Dr Andrew Stafford is a pharmacist with experience in academia and aged care, and maintains an active clinical consultancy business providing medication reviews and staff training for a number of residential aged care facilities in Western Australia. He is also the Director of the Western Australia Dementia Training Study Centre, School of Pharmacy, Curtin University, a government-funded research unit that aims to develop the skills of health professionals to provide better care for people living with dementia. His primary research interest involves developing and promoting high quality, patient-focussed medication management solutions that ultimately improve the quality of his patients’ lives.
Cardiovascular disease is one of the greatest contributors to the burden of disease in western nations. Advances in the management of several major cardiovascular risk factors over recent decades, such as hypertension, has resulted in a considerable decline in cardiovascular disease-related mortality. Over the same period of time there has been an increase in the prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia, which is projected to continue to grow unless effective treatments are developed. Whilst treatment of hypertension in cognitively intact people has been associated with a reduced risk of the development of dementia, there is increasing evidence that tight blood pressure control is associated with further impairment of cognitive function in people living with a diagnosis of dementia. This presentation will explore the current evidence regarding blood pressure and cognitive function.
The development and subsequent widespread use of statins has contributed greatly to a worldwide reduction in cardio- and cerebrovascular deaths over recent decades. In addition to their benefits in cardiovascular disease, statins are proposed to have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Several early observational studies associated statin use with a protective effect against a number of infectious diseases, such as pneumonia and sepsis. However, more recent evidence has cast doubt on the potential benefits of statins in infectious disease, and has associated statin use with an increased risk of influenza through a diminished effect of vaccination. This presentation will explore the evidence regarding statins and infectious disease, with a focus on statins’ effects on the influenza vaccine.