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CCBAR Newsletter – August, 2013

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


Registration for the 7th Chicago Workshop on Biomeasures in Population-Based Health and Aging Research. Registration for the 2013 Workshop, "Biosocial Study of Health and Aging in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and HIV-Affected Populations" (October 17, 2013) continues.  Please register using the following URL:

Workshop space is limited to 50 participants; registration will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to limited space, registrants are required to commit to participate in the full conference.  For more information, please contact Lori Garibay, MPH at CCBAR by phone at 773-834-5890 or by email

Outreach lectures.  CCBAR Director, Stacy Lindau, MD, made an outreach lecture about CCBAR activities in biosocial survey and gerosexuality research for collaborators affiliated with the China Oxford Centre for International Health Research and Fuwai Hospital in Beijing, China Fuwai Hospital is part of the Cardiovascular Institute at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. She also visited Peking University and the Professor Yaohui Zhao,
the Principal Investigator of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS).

New video of outreach lecture by CCBAR member, Natalia Gavrilova, PhD, 'Human Longevity and a New Vision of Aging'  made at the conference of Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP)  is now publicly available at YouTube:

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

Big horns clash with longevity in sheep
by Ewen Callaway
Gene for small horns lowers sexual fitness but boosts lifespan.
Isolated DNA patent ban creates muddy waters for biomarkers and natural products
by Charlotte Harrison
The US Supreme Court has recently ruled that isolated DNA is not eligible for patenting. This decision overturns the long-standing precedent that isolated products can be patented, which has created uncertainty as to the patent eligibility of biomarkers and natural products. I am struggling to
Early-life nutrition and subsequent famine fitness [Evolution]
by Hayward, A. D., Rickard, I. J., Lummaa, V.
Individuals with insufficient nutrition during development often experience poorer later-life health and evolutionary fitness. The Predictive Adaptive Response (PAR) hypothesis proposes that poor early-life nutrition induces physiological changes that maximize fitness in similar environments in adul...
Improved Blood Pressure Control Associated With a Large-Scale Hypertension Pr...
by Jaffe MG, Lee GA, Young JD, et al.
ImportanceHypertension control for large populations remains a major challenge.ObjectiveTo describe a large-scale hypertension program in Northern California and to compare rates of hypertension control in that program with statewide and national estimates.Design, Setting, and PatientsThe Kaiser Per...
Association Between Urinary Albumin Excretion and Coronary Heart Disease in B...
by Gutiérrez OM, Khodneva YA, Muntner P, et al.
ImportanceExcess urinary albumin excretion is more common in black than white individuals and is more strongly associated with incident stroke risk in black vs white individuals. Whether similar associations extend to coronary heart disease (CHD) is unclear.ObjectiveTo determine whether the associat...
Omics technologies and the study of human ageing
by Ana M. Valdes, Daniel Glass, Tim D. Spector
Normal ageing is associated with diverse physiological changes in all organ systems but the rate and extent of these changes vary markedly among individuals. One aspect of ageing research focuses on the molecular profiling of the changes that occur with increasing age in humans. Such
Reproductive aging in primates [Anthropology]
by Alberts, S. C., Altmann, J., Brockman, D. K., Cords, M., Fedigan, L. M., Pusey, A., Stoinski, T. S., Strier, K. B., Morris, W. F., Bronikowski, A. M.
Women rarely give birth after 45 y of age, and they experience the cessation of reproductive cycles, menopause, at 50 y of age after a fertility decline lasting almost two decades. Such reproductive senescence in mid-lifespan is an evolutionary puzzle of enduring interest because it should be inhe...
Healthy behaviours yield major benefits in ageing
by Kenfield, S. A., Stampfer, M. J.
With the remarkable increases in life expectancy in recent decades in many countries, the determinants of quality of life and disability at older ages have attracted increasing attention. Artaud and colleagues in this issue of the BMJ (doi:10.1136/bmj.f4240) provide an important advance in their stu...
