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CCBAR Newsletter – August, 2012

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


Video presentations from the last CCBAR Conference on Biomeasures Collection in Population-Based Health Research (October 2011) are now available online. Please visit CCBAR website and watch presentations by Rose Anne Kenny (Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland), Lorna Thorpe (Columbia University), Jennifer Makelarski (The University of Chicago),  Bill Funk (Northwestern University), Joachim Pleil (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency),  Heidi Allen (Providence Portland Medical Center) and  Jens Ludwig (The University of Chicago) using the following link:

CCBAR Questions and Answers this Month:

Q: In a study of post-menopausal women using vaginal self-swabs, if a woman has spotting on her swab, what would you advise?

A: We did have some women complain of spotting in the NSHAP study. In the counseling about the self-swab, we offered anticipatory guidance that this sometimes occurs and should not be of concern. It can be pinkish discharge on the swab or a little bit of pinkish/brownish or rarely a little bit of bright red blood on underwear or with urinating. If symptoms worsen or persist, women were advised to contact their physician for further evaluation. This guidance seemed to be sufficient with no other complications to my knowledge. If the bleeding is not self-limited in relation to the swabbing or escalates or becomes persistent or post-coital or spontaneous, etc., then the woman should be evaluated for post-menopausal bleeding as usual.

News from the NEJM, Nature Journals, Science, BMJ, PNAS, Lancet and JAMA

Genetics: The rate of human mutation
A comprehensive analysis of human spontaneous mutation has revealed a strong influence of paternal age, suggesting a link between an increasing number of older fathers and the rise in disorders such as autism. See Article p.471
Rate of de novo mutations and the importance of father's age to disease risk
Mutations generate sequence diversity and provide a substrate for selection. The rate of de novo mutations is therefore of major importance to evolution. Here we conduct a study of genome-wide mutation rates by sequencing the entire genomes of 78 Icelandic parent?offspring trios at high
[Research Articles] Niacin Lipid Efficacy Is Independent of Both the Niacin R...
Nicotinic acid (niacin) induces beneficial changes in serum lipoproteins and has been associated with beneficial cardiovascular effects. Niacin reduces low-density lipoprotein, increases high-density lipoprotein, and decreases triglycerides. It is well established that activation of the seven-transm...
How We All Will Live to Be 100
Two approaches to longevity research aim to extend the average life span out to a century or more
DNA methylation: Variation in methylomes of neonatal twins
Inter-individual differences in DNA methylation are thought to contribute to disease risk, but what influences these differences in methylation? This paper provides valuable insight by presenting the genome-wide methylation profiles of neonatal mono- and dizygotic twins. The differences they detect ...
The continuing value of twin studies in the omics era
The classical twin study has been a powerful heuristic in biomedical, psychiatric and behavioural research for decades. Twin registries worldwide have collected biological material and longitudinal phenotypic data on tens of thousands of twins, providing a valuable resource for studying complex phen...
Understanding adolescence as a period of social-affective engagement and goal...
Research has demonstrated that extensive structural and functional brain development continues throughout adolescence. A popular notion emerging from this work states that a relative immaturity in frontal cortical neural systems could explain adolescents' high rates of risk-taking, substance use and...
Public health: Health risks of physical inactivity similar to smoking
Physical inactivity causes approximately one in every 10 deaths each year, and accounts for 6-10% of major noncommunicable diseases worldwide. Removing this behavior could prevent 5.3 million deaths annually, and extend life expectancy in the population of the world by 0.68 years. These important fi...
Fight to tackle unhealthy lifestyles has widened gap in health inequalities
Efforts to persuade people to follow a healthier lifestyle have worked only for wealthier parts of the population and widened the health inequalities divide.This is the conclusion of a report from...
Risk factors: Calcium supplements and cardiovascular risk
In the Heidelberg-EPIC study, an association was found between the use of calcium supplements and risk of myocardial infarction, corroborating published data. Given these findings and the absence of clear beneficial effect on fracture risk, the use of these supplements should be discouraged, and ind...
Heartache and heartbreak - the link between depression and cardiovascular disease
The close, bidirectional relationship between depression and cardiovascular disease is well established. Major depression is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease and acute cardiovascular sequelae, such as myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and isolated systolic ...
GAPDH induces cell senescence [Cell Biology]
Oxidative stress regulates telomere homeostasis and cellular aging by unclear mechanisms. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a key mediator of many oxidative stress responses, involving GAPDH nuclear translocation and induction of cell death. We report here that GAPDH interacts with...
Gender, norms, and survival in maritime disasters [Economic Sciences]
Since the sinking of the Titanic, there has been a widespread belief that the social norm of "women and children first" (WCF) gives women a survival advantage over men in maritime disasters, and that captains and crew members give priority to passengers. We analyze a database of 18 maritime disaster...
Health Care's Response to Women Exposed to Partner Violence Moving Beyond Uni...
Partner violence is a serious social and health care issue that results in short- and long-term physical and psychological harm for women, their children, and their families. Consequently, an issue with which the health sector has struggled since partner violence was identified as a major public hea...
Evolving Research on the Treatment of Health Effects of Violence and Human Ri...
The 1999 JAMA theme issue on violence and human rights included a number of studies that reported on violence in schools, the increasing incidence of child abuse, rates of screening for intimate partner violence, and the mental health of refugees and noncombatants in war. In an Editorial in that iss...
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Volume Number: 308, Issue Number: 7, First Page: 664, Last Page: 664

