NNLM Reading Club: Heart Health

NNLM Reading Club: Heart Health


Topic: Heart Health
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Heart Health

Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States. Together, these diseases cause one in three deaths of both men and women. Cardiovascular diseases also affect many people in midlife as well as in old age.

A woman testing her blood pressure.

Who is at Risk?

Studies show that in the United States African Americans are at higher risk for heart disease and strokes compared to non-Hispanic whites, and this is associated with higher rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).1

But African Americans are not the only population disproportionately affected by heart disease. Heart disease is the second leading cause of death for Latino and Hispanic communities living in the United States, and research shows that Hispanics and Latinos are at a higher risk for heart disease due to metabolic syndrome.2

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Articles

Saab KR, Kendrick J, Yracheta JM, Lanaspa MA, Pollard M, Johnson RJ. New insights on the risk for cardiovascular disease in African Americans: the role of added sugars. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2015 Feb;26(2):247-57. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2014040393. Epub 2014 Aug 4. PMID: 25090991; PMCID: PMC4310665
Balfour PC Jr, Ruiz JM, Talavera GA, Allison MA, Rodriguez CJ. Cardiovascular Disease in Hispanics/Latinos in the United States. J Lat Psychol. 2016 May;4(2):98-113. doi: 10.1037/lat0000056. PMID: 27429866; PMCID: PMC4943843

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An Ounce of Prevention

As frightening as the statistics are, persons can improve their odds of preventing and beating heart diseases by knowing their risks and taking steps to address them. What can you do to prevent or slow down heart disease?

Lightbulb inside a blue circleLearn the Facts

Fact or Fiction?: "Heart disease is for men, and cancer is the real threat for women."

Only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat. The real fact? Relying on these Common Myths About Heart Disease can cost you your life. Learn the causes of heart disease and what can be done to prevent it.

Action Item: Take a Heart Disease Quiz
Fact Sheet: Heart Disease and Women (Download English PDF or Español PDF)
Fact Sheet: What are Heart Disease and Stroke? (Download English PDF or Español PDF)

Icon image of a blood pressure pumpTrack Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a common disease that develops when blood flows through your arteries at higher-than-normal pressures. You usually don’t have symptoms from high blood pressure until it has caused serious health problems. That is why it is important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.

Action Item: Watch the video How to Use Your Home Blood Pressure Monitor. Then record your blood pressure numbers using Healthy Blood Pressure for Healthy Hearts: Tracking Your Numbers (PDF), and be sure to tell your health provider if you have any known health factors that increase your risk.
Fact Sheet: What is High Blood Pressure? (Download English PDF or Español PDF)

Icon for lowering cholesterolTest Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that's found in all the cells in your body. If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can combine with other substances in the blood to form plaque. This buildup of plaque in the arteries can lead to coronary heart disease

Action Item: Discuss your cholesterol with your health provider. A blood test called a lipoprotein panel can measure your cholesterol levels. A high level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, may mean you are at risk for heart disease.
Fact Sheet: How Can I Improve My Cholesterol? (Download English PDF or Español PDF)

Icon of a prescription bottle. Color is orangeTake Medicines as Directed

Your health care provider may prescribe one or more drugs to bring your blood pressure down to normal. Always take the prescription as described, and tell your health care provider if you have side effects. Your health care provider can work with you to find the medication or dose that works best for you.

Action Item: Watch the video Tips for Taking Blood Pressure Medicines as Directed
Fact Sheet: What is High Blood Pressure Medicine? (Download English PDF or Español PDF)

Red stop sign with words Weakness on One Side Know the Signs

During a stroke, every minute counts! By knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, you can take quick action and perhaps save a life—maybe even your own. If someone shows signs of a stroke, call 9-1-1 right away because fast treatment can lessen the brain damage that stroke can cause.

Action Item: Watch the video Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke
Fact Sheet: What are the Warning Signs of Stroke? (Download English PDF or Español PDF)

Person jumping rope orange vector image Keep Active

Regular physical activity helps improve overall health and reduces the risk for heart disease, stroke, and premature death. Despite the substantial health benefits of physical activity, one out of every four U.S. adults report being inactive during their leisure time, and only about half of U.S. adults report levels of aerobic physical activity consistent with national guidelines.

