The idea that heart disease is the most common cause of death gets misinterpreted to mean that any and all heart condition is an imminent danger to life and needs to be aggressively tested and treated.
In the absence of good, trustworthy information, patients are guided mostly by their gut reaction and instincts when they are diagnosed with heart disease. With the misperception that more is better, they all too often end up relying on the test and treatment recommendations of their harried healthcare provider, who could well be influenced by accepted norms, cognitive biases, legal concerns, or economic considerations, whether consciously or not. Such decisions and recommendations lead to the gross overuse of cardiac procedures, even when the risks of test and treatment can be worse than the disease itself.
Dr. Jignesh Shah explores the various tests and treatments available to cardiac patients and reveals those that are most helpful, those that are likely unnecessary, and those that should be pursued only in certain circumstances. Using real life stories, he helps readers to cultivate a better understanding of heart disease and guides them to make better decisions for their care based on their own needs and medical situations. He helps to correct the misconceptions that have guided and misguided patients for years.
Author quoted and book named in Healthline article “Burnout Can Hurt Your Heart: Here’s What You Can Do.”
2/28/2020: Book named one of CHOICE's "Top 75 Community College Titles."
Introduction: Why Do I Need This Book?
1. Stress Test: What’s Good for the Goose Good for the Gander?
2. Cardiac Catheterization: That’s Our Protocol
3. Angioplasty: It’s Not Killing You!
4. Bypass Surgery: A Second Opinion
5. Supplements, the Internet, and Heart Monitors: The Customer Has the Controls
6. Pacemakers: A Surefire Spark?
7. Defibrillator: Many Get It, Some Need It
8. Ablation: Curing Your Rhythm Problems
9. The Way Forward: The Home-Care Solution to Health Care
About the Author
In this book Dr. Shah offers a practical layperson’s guide to the various diagnostic tests related to cardiovascular health. He includes all of the common tests, explaining simply what they diagnose, how to prepare for one of them, and what the interpretation of results may indicate. Each chapter includes an appendix presenting commonly asked questions regarding the particular aspect of cardiac health covered in the chapter. In his introduction ("Why Do I Need This Book?") Dr. Shah explains his purpose: to prevent unnecessary invasive procedures. In chapter 4 he shares good ideas on how to obtain a second opinion if one is advised to get bypass surgery, and also discusses alternative therapies one might consider. In chapter 5 he provides a thorough discussion of natural/herbal supplements and nutraceuticals, and how they can influence–positively and negatively—the cardiovascular system. Chapter 7 provides food for thought in case one is advised to undergo placement of an internal defibrillator or pacemaker. The epilogue ("Heart-to-Heart") will be interesting reading for an individual newly diagnosed with a cardiac problem. Explanations throughout are accessibly written, making this a good read for the layperson who has no or very little previous knowledge about cardiology.
“Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability in the world. Many people, naturally, want to reduce their risk for them or receive the best possible treatment. Unfortunately, the diagnosis and treatment of CV disease has become an enormous business, and more often than most people know the drug and device companies, the hospitals, and the doctors who treat them may be motivated, consciously or not, as much by their own bottom line as by their patients’ interests. Dr. Jignesh Shah’s book provides readers with important and unbiased information that people can use to navigate the treacherous waters of the healthcare system."
J Shah is a board-certified cardiologist and a trained epidemiologist. He was trained at Harvard Medical School and has practiced in various countries and diverse settings over the past 20 years. He is passionate about patient experience of healthcare and hopes to bring human elements back to medicine. When he is not seeing patients, he is writing, traveling or hiking. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.