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

The role of genes in political behavior
Politics and genetics have traditionally been considered non-overlapping fields, but over the past decade it has become clear that genes can influence political behavior, according to a review. This paradigm shift has led to novel insights into why people vary in their political preferences and could have important implications for public policy.
Walking for health
Americans are walking more, but not always briskly enough to improve their health.
Anesthesia use in children may increase risk for language, memory problems
Study showed that children who used general anesthesia before the age of 3 were 87 percent more likely to have language problems at 10
Video: Blood type may be linked to heart disease risk: study
Your blood type may affect your heart disease risk. Dr. Holly Phillips reports on a study that links blood types A, AB and B with a higher risk of heart disease.
CDC report on teen oral sex trends sparks calls for better education
Fewer teens engaging in oral sex, but more teens engaging in oral sex than having vaginal intercourse
Brush your teeth! Dental health linked to dementia
People, especially women, who keep their teeth and gums healthy with regular brushing may have a lower risk of developing dementia later in life, according to a new study.
Drinking milk not linked to early puberty
Despite popular belief, drinking cow's milk does not increase children's risk for early puberty, according to a new study from China.
Ancestry Strikes a Blow: Mexican-Americans at Higher Risk of Diabetes
Mexican-Americans who have an ancestral link to Amerindian tribes have a higher risk of developing diabetes type 2 and other metabolic disorders.
Children Born to Older Moms Are Healthier and More Socially Adept
Older mothers give their children a better start to life. Higher education, stable income and marriage help moms provide a better environment for the child.
Stressed Young Men Are More Likely to Have Anxious Daughters and Granddaughters
A woman's risk of anxiety and other psychiatric disorders may depend on how stressed out her father was when he was young, scientists claim.
Men Also Have a Biological Clock: Older Dads Pass on More Gene Mutations, Lin...
New research published in the journal Nature says that the age of fathers is actually more important than mothers' ages in protecting the health of their unborn children.
How a virus might make you diabetic later in life
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is one of the viruses that most infected people carry without ill effects. Once infected you are infected for life and, although it normally is dormant, it can become active again at any point in time. New research shows that CMV infection is a significant risk factor for the type 2 diabetes in the elderly.
Midlife fitness staves off chronic disease at end of life
Being physically fit during your 30s, 40s, and 50s not only helps extend lifespan, but it also increases the chances of aging healthily, free from chronic illness, investigators have found.
Antioxidants Boost Sperm Quality in Older Men
Older men can improve the quality of their sperm by eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants.
Calcium Levels May be a Better Indicator of Heart Disease Risk
A test that measures calcium deposits on walls of blood vessels may be a better way to screen people who are at risk for developing heart attack or stroke, a new study says.
Gout Linked to Low Levels of Lead
New evidence that links low levels of lead in the blood to an increased risk of gout suggests that currently acceptable levels of lead exposure are too high.
Can Prostate Cancer Screening Improve Men's Lives?
Study: PSA prostate cancer screening adds quality life years to a population. But how individual men feel about risking impotence or incontinence in order to live free of cancer tips the balance for or against screening.
Cocoa May Sharpen Aging Brain
Drinking a cocoa-rich beverage every day may help brain health in older adults, a new study shows.
Snoring Tots May Be at Risk for Behavior Problems
Preschool-aged kids who snore loudly on a regular basis may be at a greater risk for behavioral problems, a study shows.
Daily Aspirin May Reduce Risk of Cancer Death
Daily aspirin use, long recommended for those at high risk of heart attack, may also reduce the risk of dying from cancer, according to new research.
Saving a penny: Stem cell therapy shows promise in repairing stress urinary i...
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) can occur due to sneezing, coughing, exercising or even laughing and happens because the pelvic floor muscles are too weak causing leakage when the bladder is put under pressure. New research shows that a new technique, using stem cells isolated from amniotic fluid, can regenerate damaged urethral sphincter muscles and prevent pressure incontinence in mice. Although SUI is more common during and after pregnancy, and after the age of 40, one in three women will e...
