For your valentine: A healthy heart

Flowers and Lakers tickets are nice Valentine's Day gifts. But a guide to taking care of your flesh-and-blood heart is a great idea too.

Take a look at "Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You'll Ever Need." This new book is authored by two of the top guns in cardiology: Dr. Marc Gillinov and Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic. The two doctors are on the cutting edge of heart health and have been outspoken about protecting consumers from harmful or unnecessary therapies.

The 550-page paperback is consumer friendly. Readers can explore the risks for developing heart disease in detail or glance at a list of 11 risk factors, some well known and others not so much, such as gum disease and migraines. The authors address the common questions people have but perhaps don't ask their doctors. Is sex exercise? Are hot tubs safe for heart patients?

The chapter on medications for the heart -- which Gillinov and Nissen refer to as "the big six" -- is particularly good in helping readers understand how various drugs play a role in heart health. You'll finally understand why you have to take so many pills.

Other sections address gender differences in cardiac health, vitamins and supplements, genetics and potential future advances in heart health. "Heart 411" sells for $19.99.

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