Vascular Disease in the Elderly
W.S. Aronow, E.A. Stemmer, S.E. Wilson, eds. 574 pp. Armonk, NY: Futura Publishing Co Inc; 1997. $120.00. ISBN 0-87993-646-0.
There are now many texts on heart disease in the elderly. To the best of my knowledge, however, this is the first on vascular disease in the elderly. Vascular disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in older Americans and one that has been largely ignored or treated as an orphan of mainstream cardiology. This deficiency in the specialty of cardiovascular disease is beginning to be addressed by medical specialty boards and training programs. The National Institute on Aging has also recognized the pivotal importance of vascular function and dysfunction in several recent reports regarding recommended research emphases.1
This multiauthored text is well done. Spanning 571 pages, it is thorough but concise and focused. The editors—Drs Aronow, Stemmer, and Wilson—set high authorship standards with their own invaluable chapter contributions. The introduction by Dr Stemmer is a lucid, concise overview of the fundamental principles of the impact of the aging of our population on health care. It hits all the highlights and is insightful and authoritative. This outstanding contribution by Dr Stemmer, a professor of surgery, is an example of how improvements in care of the elderly are often accomplished by persons of stature in multiple subspecialty areas who develop an interest and passion for aging and care of the elderly. This chapter sets the tone for the entire book.
The chapters in the book are uniformly good with many outstanding original treatments of the topics. For instance, chapter 4, “Vascular Aging,” by Dr John Walsh, is meaty and well referenced—not simply a regurgitation of others’ reviews as one sometimes finds in multiauthored texts. Chapter 21, “Infrainguinal Arterial Occlusive Disease in the Elderly,” thoroughly covers a topic important to a significant percentage of cardiology patients but one which many cardiologists are only superficially aware of. Chapter 23, “Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in the Elderly: Special Considerations,” like most of the chapters, successfully maintains a focus on data and information specific to the older population rather than giving a few parenthetic comments about the elderly after a general review, a flaw often seen in specialty texts of geriatrics.
This book offers an excellent remedy to a serious deficiency by providing long-overdue substance for the “vascular” that has been missing from the oft-used phrase “cardiovascular disease in the elderly.”
- Copyright © 1998 by American Heart Association