Action Item: Register for Walk With A Doc Grand Canyon Adventure. It's virtual and free!
Fact Sheet: How Can Physical Activity Become a Way of Life? (Download English PDF or Español PDF)

Blue icon of an appleEat Healthy

A healthy diet that is low in sodium and saturated fat is key to heart disease prevention. Try the highly rated Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which recommends:

Booklet cover image of Delicious Heart Healthy Latino Recipes

  • Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Eating fish, poultry, beans, nuts, vegetable oils, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat and sodium
  • Limiting sugar-sweetened beverages and sweets

Action Item: Cook, grill, or bake a new recipe that is tasty and good for you. Download or order Delicious Heart Healthy Latino Recipes/Platillos latinos ¡sabrosos y saludables!
Fact Sheet: How Do I Follow a Healthy Diet? (Download English PDF or Español PDF)

No smoking sign Stop Smoking

If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking can damage and thicken blood vessels, which causes high blood pressure and can lead to blood clots and strokes. Research finds that African Americans who smoke have more than double the risk of stroke, compared with African Americans who have never smoked.

Action Item: If you or someone you know smokes, get the tools and tips you need to quit.
Fact Sheet: How Can I Quit Smoking? (Download English PDF or Español PDF)

NIH gray and blue logo Participate in Research

Scientists want to know why some people stay healthy and others get sick. Enrolling in studies help researchers find new preventions, treatments, and cures.

Action Item: The mission of the All of Us Research Program is to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs, enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for all of us. Visit JoinAllofUs.org to learn how you can volunteer to be one of one million persons living in the United States coming together to lead the future of health care.
Fact Sheet: Join All of Us (Download English PDF or Español PDF)

Book: Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart
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Discussion Guide for Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart: A Personal Guide to Taking Control of Your Health While Living with Chronic Conditions
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Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart book cover

Living with a chronic illness can feel like a constant battle. Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, COPD, and depression not only require vigilant management, but they can negatively affect your day-to-day functioning and deprive you of the quality of life you deserve. This book is designed to equip you with the tools you need to overcome the symptoms of pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, anxiety, and stress while effectively managing and reversing the diseases that cause them. By encouraging you to create personal healthy living goals and then providing valuable tools to help you achieve them, this guide will give you the confidence you need to take control of your health.

Being Empowered for a Healthy Heart: A personal guide to taking control of your health while living with chronic conditions | Phoebe Chi MD MPH | Verdure Publishing | 2018 reprint | 359 pages | ISBN: 978-1732606005


Author

Phoebe Chi headshot photo

Phoebe Chi, MD, MPH is an internal medicine and public health physician and author whose humanitarian efforts through the years have spanned from the regions of Central America to that of sub-Saharan Africa. She attended college at the University of Texas and subsequently received her medical training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and her public health and global health degrees from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. With a focus on health promotion and disease prevention and management, Dr. Chi has developed chronic disease management programs for various health systems across the nation aiming to improve the quality of life and reduce re-hospitalizations of those living with chronic conditions. She is also the founder of Pendants for a Cause, a nonprofit organization with the purpose of raising funds to fight illness, provide care, and bring awareness to medically underserved populations around the world. When she is not working or volunteering locally and abroad, Dr. Chi can be found writing poetry and health articles for PhoebeMD.com alongside an affectionately rotund cat named Samantha and a gentle giant of a canine named George.

Official Website of Phoebe Chi MD MPH

Book: The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae
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Ailsa Rae is learning how to live. She's only a few months past the heart transplant that - just in time - saved her life. Now, finally, she can be a normal twenty-eight-year-old. She can climb a mountain. Dance. Wait in line all day for tickets to Wimbledon. But first, she has to put one foot in front of the other. So far, things are as bloody complicated as ever. Her relationship with her mother is at a breaking point and she wants to find her father. Then there's Lennox, whom Ailsa loved and lost. Will she ever find love again? Her new heart is a bold heart. She just needs to learn to listen to it. From the hospital to her childhood home, on social media and IRL, Ailsa will embark on a journey about what it means to be, and feel, alive.ebook icon Audio book icon

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae | Stephanie Butland | St Martin's Griffin | 2018 | 416 pages | ISBN: 978-1250217028

Reviews

"A story of love, loss, learning, and lastly, living. Butland takes the reader on an emotional journey with Ailsa while she finally discovers who she is with her new heart and what type of person she wants to be."—Booklist

"Readers will learn about transplantation as they cheer on Ailsa as she starts a job and a relationship, chooses a career path and deals with the complexities of family."—Library Journal

Headshot photo of Stephane Butland

Author

Stephanie Butland lives with her family near the sea in the North East of England. She writes in a studio at the bottom of her garden, and when she's not writing, she trains people to think more creatively. For fun, she reads, knits, sews, bakes, and spins. She is an occasional performance poet.

