The Heart and Lung in Obesity. Edited by Martin A. Alpert, M.D., and James K. Alexander, M.D. Armonk, New York, Futura Publishing Company, Inc., 1998. Pages: 242. Price:$81.00.

This 253-page textbook is not casual reading. Edited by Martin A. Alpert, M.D., and James K. Alexander, M.D., this multiauthored textbook will tell you everything you want to know about the heart and lung in obesity. Although containing great detail, it is, however, very readable. The chapters are uniformly well written and appropriately highlighted with meaningful illustrations and tables. The chapter “Obesity and Sleep-Disordered Breathing” was particularly good in this regard, with various tables that provide valuable aids for diagnosing and treating these disorders. The chapter topics were thoughtfully selected and, despite their depth, are readably brief, allowing the reader to selectively choose areas of interest or concern and have a quick source to rapidly locate needed information. For example, if one were interested in assessing the cardiovascular status of an obese patient, the chapter “Obesity and Ventricular Function in Man” is available. The chapter presentations are logical and “Obesity Hypertension and the Heart” was particularly well written and clear. Equally important, each chapter, except one, contains a one- or two-paragraph concluding summary. The summaries are eminently readable and contain concise, relevant, and useful information. Therefore, I see the textbook's best value for those desiring an in-depth knowledge regarding obesity or alternatively as a resource for people seeking accurate, concise data that addresses specific problems in clinical care of these difficult patients.

David M. Dewan, M.D.

Professor of Anesthesia; Head of Section; Obstetric and Gynecologic Anesthesia; Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Medical Center Boulevard; Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27157-1009

(Accepted for publication December 5, 1998.)