A material to rejuvenate aging and diseased human vocal cords
A new made-in-the-lab material designed to rejuvenate the human voice, restoring the flexibility that vocal cords lose with age and disease, is emerging from a collaboration between scientists and physicians, a scientist heading the development team said.
Obesity, metabolic factors linked to faster cognitive decline
People who are obese and also have high blood pressure and other risk factors called metabolic abnormalities may experience a faster decline in their cognitive skills over time than others, according to a new study.
Sex and the female brain: Protein in semen acts on female brain to prompt ovu...
Scientists have discovered that a protein in semen acts on the female brain to prompt ovulation, and is the same molecule that regulates the growth, maintenance, and survival of nerve cells.
Model shows dramatic global decline in ratio of workers to retired people
A new statistical model predicts that by 2100 the number of people older than 85 worldwide will increase more than previously estimated, and there will be fewer working-age adults to support them than previously expected.
Stress, Poverty Blamed for High Abortion Rates in U.S.
A new study has found that 57 percent women who had an abortion in 2008 had at least one traumatic event within the last calendar year.
Cataract Surgery May Help Prevent Hip Fractures
Helping older people see more clearly may help to lower their risk for falls and potentially disabling hip fractures.

NIH Press Releases

Compounds activate key cancer enzyme to interfere with tumor formation
Scientists have known for decades that cancer cells use more glucose than healthy cells, feeding the growth of some types of tumors. Now, a team that includes researchers from the National Institutes of Health's new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has identified compounds that delay the formation of tumors in mice, by targeting a key enzyme that governs how cancer cells use glucose and its metabolites.
New mobile app from NIH helps women learn about their health in 52 weeks
52 Weeks for Women's Health, a new app that offers women access to a year's worth of practical health information, highlighted week-by-week, is now available.
NIH launches trial to evaluate anti-inflammatory treatment for preventing hea...
An international multi-site trial has launched to determine whether a common anti-inflammatory drug can reduce heart attacks, strokes, and deaths due to cardiovascular disease in people at high risk for them. This study is being supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a part of the National Institutes of Health.
Information for older drivers is newest topic on NIHSeniorHealth site
The National Institutes of Health today unveiled a new online resource for older drivers and families seeking information on an often sensitive topic: Is it still safe to drive? Developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH and the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Older Drivers topic offers up-to-date information on how aging may affect driving, including physical changes, safety issues and ways older drivers can cope when driving skills change.
Federal report details health, economic status of older Americans
Today's older Americans enjoy longer lives and better physical function than did previous generations, although, for some, an increased burden in housing costs and rising obesity may compromise these gains, according to a comprehensive federal look at aging. The report, Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being, tracks trends at regular intervals to see how older people are faring as the U.S. population grows older.
NIH launches contest for audacious goals in vision research
The National Eye Institute (NEI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, is offering $3,000 awards to as many as 20 contestants who submit the most compelling one-page ideas to advance vision science. The submission deadline for the Challenge to Identify Audacious Goals in Vision Research and Blindness Rehabilitation is Nov. 12, 2012.
NIH seeks proposals to study genomic sequencing in newborn period
The National Institutes of Health is seeking proposals for research projects on the implications of information obtained from sequencing the genome to identify diseases in newborns. The intent of funding such projects is to further the understanding of disorders that appear during the newborn period and to improve treatments for these diseases.
Brain hubs boil when hoarders face pitching their own stuff
In patients with hoarding disorder, parts of a decision-making brain circuit under-activated when dealing with others' possessions, but over-activated when deciding whether to keep or discard their own things, a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded study has found. NIMH is part of the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Announcements