@stephaniebutlandauthor

The Open Heart Club
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The Open Heart Club is both a memoir of life on the edge of medicine's reach and a history of the remarkable people who have made such a life possible. It begins with the visionary anatomists of the seventeenth century, tells the stories of the doctors (all women) who invented pediatric cardiology, and includes the lives of patients and physicians struggling to understand the complexities of the human heart. This autobiography from a writing professor, who was born with a congenital heart defect at the advent of open-heart surgery, talks about living with his chronic heart condition and multiple surgeries and how his heart care has changed over time due to medical advances. He also discusses advances in congenital heart treatment for kids and adults.ebook icon Audio book icon

The Open Heart Club: A Story About Birth and Death and Cardiac Surgery | Gabriel Brownstein | Hachette Book Group | 2019 | 368 pages | ISBN: 978-1610399494

Excerpt

Reading icon imageThe Open Heart Club: A Story About Birth and Death and Cardiac Surgery by Gabriel Brownstein

Author

Gabriel Brownstein has published a novel, The Man from Beyond, and a book of stories, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Apt. 3W. For his short fiction, he has won a PEN/Hemingway Award and a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at St. John's University in Queens, New York, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.

Book: State of the Heart
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More people die of heart disease than any other disease in the world and when any form of heart disease progresses, it can result in the development of heart failure. Heart failure affects millions and can affect anyone at any time, a child recovering from a viral infection, a woman who has just given birth or a cancer patient receiving chemotherapy. Yet new technology to treat heart failure is fundamentally changing just what it means to be human. Mechanical pumps can be surgically sewn into patients’ hearts and when patients with these pumps get really sick, sometimes they don’t need a doctor or a surgeon—they need a mechanic. In State of the Heart, the journey to rid the world of heart disease is shown to be reflective of the journey of medical science at large. We are learning not only that women have as much heart disease as men, but that the type of heart disease women experience is diametrically different from that in men. We are learning that heart disease and cancer may have more in common than we could have imagined. And we are learning how human evolution itself may have led to the epidemic of heart disease. In understanding how our knowledge of the heart evolved, State of the Heart traces the twisting and turning road that science has taken—filled with potholes and blind turns—all the way back to its very origin.ebook icon Audio book icon

State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease | Haider Warraich, MD | St Martin's Press | 2019 | 352 pages | ISBN: 978-1250169709


Author

Headshot photo of Haider Warraich

Dr. Warraich completed internal medicine and cardiology training at Harvard Medical School and Duke University and is the Associate Director of Heart Failure at the Boston Veterans Affairs Hospital, Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He has appeared on CNN, Fox, CBS, PBS, and on NPR shows like Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Diane Rehm Show, The World, Marketplace and the BBC World Service. Dr. Warraich is also a prolific clinical researcher and has published in the New England Journal of MedicineJournal of the American Medical AssociationLancetLancet Infectious Diseases, and the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

Official Website of Haider Warraich, MD

Book: Beautiful Affliction
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Lene Fogelberg is dying—she is sure of it—but no doctor in Sweden, her home country, believes her. Love stories enfold her, with her husband, her two precious daughters, her enchanting surroundings, but the question she has carried in her heart since childhood — Will I die young? — is threatening all she holds dear, even her sanity. When her young family moves to the US, an answer, a diagnosis, is finally found: she is in the last stages of fatal congenital heart disease. But is it too late?ebook icon Audio book icon

Beautiful Affliction: A Memoir | Lene Fogelberg | She Writes Press | 2015 | 352 pages | ISBN: 978-1631529856

Author

Headshot photo of Lene Fogelberg

Lene Fogelberg is a Swedish global citizen, a Wall Street Journal bestselling and award-winning author, and a double open-heart surgery survivor. Growing up in a small town on the Swedish west coast, Lene Fogelberg developed a love of poetry and reading, nurtured by the rural surroundings of her childhood. She went on to study languages and creative writing at the University of Gothenburg and the Stockholm Academy of Writing. Always curious, Fogelberg has embraced opportunities to study and live abroad, in France, Germany, the USA, Indonesia, and Malaysia. She currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband and two daughters.

Official Website of Lene Fogelberg

Interview

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Living On the Verge of Death with Lene Fogelberg Literary Speaking: The Writer's Guide to Publishing hosted by Crystal-Lee Quibell. December 8, 2015.

Book: Heart: A History
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Deftly alternating between key historical episodes and his own work, Jauhar tells the colorful and little-known story of the doctors who risked their careers and the patients who risked their lives to know and heal our most vital organ. He introduces us to Daniel Hale Williams, the African American doctor who performed the world’s first open-heart surgery in Gilded Age Chicago. We meet C. Walton Lillehei, who connected a patient’s circulatory system to a healthy donor’s, paving the way for the heart-lung machine. And we encounter Wilson Greatbatch, who saved millions by inventing the pacemaker—by accident. Jauhar deftly braids these tales of discovery, hubris, and sorrow with moving accounts of his family’s history of heart ailments and the patients he’s treated over many years. He also confronts the limits of medical technology, arguing that future progress will depend more on how we choose to live than on the devices we invent.ebook icon Audio book icon

A PBS NewsHour-New York Times Now Read This book club pick

Heart: A History | Sandeep Jauhar | Farrar, Straus and Giroux | 2018 | 288 pages | ISBN: 978-0374168650

Review

Reading icon imageNew York Times Book Review A History of the Heart, The Most Vital of Organs

Author

Headshot photo of Sandeep Jauhar

Sandeep Jauhar, MD, Ph.D., is the director of the Heart Failure Program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. He is the bestselling author of Doctored, Intern, and a New York Times Contributing Opinion Writer. He lives with his wife and their son and daughter on Long Island.

