Services & Specialties
Preventive Cardiology

Identifying At-Risk Kids Early

If high cholesterol, high blood pressure or obesity run in your family, your child might be at increased risk of these conditions due to genetic factors. We are now able to identify many of the risks of future heart disease in children.

Our Preventive Cardiology Program has three cardiologists, a nephrologist, an endocrinologist and a general pediatrician dedicated to identifying and decreasing cardiovascular risk factors in children.

The program is part of the Heart Institute, and is one of only a handful of centers nationwide that offers clinics specifically for childhood hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity.

A Program Just For Your Child

Our physicians will first conduct a thorough assessment of your child’s risk for future heart disease. Based on this assessment, we will develop an individualized treatment plan. We coordinate this plan among our experts in exercise, nutrition, behavioral psychology and preventive cardiology. They will recommend improvements in your child’s diet, physical activity and behavior for those who are most at-risk for cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. Their recommendations may include:

  • Specialized measurements of your child’s blood pressure or body size
  • Ultrasound testing for cardiac or kidney changes
  • A visit with one of our specially trained dietitians
  • A consultation with a behavioral psychologist to work with your child as she adapts to making changes in lifestyle
  • A personalized exercise program prescribed by our exercise physiologist

Our Research Makes the Difference

Our Preventive Cardiology Program receives more than $1.5 million of extramural funding for research each year. Our research focuses on the epidemiology of pediatric obesity, hypertension and hyperlipidemia and the cardiac and vascular effects of adverse cardiovascular risk factors in young people.

Because our program boasts the only pediatric vascular function lab in the nation, we conduct some of the leading research into vascular function and have developed protocols for managing vascular function in children.

We have published numerous peer-reviewed articles demonstrating the adverse affects of obesity, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol on the vasculature.

Additional Information

Cardiology & Heart Surgery.

Top Ten in the Nation

U.S. News & World Report ranked our Joint Pediatric and Congenital Heart Program, in conjunction with Kentucky Children’s Hospital, as one of the top ten hospitals in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery.


Research Update

A young girl boards a school bus.

Do you know how old your kids' arteries are?

A new study by Elaine Urbina, MD, suggests there is a simple way to assess a child's arterial health.  And children might not be as healthy as they seem.

Read what the Wall Street Journal wrote about Dr. Urbina's study.

Read more