Using MeSH for cardiovascular disease research:
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings): provides a consistent way to retrieve information where authors use different terminology for the same concepts. To search PubMed effectively, you will need to be aware of the MeSH terms used to search for topics in this area. The term cardiovascular disease has many more specific terms associated with it, and you can see these listed in the MeSH database.
Many topics in MeSH have hierarchies of more specific subcategories or related terms. The indentations in the lists reflect the structure of the hierarchy, and the + signs at the end of terms indicate that there is a further hierarchy of terms not displayed here. Any of these terms can be searched individually, or you can "explode" terms to search sections of the list. For example "exploding" Heart Diseases would retrieve articles from Arrhythmias, Cardiac to Ventricular Outflow Obstruction, and all of their subcategories indicated by the presence of a + sign.
When you search for subjects using MeSH you will also have the option of adding subheadings to narrow the focus of your search:
Try the following search strategy to find articles on the relationship between cardiovascular disease and life style.
PubMed's default setting is to "explode" all terms, and so this search will include Life Change Events, which is a subcategory of Life Style. It will also include all of the subcategories of Cardiovascular Diseases listed above.
PubMed Search Strategy example:
"cardiovascular diseases"[majr] AND "life style"[majr] AND English[lang]
This search strategy uses the headings cardiovascular diseases and life style. The section in the square brackets includes majr - which focuses the search on articles where the subject is a major issue in the article. The search is then limited to articles in English or with an English abstract.