• 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference: Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older AdultsJoin us at the 2020 GAPNA Pharmacology Conference:
    Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults

    April 14-18, 2020, Honolulu, HI.

    Earn up to 18 CNE hours.


    Find out more about it and REGISTER today!

  • W A N T E D   G A P N A   L E A D E R S!
    Call for Nominations!

    Have you ever considered stepping forward, accepting the challenge and volunteering for a position on the 2020-21 National Board of Directors? Register online NOW by March 22, 2020!

    Step Up - NOW is the Time! Register Here>

  • AwardNew for GAPNA members: MCM Education

    GAPNA has partnered with a MCM Education to offer an ongoing series of CNE programs available to GAPNA members. "Diagnosing and Managing Parkinson’s Disease in Older Adults," is the latest program offered.

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by both motor and nonmotor symptoms. It is diagnosed based on the presence of two of four motor symptoms including rest tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity, and gait imbalance...

    Find out about it!

  • ConventionCALL FOR: Podium and Poster Abstracts

    For the 38th GAPNA Annual Conference
    at the Hyatt Regency
    New Orleans, LA, September 24-26, 2020

    GAPNA members are invited to submit an abstract about their innovative work, that should enrich the APRN's knowledge and/or enhance the care of an older adult. Deadline March 15, 2020.

    Find out more info and deadline dates

  • FREE CE for GAPNA MembersFREE continuing education credit is available for the following session:

    "Update in Chronic Kidney Disease Management and Prescribing"

    (session captured at the GAPNA 2018 Annual Conference)

    For January/February 2020 - Get Your Free CNE Now!

Cardio Health Link

Cardiovascular Health Status at Age 50 Linked to Dementia Risk

People with better cardiovascular health at age 50 may be less likely than those with poor cardiovascular health to develop dementia later in life.

Recent research findings show middle-aged adults may be able to reduce their risk of dementia by controlling high blood pressure and cholesterol and avoiding other risk factors for heart disease and stroke (Sabia et al., 2019).

Brain changes related to dementia from Alzheimer's disease start a decade or more before symptoms appear, offering a chance to prevent or delay memory loss and other debilitating symptoms.

Because previous studies suggested a link between cardiovascular risk factors and cognitive decline, researchers at INSERM in Paris and at University College London examined cardiovascular risk factors 25 years before a diagnosis of dementia in Britain's Whitehall II study.

At the beginning of the study, the 7,899 participants did not have cardiovascular disease or dementia. Researchers used the American Heart Association's Life Simple 7 measures to categorize each participant's cardiovascular health at age 50 as poor, intermediate, or optimal. The measures included smoking, diet, physical activity, body mass index, blood sugar level, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Researchers found 347 participants developed dementia over the 25-year study period. Individuals with optimal and intermediate cardiovascular health were less likely to develop dementia than those with poor cardiovascular health (Sabia et al., 2019).

The same researchers also examined magnetic resonance images of the brain from 708 participants in the Whitehall II study. Compared with those with poor cardiovascular health at age 50, those with intermediate and optimal cardiovascular health scores had larger brain volume 20 years later. This finding suggests those with poor cardiovascular health at midlife may be more likely to have reduced brain volume in their later years. In people with dementia, especially from Alzheimer's, the volume of brain tissue shrinks.

These results are important because they suggest that even small improvements in cardiovascular health at midlife could not only reduce heart disease but also benefit cognitive health many years later. More research is needed to identify how heart-related risk factors before and after age 50 may increase the chance of developing dementia and what the ideal interventions would be in middle age or later life.


  • Sabia, S., Fayosse, A., Dumurgier, J., Schnitzler, A., Empana, J.P., Ebmeier, K.P., ... Singh-Manoux, A. (2019). Association of ideal cardiovascular health at age 50 with incidence of dementia: 25 year follow-up of Whitehall II cohort study. BMJ, 366, 14414. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4414

Join your friends in Honolulu, Hawaii at the 2020 GAPNA Contemporary Pharmacology and Prescribing in Older Adults Conference on April 14-18, 2020.

Learn more and register today!