Nida Yousef, MD 

Dr Yousef is a board certified pediatric cardiologist. She completed her fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Advocate Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL.  She believes that taking care of your child's health needs a partnership between you and your physician. Building trust and effective communication is key to help your children live a healthier lifestyle. She is affiliated with Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Advocate Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn, and Palos Hospital in Palos Heights in Illinois. 

Living a life free from cardiovascular disease  begins  in childhood.  At Pediatric Healthy Hearts we work with families to help make small changes that can  add up to big differences in  cardiovascular health, even for children and teenagers! 

Recent reports show that one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. Obesity causes a broad range of health problems, include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. There are also psychological effects: Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression. Excess weight at young ages has been linked to higher and earlier death rates in adulthood.


Congenital heart defects result when the heart or blood vessels near the heart fail to develop normally. At Pediatric Healthy Hearts, we are committed to helping families  and children with congenital hear defects receive the best medical care, and families are making the right decision for their children. 

Some children with congenital heart defects require no  treatment. Some may only need to be observed and visit their cardiologist. Surgery or a procedure called cardiac catheterization may be needed to reduce the effects of and/or repair the defect. Even when a defect is treated as a child, further conditions may develop that would benefit from additional medical treatment. Your cardiologist will be a friend during this journey and will help your child transition  into adulthood life with the best possible outcomes. 


Nearly 360,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals each year in the US  alone. Of those sudden cardiac arrests, very few occur in young people. Screening recommendations for all children, adolescents, and college-age young adults include medical, family, and drug history, including use of performance-enhancing drugs and those that predispose to abnormal heart rhythms). Screening include physical examination (including BP and supine and standing cardiac auscultation) and selected testing based on findings on history and physical examination. The testing might include EKG, Echocardiogram, portable cardiac monitors, or genetic testing in some cases.  

 As a parent, red flags you need to notice in your young athletic child include:  Unexplained fainting (syncope), shortness of breath, or chest pain which may be a sign for increased risk of sudden cardiac death.  Also, family  history of sudden cardiac death or unexplained deaths before the age of 50 especially in association with the aforementioned symptoms.  Many conditions are inherited.


 Heart murmurs are extra sounds that the physician can hear while listening to the heart using a stethoscope.

 Innocent murmurs, also called functional or normal murmurs, are very common during infancy and childhood.  There are a few types of innocent murmurs, but all represent the normal sound of blood as it flows from the heart into the main blood vessels of the body or lungs.  Some of these murmurs are easily distinguishable from pathological murmur and don't need further work up . Some murmurs require additional tests, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) or echocardiogram (Echo) to distinguish them from the much less common abnormal murmurs.

Children with Innocent heart murmur don't need medication and won't have any cardiac symptoms. They don't have a heart problem or disease. The child can be as active as any other healthy child and no need to restrict their physical activity.