According to the U.S. Census Bureau, adults aged 65 and over could outnumber children by 2034. As the population of older Americans swells, the country’s healthcare system is facing greater demands. Michael Nanna, MD, MHS, who joins Yale Cardiovascular Medicine as an assistant professor, was recently awarded a grant from the NIH National Institute on Aging to address the medical needs of elderly patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease and dementia.
The GEMSSTAR (Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists' Transition to Aging Research) program offers early career physician-scientists with funding and training in aging research. The need to balance potential benefits and complications is often a challenge when caring for older adult patients with multiple chronic conditions. Nanna’s project, “Generating novel predictive models to estimate the risk of future ASCVD & Dementia in older adults” aims to improve the care of complex patients at risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and dementia.
“Preventive medication decisions in older adults are inherently more complex than in younger populations. The first step toward informed shared decision-making is an accurate estimate of upfront risk to inform potential benefits of therapy. This project will provide a more holistic view of an individual’s upfront risk to better inform these treatment decisions,” said Nanna.
Nanna graduated Stony Brook University School of Medicine as a member of both the Alpha Omega Alpha and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation honor societies. He completed his training in internal medicine and served as a chief resident at Yale New Haven Hospital/Yale School of Medicine before training in cardiology and interventional cardiology at Duke University Medical Center. During his time in Durham, he also completed a Master’s of Health Science degree through the Clinical Research Training Program at Duke University School of Medicine. His research interests center around improving risk prediction, treatment utilization and shared decision-making for older adults at risk for or living with cardiovascular disease. He is the recipient of several awards including the Duke Cardiology Fellowship Brandt & Belinda Louie Award and the Robert A. Harrington Excellence in Fellowship Award from the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He was recently named an Associate Editor at the American Heart Journal and has served as a reviewer for a number of prestigious journals including JAMA, JACC, and Circulation.
“I am thrilled to have recruited Michael who with this award is poised to advance scholarship in Geriatric Cardiology in our section,” said Eric J. Velazquez, MD, the Robert W. Berliner Professor of Medicine.
Reducing ASCVD Risk Among the Elderly
At the Duke Clinical Research Institute, Nanna examined data from the PALM (Patient and Provider Assessment of Lipid Management) Registry to understand the benefits and risks of lipid-lowering medications among adults aged 75 and over. The results were published in 2018 in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The following year he was the first author of a report on the SILVER-AMI study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The two major findings demonstrated that among older adults hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction or heart attack, women were more likely to experience age-related functional impairments and also had a higher rate of bleeding.