolutionized the treatment of infectious disease, before fluoride eradicated tooth decay, and just before the polio vaccine brought that disease under control in this country. In THE HEART OF THE MATTER, Dr. Peter Salgo, the associate director of the Open Heart ICU at New York Presbyterian Hospital, offers a simple formula to treat people before they get sick, which in turn will prevent heart attacks before they occur. For the first time in history, we know what really causes heart attack. And that knowledge has led Dr. Salgo to this amazingly simple and straightforward program that will save millions of lives. Dr. Salgo recommends using statins, antibiotics, and aspirin to prevent coronary heart disease.

This groundbreaking book also offers a self-test that readers can take to assess their own personal risk for heart disease. THE HEART OF THE MATTER is the beginning of a change in the treatment of heart disease. It introduces a preventative program that includes traditional diet and exercise guidelines as well as a blanket recommendation that adults, even many young adults, incorporate medicines into the on-going pursuit for health and longevity - something that, until now, seemed impossible to many. Now, without using a lot of indecipherable medical jargon, this invaluable new guide will show you exactly how to attain that longer, healthier life that so many people wish for.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Bound to be controversial -- but arguably a lifesaver 16 Feb. 2004
By skeptic - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It's fascinating to me that two respected and reputable New York cardiologists, Peter Salgo in "The Heart of the Matter" and Jonathan Sackner Bernstein in "Before It Happens to You," have come out in the same month with books espousing the unusual, rather heretical view that most Americans, even those regarded as healthy, would benefit from taking the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. The two books differ in several ways -- Salgo also focuses on aspirin and an infection that many Americans may harbor, Bernstein on the benefits of ACE inhibitors, etc. -- and I think the Bernstein book is a little more repetitive than the Salgo book and perhaps written on a slightly more casual level. But what's remarkable, to me at least, is that these books agree on the usefulness of statins, in fact on the crucial NEED for them: that is, the need to take them NOW instead of waiting till you've suffered a heart attack (when these drugs are generally prescribed). The two physicians are bluntly dismissive of the conventional wisdom that one should attempt to control cholesterol primarily by exercising more and altering one's diet. They don't say that these are bad choices, simply that they don't help very much; exercise and diet are relatively ineffective because 80 percent of one's cholesterol level is genetically determined and is not amenable to lifestyle changes. Salgo and Bernstein are, I think, rather courageous in advocating a solution so unfashionable; indeed, they are "thinking the unthinkable" -- that there IS a sort of pharmacological "quick fix" that happens to be safe and inexpensive; that swallowing some pills every day will actually lengthen our lives; and no doubt there are many well-meaning souls who will try to shout them down. I suspect, though, having read both books and having found them both persuasive, that Americans might well live significantly longer if they followed these doctors' advice.
11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I can't imagine that this is a healthy approach 9 Feb. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
You don't need a medical background to know that a healthy lifestyle will prevent heart disease and help reverse it if you already have it. One of the reviewers praised this book because it doesn't focus on diet, but having a healthy diet is good for the heart. I am always supicious of "quick-fix" approaches to complicated problems and this book falls into that category. I think we are far too quick to rush to instant solutions instead of doing the hard work we need to do in order to maintain our health and correct our problems. Who knows what information will come out about statin drugs in the future, just like doctors are now worried about resistance to antibiotics because antibiotics have been so overused. Old-fashioned approaches like diet and exercise should be the foundation of a heart program. Then if that doesn't work, maybe you need medicine.
11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Dangerous and Irresponsible 7 Feb. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is deeply problematic. The authors recommend a cardiac care program consisting essentially of three components--statins, aspirin and chlamydia testing. There is increasing evidence that statin drugs are linked to muscle wasting conditions, fatigue, memory loss and other problematic symptoms, even when liver enzymes are normal. Too many people who complain of these symptoms to physicians are told that these are just "normal signs of aging." That's not true! There are excellent, responsible, integrative methods that can reduce cholesterol and cardiac inflammation without such dangerous means. At least they should be tried, before statin treatment is initiated. Exercise, dietary changes, stress reduction and other means are de-emphasized in this book, and these should form the mainstays of a good cardiac care program. As a medical social worker who deals with cardiac patients, I work with many physicians, including cardiologists, who were appalled.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A matter of fact book that might save my life 1 Jun. 2004
By Kevin Killian - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky to stumble across an advance reading copy of Peter Salgo's book "The Heart of the Matter," written with Joe Layden. I love Joe Layden's books, he is an expert at every kind of expository writing, and he's very good at translating the language of public figures into a sturdy prose tailored to each figure he's ghosting for. He's the one who wrote the Rock's autobiography. But now that he has worked with Peter Salgo he has actually done something of a public service.
Salgo's three-pronged prescription may be controversial--and indeed so simple that you could condense the message of this book into 10 words or less, like an old time telegram--but I feel confident that he is on the right track. And so does my own cardiologist. Maybe in the future we will all be learning a pattern of dependence on statins as a daily thing, the way we learn to brush our teeth. And keeping chlamydia at bay is bound to be a good thing in the long run. Good work, Salgo and Layden.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Thought provoking information 18 Mar. 2004
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I found "The Heart of the Matter" extremely interesting, thought provoking and hightly believable because it was so well documented with a bibliography with listed source materials from respected national journals less than four or five years old! I'm a little uncomfortable with the need for antibiotics but - since heart disease is an infectious disease our options are limited. The book was easy to read and understand. What do I plan to do with the information - don't know yet - I'm still thinking Wow!
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