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Am Fam Physician. 1999;59(1):219-220

The 5-Minute Child Health Advisor

Edited by M. William Schwartz. Pp. 337. Price, $19.95. Williams and Wilkins, 351 W. Camden St., Baltimore, MD 21201-2436, 1998.

The 5-Minute Child Health Advisor is a short reference textbook for lay readers who would like to gain a better perspective on the diseases and disorders that commonly affect children. This textbook is concise, readable and organized alphabetically according to each disease. The authors devote approximately one to two pages to each illness, and the information is presented in a simplified, user-friendly outline format. Each disorder is subdivided into six different categories, including basic information, diagnosis, treatment, medications, follow-up and commonly asked questions and answers about each illness. The authors make every attempt to provide the reader with up-to-date, clinically accurate information in a simplified, easy-to-understand manner.

The sections titled “Follow-Up” and “Commonly Asked Questions” provide helpful information and answers to frequently asked questions by lay readers. These sections are a nice addition to this textbook that aims to educate the reader in preventive medicine, prognosis and outcome, warning signs and symptoms and the clinical history of each illness. However, the section on commonly asked questions falls short of addressing many important questions related to the outcome and pathogenesis of each illness.

The lay reader will find section II of the book a helpful supplement to the primary textbook. This section provides a list of definitions for terms that may be confusing for readers who have little medical background. However, this list is by no means all-inclusive and assumes some previous medical knowledge.

Family physicians, pediatricians and other health care providers may find this textbook useful, but it is by no means comprehensive enough to be recommended for use as a primary office text. The book lacks significant detail and depth with regard to differential diagnosis, testing procedures, medications and state-of-the-art treatments. The section on medications does not give any information about dosage, drug interactions or potential side effects of the treatment regimens. The book also does not contain any diagrams, tables or illustrations, which might have been a quicker way of providing the reader with information.

However, in general, this book is a good reference for readers who wish to gain a broad understanding of the common diseases and disorders that affect children. The textbook does a good job presenting the basic facts and information used by physicians to properly diagnose, manage and treat specific childhood illnesses.

Current Therapy of Diabetes Mellitus

Edited by Ralph A. DeFronzo. Pp. 273. Price, $59.95. Mosby, 11830 Westline Industrial Dr., St. Louis, MO 63146-3318, 1998.

This textbook is part of a series of Current Therapy guides. It is designed to be used by the primary care physician According to the introduction, the therapy guidelines included in this textbook will help eliminate the complications of diabetes mellitus and improve the quality of life for persons with diabetes. Each chapter is written by a recognized author who presents background knowledge on the subject that is followed by the therapeutic guidelines.

The textbook itself is well illustrated, and it is a compact book with a total of 273 pages and an attractive cover. The charts and tables are helpful, and the book is easy to use because the chapters are specific and easy to find. The four major subdivisions of the book are “Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus,”“Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus,” “Diabetic Complications,” and “Special Problems.”

The book's introduction is current and discusses the new American Diabetes Assiciation classification and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. However, in the first chapter on treatment of type 1 diabetes, the authors continue to use the old classification (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, or IDDM) rather than the new classification that the authors outlined in the introduction. The textbook is spotty in this regard, and one would have to assume that the completed chapters were turned in to the publisher at different times, with some being turned in before the classification change was made.

Another aspect that was not quite up-to-date was the section on type 2 diabetes mellitus (formerly known as non–insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, or NIDDM). For example, there is no discussion of the recent dose titration studies of metformin and there is no reference to the newer indications for the use of troglitazone. Each class of oral agents is considered separately and, while there is some discussion of combination therapy, much more could be said. In addition, the discussion on acarbose does not mention the newer low dose of the drug.

The book also contains several organizational peculiarities. The section on type 1 diabetes mellitus begins with a chapter on psychosocial problems that is followed by several chapters on acute complications with insulin therapy, nutrition and exercise, and the acute complications of diabetes such as diabetic ketoacidosis are included in this section rather than in the section on complications. However, the section on special problems is organized correctly and includes several chapters on pregnancy as well as discussions of genetic counseling, surgery and geriatrics. The section on type 2 diabetes mellitus appropriately starts with diabetes and exercise and then goes on to the oral agents and insulin.

