Nicole L Spartano, PhD

Research Assistant Professor, Medicine

Nicole Spartano


Nicole Spartano, PhD is a Research Assistant Professor of Medicine in Endocrinology, Diabetes, Nutrition and Weight Management at the Boston University School of Medicine and Co-Director of the Physical Activity Station at the Framingham Heart Study, overseeing data collection using accelerometers (fitness trackers). She has received funding from the American Heart Association to complete work to understand the impact of physical activity throughout the lifecourse on brain health and the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Her recent article “Midlife exercise blood pressure, heart rate, and fitness relate to brain volume 2 decades later” was picked up by popular news sites like CNN, TIME, Newsweek, BBC, and Runnersworld for its implication that regular exercise can retain brain health later in life. Dr. Spartano also teaches courses for the Boston University Graduate Medical Sciences program and School of Public Health.



  • Tufts University, PhD
  • Tufts University, MS
  • Syracuse University, BS


  • Published on 3/14/2018

    Spartano NL, Ngandu T. Fitness and dementia risk: Further evidence of the heart-brain connection. Neurology. 2018 Apr 10; 90(15):675-676. PMID: 29540586.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/31/2018

    Benjamin EJ, Virani SS, Callaway CW, Chamberlain AM, Chang AR, Cheng S, Chiuve SE, Cushman M, Delling FN, Deo R, de Ferranti SD, Ferguson JF, Fornage M, Gillespie C, Isasi CR, Jiménez MC, Jordan LC, Judd SE, Lackland D, Lichtman JH, Lisabeth L, Liu S, Longenecker CT, Lutsey PL, Mackey JS, Matchar DB, Matsushita K, Mussolino ME, Nasir K, O'Flaherty M, Palaniappan LP, Pandey A, Pandey DK, Reeves MJ, Ritchey MD, Rodriguez CJ, Roth GA, Rosamond WD, Sampson UKA, Satou GM, Shah SH, Spartano NL, Tirschwell DL, Tsao CW, Voeks JH, Willey JZ, Wilkins JT, Wu JH, Alger HM, Wong SS, Muntner P. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2018 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2018 Mar 20; 137(12):e67-e492. PMID: 29386200.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/10/2017

    Heffernan KS, Augustine JA, Lefferts WK, Spartano NL, Hughes WE, Jorgensen RS, Gump BB. Arterial stiffness and cerebral hemodynamic pulsatility during cognitive engagement in younger and older adults. Exp Gerontol. 2018 Jan; 101:54-62. PMID: 29129735.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/1/2017

    Tan ZS, Spartano NL, Beiser AS, DeCarli C, Auerbach SH, Vasan RS, Seshadri S. Physical Activity, Brain Volume, and Dementia Risk: The Framingham Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 Jun 01; 72(6):789-795. PMID: 27422439.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/23/2017

    Spartano NL, Stevenson MD, Xanthakis V, Larson MG, Andersson C, Murabito JM, Vasan RS. Associations of objective physical activity with insulin sensitivity and circulating adipokine profile: the Framingham Heart Study. Clin Obes. 2017 Apr; 7(2):59-69. PMID: 28112860.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2017

    Lefferts WK, Augustine JA, Spartano NL, Atallah-Yunes NH, Heffernan KS, Gump BB. Racial differences in central hemodynamics and subclinical markers of cardiovascular disease risk in children. Journal of Pediatrics. 2017; 180:62-67.

  • Published on 6/1/2016

    Spartano NL, Heffernan KS, Dumas AK, Gump BB. Accelerometer-determined physical activity and the cardiovascular response to mental stress in children. J Sci Med Sport. 2017 Jan; 20(1):60-65. PMID: 27283342.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/27/2016

    Spartano NL, Lyass A, Larson MG, Lewis GD, Vasan RS. Submaximal Exercise Systolic Blood Pressure and Heart Rate at 20 Years of Follow-up: Correlates in the Framingham Heart Study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2016 May 27; 5(6). PMID: 27233297.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/10/2016

    Spartano NL, Himali JJ, Beiser AS, Lewis GD, DeCarli C, Vasan RS, Seshadri S. Midlife exercise blood pressure, heart rate, and fitness relate to brain volume 2 decades later. Neurology. 2016 Apr 5; 86(14):1313-9. PMID: 26865519.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/19/2015

    Andersson C, Lyass A, Larson MG, Spartano NL, Vita JA, Benjamin EJ, Murabito JM, Esliger DW, Blease SJ, Hamburg NM, Mitchell GF, Vasan RS. Physical activity measured by accelerometry and its associations with cardiac structure and vascular function in young and middle-aged adults. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015 Mar; 4(3):e001528. PMID: 25792127.

    Read at: PubMed

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