Alec Ahmad had open-heart surgery at age 6. (Photo courtesy of Angela Grinstead Ahmad) In May 2016, Angela Grinstead Ahmad took her 6-year-old son, Alec Ahmad, for a routine checkup. After hearing Alec’s heart make a troubling sound, the pediatrician said they needed to see a cardiologist. At first, Angela wasn’t overly concerned. Alec had…

(Dominic Denk/EyeEm, Getty Images) The narrowing of tiny blood vessels in the eyes of young children may predict whether those children develop high blood pressure, a new study shows. Researchers measured both blood pressure and the diameter of retinal arteries in 262 children ages 6 to 8 from Basel, Switzerland. Measurements were taken in 2014…

A volunteer from the Hinton Rural Life Center. (Photo courtesy of Jared Putnam) Replacing air filters, installing smoke detectors, weatherizing windows, repairing rotting floors. It’s maintenance that can make a house healthier and safer and reduce utility costs. Volunteers with the Hinton Rural Life Center in North Carolina are tackling these household tasks to help…

(sv_sunny/iStock, Getty Images) Lea en espanol Just as the coronavirus pandemic strains states and the nation, it also has stressed the resources of neighborhoods and individuals. And those with fewer resources to spare are clearly faring worse. An analysis from the newspaper USA Today found that among the nation’s poorest neighborhoods, where median household income…

(Darryl Leniuk/DigitalVision, Getty Images) With the arrival of warm weather, and as states begin to loosen months of lockdown restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s only natural that people are itching to get outside. But what summer activities are safe during a pandemic? And with many air-conditioned movie theaters, libraries, restaurants and malls closed or…

(Thinkstock/Stockbyte, Getty Images) For people with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes, heart failure posed the greatest five-year risk of death, more than any other heart or kidney disease, according to new research. The study, published Tuesday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, used Danish health registry data from 153,405 people…

Heather Lister pushed for reasons behind her symptoms and was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. (Kristin Balcita Photography) Heather Lister was 28 when her cardiologist said, “If you’re planning to have children, you shouldn’t wait long.” The problem was her heart. Instead of being born with three leaflets on her aortic valve, she only had…

(ashleymatheny/iStock, Getty Images) Three types of taxes on sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks could help prevent heart attacks, strokes and diabetes while also lowering health care costs, according to a new simulation model. Sugary drinks are the largest source of added sugars in U.S. diets, with about 60% of children and half of adults consuming…

(image_jungle/iStock, Getty Images) Women with HIV who experience persistently high levels of stress or depression have a significantly greater risk of plaque building up in their arteries than those who rarely or never report these symptoms, a new study finds. The study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Heart Association(link opens in new…

(Karl Tapales/Moment, Getty Images) There’s no vaccine for COVID-19 yet. But there are routine immunizations that people aren’t getting for a host of debilitating and potentially deadly diseases. In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported sharp drop-offs beginning in mid-March for pediatric vaccines ordered and given. And the World Health Organization estimated…