Book reviews

Br J Cardiol 2013;20:37 Leave a comment
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Editors: Bakris G, Baliga RR
Publisher: Oxford University Press USA, USA, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-19-975490-8
Price: £22.50

Heart failure - BJC Learning programme
For healthcare professionals only

BJC_book_reviewMcCormack COVERRather than a structured textbook this is a collection of individual essays, some of which are very useful and interesting, and some not quite so good. There are 38 contributors for 18 chapters.

Compiled for doctors ranging from the internist to the specialist, it is very much an American text. Outside of the US it will arouse the curiosity of those of us interested in hypertension, more in terms of an insight into the current thoughts of our American cousins. One particular insight is the recommendation to do urine spot tests for sodium and potassium levels, to check adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, with the slightly cheesy line: “you can inform patients if they are not DASHing”!

Interestingly, they do not make a distinction between thiazide and thiazide-like diuretics. As in the UK they are only advocating beta blockers for hypertension control in patients with coronary artery disease, not that they mention the ASCOT trial even once. Almost every chapter starts with lots of epidemiological data, much of which is repeated and eventually leads the reader to develop PDFF – population disease fact fatigue, a new disorder for which book editors everywhere should be on the lookout.

A large part of the book concentrates on special populations, the best chapter being ‘Hypertension in pregnancy’. The adherence section spends a lot of time discussing the problems of drug affordability and insurance company support. This is an amazing contrast to the NHS where, for most of our patients, the drugs are free and they still do not take them. I was especially taken by the point that with the expense of hair styling these days, patients will be disinclined to take any exercise advice, which will risk their coiffure. The biggest surprise in an American textbook published in 2012 is the total absence of any mention, whatsoever, of renal denervation.

Terry McCormack
General Practitioner and Hospital Practitioner in Anaesthetics Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 1SD

Type 2 diabetes, 2nd edition

Editor: Barnett A
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-19-959617-1
Price: £19.99

bk1This pocket-sized textbook of diabetes was a pleasure to read. It is a whirlwind tour of almost all the aspects that one comes to associate with this complex multi-system disorder. Written by a collection of experts from the UK and elsewhere, this ensures that a wide range of subjects are covered and the knowledge imparted is of sufficient depth to keep the interested reader well informed. The book is very well referenced and would make an excellent addition to the libraries of both primary care practitioners and junior medical staff.

The chapters include: the epidemiological aspect of diabetes; complications and costs; pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes; the pharmacology of drugs used to treat the condition; and the evidence base behind diet and exercise. There is also a section on multiple cardiovascular risk intervention. As with all textbooks, it does suffer a little by being out of date, but has referenced most of the up-to-date evidence. Importantly, there is also a chapter looking at the most recent trials done to assess the effects of tight glycaemic control on cardiovascular risk. The book from such a highly respected author, is a succinct summary of the available data.

In covering the several different aspects of diabetes management, the authors have gathered together information from international guidelines, while retaining a UK focus with the inclusion of relevant NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines.

Overall, this book will help healthcare teams looking to increase their background knowledge about not only how to manage the patient with diabetes, but why they are doing what they are asked to do. It should sit comfortably on many shelves.

Ketan Dhatariya
Consultant Physician/Honorary Senior Lecturer
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich, NR4 7UY