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Synopsis: Addresses many myths, mistakes, and misconceptions about health care for the elderly and discusses doctors, the insurance industry, preventive medicine, and a range of diseases and disorders commonly associated with aging.

From the Inside Flap: Did you know that we have no good evidence indicating that low-salt diets prevent heart attacks and strokes in seniors? That the tight control of blood sugar prevents the complications associated with diabetes? Or that calcium supplements alone prevent fractures in the elderly? Did you know that the risks associated with cholesterol are much lower than most people think? Or that the treatment for mild to moderate hypertension may be worse than the hypertension itself? Did you know that much of medicine is guided by what is "statistically significant" (what the numbers say about numbers) but not necessarily "clinically significant" (what the numbers say about people)? Or that despite the fact that the risks and rewards of medicine vary greatly with age, relatively little headline-making research includes seniors? Did you know that most seniors who feel healthy needn't bother with an annual check-up?

By the end of the decade one in five Americans will be sixty-five or older. The parents of the postwar generation are already senior citizens, and the baby boomers themselves are advancing into middle age. Senior maturity is becoming fashionable, but our lingering obsession with youth has deprived us of even the basic information we need to balance the benefits and burdens of everyday health during what should be the fullest, richest time in life. Donald Murphy, one of the U.S.'s premier geriatrics, has written Honest Medicine to fill this urgent and ever-growing demand.

The history of medicine is full of both wonder and folly, so Dr. Murphy begins by helping you develop a more critical eye and a healthy skepticism about the things you read and hear. He sets the record straight on some of the most popular myths, mistakes, and misconceptions about medicine for seniors. Armed with a clearer perspective on the medical industry and your own health care, you're ready to move on to a detailed-and often surprising-discussion of preventive medicine. Next, Dr. Murphy discusses some of the problems most commonly associated with aging: from high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis to Alzheimer's disease, dyspepsia, and coronary and respiratory disorders. Now you're prepared to confront the medical industry as an educated consumer and meet with your doctor as an informed and informative patient. The last section of Honest Medicine is devoted to helping you cultivate a healthy relationship with your own physician.

Donald Murphy is the kind of doctor everyone would like to have--friendly, frank, and famous in his field--and Honest Medicine, which is full of sound practical advice, cutting edge research, and warm and witty anecdotes, is a golden gift to seniors and the people who love them.

"In a warmhearted, practical manner Murphy argues that most older people are overmedicated, overtested, harassed, and made needlessly anxious about health problems.... Honest Medicine is a gentle geriatrician's reassuring book that combines common sense with information from the most recent clinical studies."--Digby Diehl, Modern Maturity

"A superb and lucid discussion of physician ethics and how patients and doctors can best use the health care system as the individual patient wants it used."--Victor Herbert, M.D., J.D., The New England Journal of Medicine

"Murphy's field guide to health care for the elderly teaches us how to tailor a medical plan that fits. His appraisal of the medical system is reasoned and well-considered."--Publishers Weekly

Donald J. Murphy, M.D., is the medical director of the Senior Citizens Health Center at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver. He also serves as the chairman of the Ethics Committee there. He is the founder and director of GUIDe, a city-wide consortium of hospitals and health-care organizations that work with the public in developing guidelines for the use of appropriate intensive care. A popular lecturer and spokesperson on aging and health care, he is a former member of the faculties at Harvard and George Washington universities. He lives in Denver with his wife and family.

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