Skip to main content
Harvard University Press - home
The Women’s Concise Guide to a Healthier Heart

The Women’s Concise Guide to a Healthier Heart

Karen J. Carlson, M.D., Stephanie A. Eisenstat, M.D., Terra Ziporyn, Ph.D.

ISBN 9780674954847

Publication date: 09/25/1997

From the authors of The Harvard Guide to Women's Health

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in this country. Every year half a million American women die of heart problems--and another 2.5 million are hospitalized for heart disease. This book brings the risks and realities of cardiovascular disease for women into clear focus. Where previous books have concentrated on men, The Women's Concise Guide to a Healthier Heart recognizes and clarifies the significant differences between men and women in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac conditions.

The book lays out in plain English all that we currently know about preventing, recognizing, and living with a heart problem. Does an aspirin a day prevent heart disease in women? Does moderate alcohol consumption help or hurt? What about weight gain in middle age? Estrogen replacement therapy? These are the kinds of everyday, life-and-death questions that are addressed specifically for women in this concise guide. It considers questions of cholesterol and diabetes, stress and depression, diet and smoking. It explores diagnostic procedures and surgeries and explains their differing reliability and benefits for women and men.

Helpfully illustrated and easy to use, clear and comprehensive on every heart problem and related symptom and behavior, this book is the best resource for any woman wishing to understand the health and workings of her heart.


  • Traditionally, men, specifically white men, have been the subjects and/or targets of medical and pharmaceutical studies related to the heart. Those professions are finally realizing that heart problems and treatments may need to be different for women and African Americans. The Women’s Concise Guide to a Healthier Heart explains in plain English these differences and their significance for diagnosis and treatment. As heart disease is the number one killer of women in this country, this book could definitely be one of those ‘affairs to remember.’

    —Pat Schubert, North Port Sun Herald [North Port, FL]


  • Karen J. Carlson, M.D., is a pioneer in the field of primary care for women. She founded Women’s Health Associates at Massachusetts General Hospital and is currently Director of this innovative center, which has been widely emulated in other medical centers throughout the country. Dr. Carlson is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Her research and academic publications focus on hysterectomy, ovarian cancer screening, and communication between doctors and patients. She lectures frequently to thousands of physicians in continuing education courses at Harvard and other major medical schools.
  • Stephanie A. Eisenstat, M.D., is an internist with Women’s Health Associates at Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Scholar at The Academy, Harvard Medical School. She directs a course for physicians in training, Trauma and Injury Control, and is coeditor, with Dr. Karen Carlson, of Primary Care of Women, one of the first medical textbooks devoted to the emerging specialty of women’s primary care.
  • Terra Ziporyn, Ph.D., is a historian of science and medicine, a medical journalist, and a former associate editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The author of numerous books, including Nameless Diseases, she has written widely about topics in women’s health, including heart disease, behavioral health, autoimmune disorders, and alternative medicine.

Book Details

  • 144 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-3/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

From this author