Mechanisms of Vascular Disease in Aging Focus of U Center on Aging Research Retreat

Mechanisms of Vascular Disease in Aging Focus of U Center on Aging Research Retreat

Mar 15, 2012 10:50 AM

(SALT LAKE CITY)—Age-related changes in the vascular system such as arterial stiffness ultimately contribute to peripheral vascular disease, high blood pressure, and heart problems. There also is evidence that cognitive impairment and declines in physical performance are related to vascular aging. 

The manifestations of vascular aging – its mechanisms and how it can be prevented – are front and center at this year’s annual research retreat sponsored by the University of Utah Center on Aging. This year’s presenters include Jeanne Y. Wei, M.D., Ph.D., executive director at the Reynolds Institute on Aging and professor and chair of the Reynolds Department of Geriatrics at the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, who will give the keynote address, “Nuances of Cardiovascular Disease in Seniors: New Ideas for Old Hearts.”

The retreat takes place on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, from 8 a.m. to noon in the College of Nursing second-floor auditorium.

Wei, who has authored more than 135 peer-reviewed publications, six books, and more than 50 review articles, will present from 8:30-9:30.  Her major research interests include the effects of aging on the cardiovascular system, the biology of aging, and mechanisms of cardiac dysfunction. She has served on numerous National of Institutes of Health peer review boards, as chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Aging (NIA), editorial consultant to 36 scientific journals, and on the National Advisory Council on Aging (which oversees the NIA).

The first baby boomers turned 65 last year. By the time this “Age Wave” crests in 20 years, 78 million Americans will be 65 or older, placing an unprecedented demand on the U.S. health care system, according to Mark A. Supiano, M.D., professor and chief of geriatrics at the U of U School of Medicine and Salt Lake City VA Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) director. Supiano says, “U of U Center on Aging investigators are committed to improving our understanding of the risk factors for vascular aging and how its disease-related consequences may be best prevented. We are excited about exploring the latest research in this area with foremost experts, such as Dr. Wei.”

Following Wei, the programs presenters will include:

  • 9:30-10:15: Anthony J. Donato, Ph.D., U of U assistant professor of geriatrics and GRECC Investigator: “Aging and Arterial Senescence: Putative Role of Telomere Function.” Telomeres are the ends of chromosomes that some research has implicated in the aging process.
  • 10:30-11:15: Russell S. Richardson, Ph.D., U of U professor of geriatrics and GRECC Investigator: “Oxidative stress, aging, and exercise.”
  • 11:15-noon: Supiano will speak about “Arterial Stiffness in Geriatric Hypertension: Mechanisms and Management.”

On the evening of Tuesday, March 20, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the research retreat will hold a poster session presenting the latest research from Center on Aging faculty and trainees in the Health Sciences Education Building. The public is invited to both the poster session and retreat.

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Media Contacts

Phil Sahm
Science Writer , Office of Public Affairs
Phone: (801) 581-2517
Ginger Bair
Progarm Assistant , University of Utah Center on Aging
Phone: (801) 587-9103

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