Benjamin Spock, MD, wrote his famous book, The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care at the dawn of the "baby boom" age and it quickly became the most relied upon book for parents wanting information about child health. Now the generation Dr. Spock's book helped raise, the "baby boomers" (between the ages of 39 and 58), are making the transition to middle age and beyond and a new book, which contains a chapter on the heart co-authored by Emory cardiologist Nanette K. Wenger, MD, has just been published that could become the equivalent of Dr. Spock's childcare tome for those wanting a comprehensive guide to issues of aging. Co-edited by geriatrician Kevin O'Neil , MD, and attorney Renno Peterson of Sarasota, Optimal Aging Manual: Your Guide From Experts in Medicine, Law and Finance, features chapters written by 56 physicians and attorneys across the country who are experts on how people can enjoy the most successful and healthy later years possible.
"The U.S. elderly population, albeit enormously diverse, remains an informed, vibrant, participatory, and sizeable community - with the potential to contribute substantially to this country: intellectually, culturally, ethically and economically. Elderly individuals increasingly seek respected and authoritative sources of information regarding their daily lives - the wide scope of the book and the enormous relevance to our aging population encouraged me to contribute," says Dr. Wenger, who co-authored the extensive chapter on the heart (along with Tarek Helmy, MD; Fadi Alameddine, MD; and Ibrahim Hanna, MD).
The 30 page heart chapter, which includes extensive illustrations and diagrams, covers the working of the vascular system; the toll of the normal aging process on the cardiovascular system; the heart's conduction system; symptoms, causes and treatment of coronary artery disease; symptoms and management of heart failure and heart attacks; diagnostic tests for heart problems; valvular disease; cardiovascular risk reduction and more.
"Heart disease is by far the number one killer of Americans, and most of these deaths are in persons over 65 years old. But, as our heart chapter points out, knowledge is power when it comes to heart disease. Early detection and many interventions -- including alterations in diet, control of blood pressure and blood glucose, reduction of blood cholesterol, and exercise -- can have a significant impact on lowering a person's risk in later life. We asked Dr. Wenger to contribute to our book because she is recognized as one of the world authorities in geriatric cardiology and has an outstanding reputation as a clinician and as a teacher," says Optimal Aging Manual editor Dr. O'Neil, who has practiced and taught geriatric medicine for over 27 years.
"There is considerable information that elderly citizens are interested in their health, willing and able to undertake preventive interventions, and likely to participate in and adhere to treatment plans for illness. As Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, and Past-President of the Society for Geriatric Cardiology, I have worked tirelessly along with my colleagues to promote the cause of heart health and the appropriate and contemporary management of cardiac problems in elderly individuals," notes Dr. Wenger, who is professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine , chief of cardiology at Grady Memorial Hospital and consultant to the Emory Heart Center. "Because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the elder population, Drs. Helmy, Alameddine, Hanna, and I thought it important to concisely present the background scientific information to our elderly citizens so that they can, in a more informed manner, initiate appropriate diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic discussions with their treating physicians."