The primary care practitioner has a tremendous desire to learn all that he or she can about the newer agents that have been released for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, and this discussion could be expanded to include oral agents and insulin. A more thorough discussion of continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion therapy would also be of interest to the physician taking care of patients with diabetes mellitus. There is also a good review of the comorbid factors associated with diabetes, such as hypertension and dyslipidemia. These factors are frequently underappreciated and are very appropriate in a textbook of this type.

Overall, this textbook is a good guide to the management of diabetes and serves as a valuable resource to the physician who is taking care of diabetic patients. Physicians must keep up with the new advances while using this book as a basic resource guide with the understanding that therapeutic choices in diabetes are changing rapidly.

Also Received

Bleeding Edge

By J.D. Kleinke. Pp. 362. Price, $30.00. Aspen Publishers, 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Ste. 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, 1998.

Capitalizing Medical Groups: Positioning Physicians for the Future

By Dean C. Coddington, Keith D. Moore and Richard L. Clarke. Pp. 412. Price, $75.00. Healthcare Education Group, 1333 Burr Ridge Parkway, Burr Ridge, IL 60521, 1998.

Cardiac Problems in Pregnancy

Edited by Uri Elkayam and Norbert Gleicher. Pp. 773. Price, $199.00. 3d ed. Wiley, 605 Third Ave., New York, NY 10158, 1998.

Colposcopy Cervical Pathology

By Erich Burghardt, Hellmuth Pickel and Frank Girardi. Pp. 344. Price, $139.00. 3d ed. Thieme, 333 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10001, 1998.

Community Health Education

By Donald J. Breckon, John R. Harvey and R. Brick Lancaster. Pp. 436. Price, $49.00. 4th ed. Aspen Publishers, 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Ste. 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, 1998.

Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Sourcebook

Edited by Linda M. Shin and Karen Bellenir. Pp. 600. Price, $78.00. Omnigraphics, Penobscot Bldg., Detroit, MI 48226, 1998.

Everyone's Guide to Cancer Therapy

Edited by Malin Dollinger, Ernest Rosenbaum and Greg Cable. Pp. 824. Price, $19.95. 3d ed. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 4520 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111-7701, 1998.

The Faith Factor: Proof of the Healing Power of Prayer

By Dale A. Matthews. Pp. 314. Price, $24.95. Penguin Putnam, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014, 1998.

The Fibromyalgia Relief Book

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson. Pp. 208. Price, $14.95. Walker and Co., 435 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014, 1998.

Flesh of My Flesh: The Ethics of Cloning

Edited by Gregory E. Pence. Pp. 160. Price, $12.95. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, MD 20706, 1998.

Freeze-Frame: One Minute Stress Management

By Doc Childre. Pp. 135. Price, $11.95. Planetary Publications, P.O. Box 66, Boulder Creek, CA 95006, 1998.

Hamilton and Hardy's Industrial Toxicology

Edited by Raymond S. Harbison. Pp. 682. Price, $79.00. 5th ed. Mosby, 11830 Westline Industrial Dr., St. Louis, MO 63146-3318, 1998.

Living with Lung Cancer: A Guide for Patients and Their Families

By Barbara G. Cox, David T. Carr and Robert E. Lee. Pp. 144. Price, $14.95. 4th ed. Triad Publishing, P.O. Box 13355, Gainesville, FL 32605, 1998.

Medical Management of the Surgical Patient

Edited by Geno J. Merli and Howard H. Weitz. Pp. 432. Price, $39.95. Saunders, 625 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106-3399, 1998.

Medical Records and the Law

By William H. Roach, Jr., and the Aspen Health Law and Compliance Center. Pp. 346. Price, $49.00. 3d ed. Aspen Publishers, 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Ste. 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, 1998.

National Health Directory

Edited by Mindy B. Nagler. Pp. 427. Price, $99.00. Aspen Publishers, 200 Orchard Ridge Dr., Ste. 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, 1998.

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