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Mariann Piano - Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN, US

Mariann Piano Mariann Piano

Nancy and Hilliard Travis Professor of Nursing | Vanderbilt University


Expert in substance abuse and cardiac disease, particularly binge drinking by young adults.


Dr. Piano has a distinguished career in substance abuse research focusing on understanding the adverse effects of unhealthy alcohol drinking patterns on the cardiovascular system. Studies are underway to determine the effects of binge drinking on cardiovascular function and risk factors in young adults. Young adulthood is when binge drinking is the highest and currently, more young adults consume 6-7 drinks per binge drinking episode, black out and choose hard liquor over beer. Compared to previous generations, the pervasiveness, intensity (i.e., 6-7 drinks) and regularity (several times per week) of binge drinking may place today's youth at greater risk for more profound rates of alcohol-related harm. Another area of research includes heart failure pathophysiology, symptoms and patient self-management. In particular, her research has focused on strategies (e.g. diuretic self-adjustment) to prevent frequent hospital admissions in heart failure patients and to identify mechanisms that underlie heart failure symptoms. Her research has been supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Center for Research Resources. She also holds the title of Professor Emerita at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she was Collegiate Professor of Nursing.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Unhealthy Alcohol Consumption

Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease

Alcohol and Young Adults

Alcohol and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiac Risk Factors

Education (3)

University of Illinois: Ph.D., Nursing Science

University of Illinois: M.S., Medical-Surgical Nursing

Loyola University of Chicago: B.S., Nursing

Selected Media Appearances (4)

How Your Heart Health Can Be Hurt by Binge Drinking

Healthline  online


“Young adults think they are healthy, and practitioners think the same thing. You just don’t think it’s possible that they might be developing cardiovascular risk factors at this young age,” said Mariann R. Piano, PhD, RN, associate dean for research at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and lead author of the study.

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Young People Who Binge Drink Could Increase Risk of Stroke, Study Suggests

Newsweek  online


Mariann Piano, an author of the study and professor of nursing at Vanderbilt University's School of Nursing, warned young people in a statement that they should be aware that the risks of drinking to excess extend beyond short-term poor school performance and an increased risk of accidental injury.

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Heavier Alcohol Use In Youth May Put Heart And Brain At Risk

Forbes  online


The results are particularly alarming since heavy drinking has been on the rise. "Compared to previous generations, the pervasiveness, intensity (number of drinks) and regularity (several times per week) of binge drinking may place today's young adult at greater risk for more profound rates of alcohol-attributable harm," said Vanderbilt University’s Mariann Piano in a statement. "Young adults need to be aware that the consequences of repeated binge drinking may harm their hearts. The risk extends beyond poor school performance and increased risk for accidental injury.”

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Knocking back as few as FOUR DRINKS on a night out puts young adults at risk of heart disease

Daily Mail  online


Lead author Professor Mariann Piano, from Vanderbilt University School, said: 'Compared to previous generations, the intensity - number of drinks - and regularity - several times per week - of binge drinking may place today's young adult at greater risk for alcohol-attributable harm.

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