June 15, 2010
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June 15, 2010
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v2.1 Reference

Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition

Heart failure—the expression alone is scary. The idea that the blood-pumping organ in our chest can struggle, stutter, or suddenly stop is deeply disconcerting. But for those who get the diagnosis, the future is not necessarily bleak. With the right treatments and a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and good nutrition, many people with heart failure can improve their condition and live well.

Heart failure expert Edward K. Kasper, M.D., teams with journalist—and survivor—Mary Knudson to give readers an honest account of this misunderstood condition. The authors explain the complex science of heart failure and look critically at the care available.

Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition will help readers understand:
• The causes of the condition
• Normal and abnormal heart rhythms
• How to recognize symptoms and when to seek treatment
• Which diagnostic tests to expect
• The best treatments for different types of heart failure
• How pacemakers work
• The advantages and disadvantages of implantable cardioverter defibrillators
• How to be safer in a hospital
• What exercises result in increased heart, leg, arm, and core body strength
• What foods to eat and what to avoid

Informed by the shared knowledge of doctor and patient, those diagnosed with heart failure and their loved ones will learn how to effectively manage the condition in this comprehensive and compassionate guide.

About the Authors

Edward K. Kasper, M.D., is the E. Cowles Andrus Professor in Cardiology and Director of Clinical Cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Mary Knudson is a national award-winning medical writer and editor. She was diagnosed with heart failure in 2003 and got well.


"A bad ticker doesn't mean a bad life. Living Well with Heart Failure, the Misnamed, Misunderstood Condition is a complete and comprehensive guide to heart failure."

- Midwest Book Review

"A book that will enable people to begin learning the basics of heart failure—its causes, symptoms, treatment, and challenges."

- Neil A. Grauer - Hopkins Reader


"I have recommended this book to many patients and each one has commented on how it has helped them better understand heart failure and heart failure treatments... Some have noted that it has 'demystified' heart failure for them, and made it less scary."

- Sue Wingate RN, PhD, CRNP, Immediate Past-President, American Association of Heart Failure Nurses

"Brave, wise, unblinking, Living Well with Heart Failure is more than a book. For heart patients, it's the perfect friend. Calm, clear, deeply knowledgeable and helpful and reassuring... It may be the best single source on smart living with a bad heart that anyone can buy."

- Dudley Clendinen, author of A Place Called Canterbury

"A must-read for anyone who's been diagnosed with the condition or who will contribute to the care of someone with it. Throughout, the book takes a calm, careful and responsible approach to explaining what's happening to your body in heart failure, and what you can do to live better with it... I'll be sure to recommend it to a family member with heart failure."

- Ivan Oransky, MD, Executive Editor, Reuters Health

"Patients will learn a lot about this common and important disease. But so will doctors. Every non-cardiologist should spend an hour or two with Living Well with Heart Failure."

- David Brown, MD, Staff Writer, The Washington Post

"Remarkably comprehensive, well organized and understandable. Could only be produced by a great physician-expert and his patient (who by chance) is a great professional medical journalist."

- Myron L. Weisfeldt, M.D., Chief of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions

"I highly recommend this outstandingly smart book; it will change the way you think about the heart and about your own health. In Living Well with Heart Failure, authors renowned heart specialist Dr. Edward Kasper and award-winning medical journalist Mary Knudson, have created an exceptionally helpful and incredibly readable way to explore the ways the heart fails and the ways we can help manage—and even heal—an injured organ. The result is an engaging and important exploration of human health, valuable not only to those suffering from heart failure but all the rest of us who want to preserve and protect vitality and well being."

- Deborah Blum, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Poisoner's Handbook

"If you have heart failure, read this book!... These two experts have teamed up to write a guide for people with heart failure that is understandable, thoughtful, and complete. Kasper and Knudson lead you from symptoms to testing to treatments-all in a style that is clear and precise. Living Well with Heart Failure is the perfect introduction to heart failure."

- Charles Lowenstein, M.D., Chief of Cardiology at Universty of Rochester Medical Center

"With about 6 million Americans living with heart failure today, I can see this book serving as a guide and as a resource for many patients and their families for years."

- Gary Schwitzer, Publisher, HealthNewsReview.org

"A key component of the management of heart failure is the patient’s understanding of the disease leading to an informed dialogue with the physician. This well-written book is a great learning tool for patients and an excellent first step in the relationship between the patient and his or her physician. Dr. Edward Kasper and Ms. Mary Knudson, by writing this book, have provided a real service to patients with heart failure."

- Bernard J. Gersh, M.B., Ch.B., D.Phil., Mayo Medical School Consultant, Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine
Johns Hopkins University Press
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280 Pages
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