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A Woman's Guide to Living with Heart Disease

The daily challenges of living—and coping—with a chronic and progressive invisible illness.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women worldwide. Yet most people are still unaware that heart disease is not just a man's problem. Carolyn Thomas, a heart attack survivor herself, is on a mission to educate women about their heart health. Based on her popular Heart Sisters blog, which has attracted more than 10 million views from readers in 190 countries, A Woman's Guide to Living with Heart Disease combines personal experience and medical knowledge to help women learn how to understand and manage a catastrophic diagnosis.

In A Woman's Guide to Living with Heart Disease, Thomas explains

• how to recognize the early signs of a heart attack
• why women often delay seeking treatment—and how to overcome that impulse
• the link between pregnancy complications and future heart disease
• why so many women with heart disease are misdiagnosed—and how to help yourself get an accurate diagnosis
• the importance of cardiac rehabilitation in lowering mortality risk
• what to expect during your recovery from a heart attack
• how the surreal process of coping with heart disease may affect your daily life
• methods for treating heart disease–related depression without drugs

Equal parts memoir about a misdiagnosed heart attack, guide to the predictable stages of heart disease—from grief to resilience—and patient-friendly translation of important science-based findings on women's unique heart issues, this book is an essential read. Whether you're a freshly diagnosed patient, a woman who's been living with heart disease for years, or a practitioner who cares about women's health, A Woman's Guide to Living with Heart Disease will help you feel less alone and advocate for better health care.

About the Authors

Carolyn Thomas, a journalist and public relations specialist, is a graduate of Mayo Clinic’s WomenHeart Science and Leadership Symposium for Women with Heart Disease. She is the creator of the blog Heart Sisters.

Reviews

"[A Woman's Guide to Living with Heart Disease] gives women the knowledge they need to become their own advocates in a health care system that continues to be weighted against them."

- Foreword Reviews

"This book brings a needed focus to a leading killer of women today and is a must-read for women and their loved ones."

- Library Journal

"Shining a light on what is often an "invisible" illness, Thomas shares the stories of women survivors as young as twenty-six and as old as sixty-three, some who had been experiencing symptoms for as long as two years before being correctly diagnosed and treated. Her book gives women the knowledge they need to become their own advocates in a health care system that continues to be weighted against them."

- Foreword Reviews

Endorsements

"If you are a woman, or love a woman, this is a book for you! Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of women. Here is a book focused on women’s cardiovascular health. It is all here—prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Read it for the people you love."

- Edward K. Kasper, MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, coauthor of Living Well With Heart Failure: The Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition

"This work is an important contribution to the discussion about heart attack and misdiagnosis in women. Thomas’s personal story—alongside the stories of millions of other women—provides a needed reminder of recognizing one's symptoms, avoiding denial, and seeking medical attention. This elegant book is a unique addition to women's health books and a necessary read for women and the people who care about them."

- Roger S. Blumenthal, MD, Director, The Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease
Johns Hopkins University Press
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232 Pages
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232 Pages
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