Secondary Analyses of CALERIE Data Set and Stored Biospecimens to Address Research Questions Related to Effects of Caloric Restriction in Humans and Adherence to Caloric Restriction Interventions (R01). RFA-AG-13-008
Expiration Date: October 31, 2012
Time-Sensitive Obesity Policy and Program Evaluation (R01)
Expiration Date: September 11, 2015
Estimating the Economic Costs of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (R03)
Expiration Date: September 8, 2015
Estimating the Economic Costs of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (R21)
Expiration Date: September 8, 2015
Estimating the Economic Costs of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (R01)
Expiration Date: September 8, 2015
Secondary Analyses and Archiving of Social and Behavioral Datasets in Aging (R03)
Expiration Date: October 20, 2012
PAR-12-186  DBSR  Macroeconomic Aspects of Population Aging (R01)
Expiration date:  10/04/2014 
NIMHD Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Initiative in Reducing an...
Funding Opportunity RFA-MD-12-006 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites applications for this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to plan the development of effective interventions using community based participatory research (CBPR) approaches. Support will be provided to develop and strengthen partnerships between researchers and health disparity communities to plan and pilot interventions for a disease or condition to reduce health disparities.
Secondary Analyses in Obesity, Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R21)
Funding Number: PA-12-125
Expiration Date: May 8, 2015
Biodemography of Aging (R21), Funding Number: PAR-12-079
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R03), Funding Number: PAR-12-080
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014
Biodemography of Aging (R01), Funding Number: PAR-12-078
Expiration Date: March 4, 2014



The National Institutes of Health (NIH), in collaboration with mHIMSS, will host the NIH mHealth Training Institute at the 2012 mHealth Summit on December 1st and 2nd. The mHealth Institute is designed to provide behavioral and social scientists tools to successfully add mobile health technologies to their research in a collaborative team environment with mentorship from leaders in the fields of engineering, medicine and the behavioral and social sciences. This two-day Institute will provide participants with an overview of the central multidisciplinary aspects of mobile and wireless research. The training will follow a project from conception through dissemination led by a panel of experts.  Participants will be involved in didactic sessions targeting major cross-cutting research issues and interdisciplinary team exercises developing mHealth research projects.
In your mHealth Summit registration, request the NIH mHealth training Institute. Please note that there is an additional mHealth Summit fee of $100.00 to attend the training. Information about registration for the mHealth Summit is available at the following website:

Registration for the training institute opens on Monday, August 20th, 2012. 


2012 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 17-20, Denver, CO
Abstracts Deadline: January 11, 2012

Gerontological Society of America's 65th Annual Scientific Meeting, November 14-18, 2012, San Diego, CA.
Abstracts Deadline: March 15, 2012

Population Association of America Annual meeting, New Orleans, LA.
The 2013 Annual Meeting will be held April 11-13 at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
Abstract deadline:  September 21, 2012

The 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, June 23-27, 2013, Seoul, Korea
Abstract deadline: October 31, 2012


This Newsletter  is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health (Grant No. 5 P30 AG012857)

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