Item description for Healthy Women, Healthy Lives: A Guide to Preventing Disease, from the Landmark Nurses' Health Study (Harvard Medical School Book) by Susan E. Hankinson, Graham a. Colditz & Joann E. Manson...
Overview The results of a groundbreaking study of 225,000 women traces the interconnection among lifestyle, habits, and health, focusing on weight gain, exercise, substance abuse, and other important issues related to women's health. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
Publishers Description Since 1976, the world-famous Harvard Medical School Nurses' Health Study has followed more than 120,000 real women, leading real lives, to discover what factors contribute to improving the health of women. The most important findings are made accessible to the general public in this easy-to-understand book that will revolutionize the way women live. "Healthy Women, Healthy Lives" goes beyond simply labeling preventive measures and risky behavior -- it provides practical tips and strategies from clinical experts at Harvard Medical School for making healthy lifestyle changes. Here are the best ways to lower the risk of a host of chronic diseases, as well as tips for losing weight, stopping smoking, eating healthily, and exercising regularly. With easy-to-read graphs that clarify complex information and personal stories from nurses who have contributed to the remarkable study, "Healthy Women, Healthy Lives" is an extraordinary health book that will prove invaluable to women everywhere.
Citations And Professional Reviews Healthy Women, Healthy Lives: A Guide to Preventing Disease, from the Landmark Nurses' Health Study (Harvard Medical School Book) by Susan E. Hankinson, Graham a. Colditz & Joann E. Manson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 464
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 344
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More About Susan E. Hankinson, Graham a. Colditz & Joann E. Manson
Hankinson is associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and at the Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Susan E. Hankinson has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Healthy Women, Healthy Lives: A Guide to Preventing Disease, from the Landmark Nurses' Health Study (Harvard Medical School Book)?
Well recommended Feb 9, 2002
The Landmark Nurse Health Study was enormously interesting and full of useful information,as well as being clearly and understandably written for the layperson. The authors enlisted the help of 170,000 nurses to track their health status over the past 25 years, by filling out questionnaires every few years, occasionally requesting blood samples and even nail clippings from some. This is a report on their work, which also cites many other studies, some that agree and others that disagree with the authors findings. They emphasize that this is the latest word, but not the last. The researchers discuss at length those situations in which certain medications that are advantageous for one disorder may be disadvantageous for another. Choosing which way to go will require consideration of hereditary factors and family history, as well as consultation with ones primary care provider. Asking nurses to do this kind of information gathering was well conceived, as we all know that nurses are meticulous record keepers, as well as being altruistic and concerned with the welfare of their fellow human beings. I find myself quoting frequently from this book, as well as recommending it to all my women friends and relatives. I enjoyed reading it and benefited from the information it contained.
reader beware! Aug 14, 2001
This book is touted as showing how to prevent disease through changing your lifestyle, right? Well, keep in mind that the authors never tried changing their subjects' lifestyles! So we really have no way of knowing whether if the nurses they studied had changed their diets, they would have been healthier or not. In medical science, the only way to really find these things out is to actually do a clinical trial...randomly assign people to different groups to follow a certain program and then see what program is best. These authors didn't do that so their results are just observational. You might see in your neighborhood that three women who like to wear lavender clothes all came down with cancer...does that prove that if you stop wearing lavender clothes you won't get cancer? These authors have never shown that they can prevent disease through their recommendations. The authors never treated these women as patients, in fact they never even saw them! Also keep in mind that all these results are just based on the subject's reports of what they ate, how much they weighed etc. The authors never verified that the answers were truthful. And they never measured the women's blood pressure or cholesterol levels or any other ordinary lab tests that your doctor does on a routine visit. So this book is really just a bunch of advice that sounds plausible but might or might not have any effect on preventing disease. Don't believe the hype!
Everyone Should Read This Book! Jul 15, 2001
This book deserves more than five stars. It is by far the best resource on women's health issues that I have seen.
Review Summary: How can women improve their health by changing their lifestyle, diet, and activities? That's the question that this book answers. Based on the longest running and most authoritative sources of information, you should prefer the information here to what you will read in other resources. The book deals with factors like age, race, exercise, diet, use of supplements, weight, birth control pill and hormone replacement usage, smoking, and drinking in order to define how these affect the incidence of disease. In addition, the book also tells women how to improve their chances for avoiding diseases where where behavior counts for a lot.
Review: The detailed focus of this book is remarkable. Unlike most books about health that look at men and women together, this one drills down to many different perpectives on women. For instance, if you took oral contraceptives in the 1970s, what is the effect on your risk of breast cancer today? If you take supplementary calcium now, how does that affect your risk of having a bone fracture when you are past 70? These are the kind of specific, and important questions that this book looks at. And the data are not necessarily what you think. Calcium supplements, for instance, don't seem to help with reducing fractures. If you discontinued oral contraceptives some time ago, the impact on breast cancer incidence seems to drop off to nil.
The data for the book come from several long-term studies. The most significant is Harvard Medical School's Nurses' Health Study, which began in 1976. The base was 120,000 R.N.s aged 30-55. The original focus of this work was on oral contraceptives, but many other data were assembled in two page questionnaires sent every other year. Since then, biological samples have been added liked toenail clippings and blood. In 1989 116,000 more nurses were added in the Nurses' Health Study II, which tracks younger women than those in the earlier group who are now increasingly elderly. Nurses were originally chosen because it was thought they would be more accurate in their data and more likely to be open about sharing information about contraceptive and reproductive practices. Since then the National Institutes of Health have also started a tracking study focusing on the use of postmenopausal hormones, low fat diets, and the impact of calcium and other supplements on postmenopausal health. All three studies are used extensively in this book.
The book's first section looks at the studies and how to interpret the data that come from them. The second section (and the longest) looks at a different diseases. Instead of lumping cancer together, for instance, you get separate looks at breast, lung, colon, endometrial, ovarian, and skin cancer. Other dieases covered include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, arthritis, eye ailments, and Alzheimer's. The final section is on advice about how to do better with physical activity, weight control, smoking, nutrients, foods, alcohol, vitamins and minerals, postmenopausal hormones, birth control, and aspirin.
Unlike many books coming from physicians, this book is easy to understand and apply. You get a lot of scientific data, but you also get lots of instances of plain English. For example, there are quotes from nurses and how one doctor provides advice in each section for what she or he tells patients about that subject. Also, each chapter has a simple, useful summary that you can use to put everything in perspective.
If the book has a weakness, it's that you cannot learn as much as you need to know about how to change difficult behaviors like smoking and eating foods that lead to excess weight in brief chapters. So, once you've decided you want to improve your behavior, I suggest that you also seek out other books that are more specialized on those issues.
Obviously, this book will be of interest and value to women. Why should men read it? I told my wife about how good I thought this book was, and she asked me how she should change her behavior based on the book's information. I was able to summarize for her in less than five minutes what I had observed that she could beneficially change. So this book can be valuable for men to read, if they share the information with women they know. Also, men can give this book to women as a token of their love and caring.
After you finish this book, I suggest that you also think about where you can get such authoritative information about other important subjects in your life . . . like getting along well with others, enjoying good mental health, feeling happy and optimistic, and giving and receiving love. Why not make improvements in all these dimensions?
Remember: You deserve the best that you can provide for yourself!