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Improving Family Heart Health

Photo credit: Nell Hoving

To improve a child’s heath, you need to improve the health of his or her family. That’s the approach Nandini Madan, MD, takes when speaking with families that have a child with heart problems. This is especially true when it comes to health issues that can be improved with lifestyle changes.

“Children copy parents, so chances are good that if parents live a healthy lifestyle their children will, too,” says Dr. Madan, a pediatric electrophysiologist at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. “We can treat heart conditions with medications, surgery or medical devices, but we can’t maximize a child’s health without changing the family’s health.”

For her advocacy for improving heart health in children and their families, Dr. Madan will be named 2018’s “Woman of Heart” by the Philadelphia chapter of the American Heart Association recognizing outstanding medical professionals who make a difference in the lives of those who have been impacted by heart disease.

At St. Christopher’s, Dr. Madan cares for children with heart rhythm problems, which can run in families.

“We have probably saved as many parents’ lives as we have children’s lives, because if a child has a problem we often test the parents and discover the same problem in them,” Dr. Madan says.

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