This book informs persons who risk or have sustained a heart attack as a result of coronary artery disease how it is possible to help them and how they may help themselves.
In this new volume of the Medical Adviser Series two experienced cardiologists, who have been involved for many years in research of the causes and consequences of this disease, give a comprehensive description of heart attack and its effects. They answer questions which are brought up daily by those who are affected by heart attack and coronary disease in general.
Yet another purpose of this book is to make patients specialists of their particular chronic disease with the cooperation of their physician. The book is meant to become a reliable adviser on the way to a 'second life', one which may be consulted at any time by patients and their families.
Carola Halhuber, M.D., born in 1936 in Baden-Baden, received her medical education at the Universities of Freiburg, Vienna, Berlin and Munster.
She was head of the Clinic of Cardio-vascular Disease in Baden-Baden and of the private Hospital "Lauterbacher Muehle" for coronary patients at Osterseen in Bavaria from 1964 to 1974. Since 1974 she has worked in the intensive care unit of the County Hospital in Munich-Pasing.
She is a trustee member of the German society concerned with the dangers of addiction, speaker for a group of specialists on smoking, and head of an outpatient coronary group.
Max J. Halhuber, MD., Professor of Medicine, born in 1916 in Innsbruck, studied medicine in Innsbruck, Vienna, Freiburg, Paris, and Boston.
He was chief resident of the University Hospital in Innsbruck until 1967. Since 1968 he has been the medical director of the Hoehenried Hospital for Cardio- vascular Disease.
He is professor of medicine at the University of Innsbruck and the Technical University of Munich.
In Germany the patient with a heart attack is referred to a special center for cardiac rehabilitation after his hospitalization for acute care. One such center in Bavaria is run by Dr. Max Halhuber who shares his experience and knowledge with us in this book, written for the patient and his family.
In the United States we have superb facilities for care during the acute phase of the heart attack. However, we neglect the important rehabilitation and reconditioning process and put up with the high cost, both socially and economically, of prolonged disability and premature retirement.
A statement was made to me by one of the officials of a Blue Shield plan when challenged over the Blue Plan's policy of not paying for a rehabilitation program. He stated, "The Blue Plans are in business to insure against acute illness. We are not in the business of prevention nor in the business of rehabilitation, much as we applaud their aims." If the individual is fortunate enough to have major medical coverage, rehabilitation programs may be covered.
It is unfortunate in these days of pressures for cost containment in medical care that we neglect rehabilitation and secondary prevention. As a matter of fact, even primary prevention programs suffer.
It has been estimated that in the United States coronary disease strikes 21/2 million individuals, and that one in five men can expect to have a heart attack before age 60. While institutional rehabilitation will probably never come to this country, and, indeed, is probably not needed, we must find a higher priority for prevention and rehabilitation programs.
Dr. Halhuber has a lot to tell us about coronary artery disease and heart attacks, and this book offers a large amount of medical information in terms understandable by patients and their family.
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