Congenital heart defect survivor Chris O’Connell competed on “American Ninja Warrior.” (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Morris, NBC) At 21, Chris O’Connell learned his pediatric cardiologist had retired. He was assigned a new doctor for the annual checkups he’d had all his life. “I know you’ve been told to not exercise hard or strain your heart,…

(Tijana Simic/iStock via Getty Images) A visit to the dentist’s office could provide a glimpse into your heart and brain health. More than an estimated 100 diseases can show symptoms in the mouth. For instance, periodontal disease, which results from infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that support and surround the teeth, is…

Megan Buchholz experienced atrial fibrillation possibly caused by a sleep disorder related to long COVID. (Photo by Tiffany Lee) Megan Buchholz groggily read the notification from her smartwatch. Its vibration had roused her out of a deep sleep. At 3 a.m. on a Monday this past March, she read an alert that said the device…

(XiXinXing via Getty Images) In the past, school cafeterias might have served as a source for more punchlines than nutrition. But lunch is a more dynamic and, these days, healthy part of students’ lives than many people realize. Some of its importance is obvious. “You really don’t need to do a study showing that if…

(Svetlana Monyakova/iStock via Getty Images) Lea en español Caffeine jump-starts your day and puts a bounce in your step. It can help you focus, improve your mood and maybe even help you live longer. But how much is too much? Caffeine, a natural stimulant, can be found in a variety of foods, such as coffee…

Susan Mangini, now 67, was one of the first children ever to undergo open-heart surgery to fix a pair of congenital heart defects. (Photo courtesy of Susan Mangini) At Susan Mangini’s checkup at age 2, the doctor subbing for her pediatrician asked about the girl’s heart murmur. Mangini’s mother was stunned. No one had ever…

(tommaso79/iStock via Getty Images) Lea en español Social isolation and loneliness may increase the risk of having or dying from a heart attack or stroke, according to a new report summarizing research on the topic. The scientific statement from the American Heart Association highlights the need for more data on strategies to improve cardiovascular health…

(vgajic/E+ via Getty Images) The consequences of heart disease often don’t show up until someone is well into adulthood. Why should busy parents be thinking about it in their kids? “Because it’s probably way easier to prevent the development of cardiac risk factors than to try and get rid of them once they’ve developed,” said…

(Zbynek Pospisil/iStock via Getty Images) Taking blood pressure readings from both arms and using the higher reading would more accurately capture who has high blood pressure – and is at increased risk for cardiovascular disease and death – than relying on readings from a single arm, new research suggests. While current recommendations call for using…

Congenital heart defect survivor Anthony Lydon (left) with his mom, Tanya. (Photo courtesy of Tanya Lydon) Three days after giving birth to her son, Anthony, Tanya Lydon was still in the hospital. She thought the lengthy stay was a little odd, but at the same time, the doctor gave no indication that anything was wrong,…