Official Website of Sandeep Jauhar

Interview

Listen icon imageMysteries of the Heart. Science Friday. November 9, 2018

Book: This Heart of Mine
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Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.ebook icon Audio book icon

"This Heart of Mine is one of those YA books that I believe will resonate with teens and adults alike." - Goodreads

This Heart of Mine: a novel | C.C. Hunter | Wednesday Books | 2018 | 400 pages | ISBN: 978-1250035905

Author

C.C. Hunter headshot photo

C. C. Hunter is the New York Times bestselling author of over thirty-five books, including the young adult fantasy series Shadow Falls and Shadow Falls: After Dark series. She grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or shooting things - with a camera, not a gun. C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels.

Official Website of C.C. Hunter

Book: Restart Your Heart
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What is Atrial Fibrillation? (English PDF)
¿Qué es la fibrilación auricular? (Español PDF)

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Book

Restart Your Heart book cover image

AFib patients, their family, friends, and caregivers are often misinformed about the latest research, advancements, and treatments. In this book, cardiac electrophysiologist Dr. Aseem Desai diminishes the worry and confusion that come with an AFib diagnosis by presenting the latest medical information in a concise and positive way. Filled with innovative knowledge and vivid illustrations, Restart Your Heart will empower and inspire you by providing straightforward answers and options to deal with this complex disease. In this guide to living your best life with AFib, you will:ebook icon

  • Be Informed about what atrial fibrillation is, why it happens, and what AFib treatment options are available after diagnosis
  • Be Prepared to deal with the diagnosis and condition on mental and emotional levels
  • Be in control by learning to monitor the disease to prevent progression
  • Be Supported with AFib stories from those who have learned to navigate their illness

Amazon Best Seller in Heart Disease​

Restart Your Heart: The Playbook for Thriving with AFib | Aseem Desai, MD, FHRS | Greenleaf Book Group Press | 2020 | 240 pages | ISBN: 978-1626347083

Author

Aseem Desai MD headshot photo

Dr. Aseem Desai is a cardiac electrophysiologist (EP), a physician specializing in heart rhythm disorders. He has been caring for people with atrial fibrillation (AFib) for over seventeen years and currently practices in Orange County, California. Dr. Desai graduated from Northwestern University Medical School as part of the Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME). He did his internship, residency, chief residency, cardiology fellowship, and electrophysiology fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Desai served as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Director of Implantable Device Therapy at the University of Chicago Hospital. As an author of several scientific manuscripts, he has published in peer-reviewed journals such as HeartRhythmJournalJournal of the American College of CardiologyAmerican Journal of Medicine, and Annals of Internal Medicine. Dr. Desai’s passion for connecting with people has allowed him to increase AFib awareness through speaking engagements, writing for the general public on blogs such as The Doctor Weighs In, and on his YouTube channel, which features educational and human-interest stories. He provides personalized care based on the statement: “Doctor, if I were a family member of yours, what would you recommend?” When he's not helping patients, he enjoys spending time with his family, singing, playing guitar, reading, and practicing yoga.

Official Website of Aseem Desai MD

Book: When the Words Suddenly Stopped
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Former television broadcast journalist Vivian King was taking a seemingly harmless prescription pill and suddenly suffered a stroke that robbed her of her voice. She battled through neurological intensive care and hours of therapy, leading to a miraculous recovery which astounded even her doctors. King admits the medical care she received was unparalleled, but she believes her secret weapons were her faith, family, and friends converging to lead her from trauma to triumph. When the Words Suddenly Stopped is Vivian’s story. 

When the Words Suddenly StoppedFinding My Voice Again After a Massive Stroke | Vivian L King | Author Academy Elite | 2020 | 174 | ISBN: 978-1647460563

Author

Headshot photo of Vivian L King

Vivian King is an author, speaker, moderator, professionally trained voice actor, and the founder and principal of Vivian L. King Connections LLC, where she provides personalized consulting to individuals looking to find their voice through the media and connect with the community through workshops and forums. Vivian's background is in journalism. During her broadcast career, she worked at television stations in Alexandria, Louisiana; Tyler, Texas; and Battle Creek, Michigan before moving to Milwaukee, where she spent more than 10 years at WTMJ-TV, the NBC affiliate.

Official Website of Vivian L King