To say this book is just about coronary heart disease would demean its real value. The author has brought together from innumerable sources, information that places coronary artery disease in a historical, evolutionary, and scientific context. The book is eminently readable by both the lay public and members of the medical profession.
Physicians and health workers often fail to appreciate the historical and scientific context of disease. That is because they are critically involved in the day-to-day management of patients. This book makes the topic exciting and provides extraordinary insight into the importance of history and how science, society and social circumstances interact.
This book is less about coronary artery disease than it is about certain contexts that author believes are important for a better understanding of this disease and several others. The contexts are biological, clinical, managerial, social and historical, and each chapter is an inquiry into one or more of them. A theme common especially to the last chapters is that the balance between principle and diversity, or between Platonic idealism and Aristotelian empiricism, has been shifted too far in favour of the former, and that this imbalance is inimical to science, agriculture and clinical medicine.
A major theme of this book is that we cannot rely on molecular biology and biotechnology to provide solutions to coronary artery disease. Instead, government must integrate health policy with policies for science, industry, urban planning and agriculture.
The book is intended for health care professionals, including researchers and administrators, and it is intended for informed laypersons, including politicians, with a general interest in our health care systems.
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