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State of the Heart

INTRODUCTION

Several million people worldwide will undergo cardiac catheterization and/or heart surgery this year. State of the Heart offers a comprehensive source of information for these heart patients, their families, and anyone else who would like to learn more about their heart and heart health.

The book covers topics of immediate interest to heart patients and their families, such as how your heart works, staying heart healthy, and the many forms of heart disease and treatment options. Through contributions from more than 40 leading specialists, State Of the Heart offers the publishing industry's most complete, up-to-date source for information on advanced therapies, congenital defects, treatment options for coronary artery disease, and many other topics. State of the Heart, winner of the prestigious Independent Publishers 2001 Book of the Year Award in the category of health, medicine and nutrition, features an extensive glossary explaining often-used words related to your heart and blood vessels. Finally, there is an appendix on common drugs used by heart patients.

Although 80 percent of the book is devoted to modern heart care, there is much more to State of the Heart than medical advice. The book strives to place heart surgery in its historical perspective, breathing life and humanity into one of the 20th century's greatest medical accomplishments. The first chapter deals with the fascinating story of how open heart surgery got started. After that, the historical aspects are woven in with the state-of-the-art information to give you a more complete understanding of how some of the heart-related medical breakthroughs occurred. Many of these historical anecdotes are based on first-person accounts from giants in the field. Christiaan Barnard, for example, will tell you in his own words about the world's first successful human heart transplant. We were fortunate to have many of the heart surgery pioneers from around the world share interesting stories with us during interviews specifically for State of the Heart. In fact, some of these colorful anecdotal stories have never before been published!

For those who want to skip the history and get directly to the 'heart of the matter' on a certain subject, the historical information is clearly marked both in the table of contents and throughout the book with a red heart icon so you may choose to read it or skip over it. But for those of you who enjoy history, State of the Heart can be read as a history book in about three or four hours. All you need to do is refer to the red heart icons in the Table of Contents, then locate the same icon on the appropriate page or pages and read this information in the sequence listed on the table of contents.

We were honored to have Dr. C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States, contribute the foreword to State of the Heart. He shares with us interesting experiences on his way to becoming a pediatric surgeon. He also discusses some of the current issues in healthcare and medicine. The heart surgery pioneers and other heart specialist contributors are listed on pages XIV and XV.

After you have read about the topics that interest you, we recommend that you go back and peruse the STS.org website, particularly the Patient Info section where you may find additional information and perhaps updates.

To Your Health!

Larry W. Stephenson, M.D. and Jeffrey L. Rodengen