Evolution: Mammals and monogamy
Some mammals may have turned to pair-living because of infanticide or isolated females. Using an evolutionary tree of 230 primates as a framework, Christopher Opie of University College London and his colleagues ran simulations of evolutionary history to investigate what conditions might produce the ...
Maternal weight loss and offspring methylation [Developmental Biology]
by Patti, M. E.
The rapid rise in obesity over the past few decades worldwide challenges our generation to develop effective strategies to prevent and treat obesity and associated metabolic complications, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Obesity is clearly aggravated by our increasingly sedentary...
Faulty logic justifies aspirin use for primary prevention of cardiovascular d...
by Thornley, S. J., Barzi, F.
We are sceptical about the use of the polypill as a 'panacea.' In studies that justify the use of the individual constituents of the pill, optimism about the drugs' beneficial effects sometimes contradicted the statistical evidence presented.1 For example, a paper published 12 years ago in Heart is ...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Memory 'more consistent with age'
Ageing not necessarily a bad thing for memory
Brushing your teeth may lower your risk of cancer
A new study reports that poor oral health is an independent risk factor for oral HPV infection, and by extension, could also contribute to oral cancers.
Economic View: Public Policies, Made to Fit People
A new White House initiative is intended to involve social and behavioral scientists in policy making.
Women Smokers Face Increased Risk of Lethal Stroke: Review
Hemorrhagic, or bleeding, stroke odds 17 percent higher than for men who smoke
Childhood Bullying Scars Can Last Into Adulthood
Higher risk of illness, work and social problems seen in long-term study
Plastics Chemicals May Boost Kids' Obesity Risk
Studies tied phthalates, BPA to insulin resistance, higher body fat
Comprehensive Parkinson's biomarker test has prognostic and diagnostic value
Researchers report the first biomarker results reported from the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative (PPMI), showing that a comprehensive test of protein biomarkers in spinal fluid have prognostic and diagnostic value in early stages of Parkinson's disease.
Could Blood Test One Day Predict Suicide Risk?
Levels of certain proteins may indicate vulnerability, preliminary research suggests
Obesity's death toll could be higher than believed, study says
Researchers find that 18.2% of premature deaths in the U.S. are associated with excessive body mass. The figure is almost four times higher than other estimates. The death toll of the nation's obesity epidemic may be close to four times higher than has been widely believed, and all that excess weight could reverse the steady trend of lengthening life spans for a generation of younger Americans, new research warns.
Walking to Work Tied to Lower Diabetes Risk
Car commuters have higher blood pressure, more obesity, U.K. study also found
Alzheimer's Research Takes a New Turn
Study suggests that gummed-up synapses -- not plaque -- may be at the root of aging brain diseases
Breast-feeding may lower mom's risk of Alzheimer's disease
Moms who breast-fed at some point had a 64 percent reduced chance of getting Alzheimer's compared to moms who didn't breast-feed
Study Challenges Theory About Left Brain/Right Brain Behavior
MRI scans don't indicate that one hemisphere dominates or affects personality
Mediterranean Diet May Counter Genetic Risk of Stroke
People who consumed plenty of nuts or olive oil fared better in study
Many Risk Factors for Early Dementia Can Show Up in Teens
Alcohol abuse topped the list in large study of Swedish men
Working-life training and maternity leave are related to slower cognitive dec...
Employment gaps may promote but also reduce cognitive function in older age, as new research has shown. In particular, some of the findings suggest that leaves reported as unemployment and sickness are associated with higher risk of cognitive impairment indicating that these kinds of employment gaps may decrease cognitive reserve in the long run. Strongest evidence was found for training and maternity leave being related to slower cognitive decline, suggesting beneficial associations of these ki...
Having More Siblings Might Lower Your Divorce Risk
Past experience with family dynamics may help you navigate marriage, study authors theorize
Role Models: Kids Are 6 Times More Likely To Smoke If Older Siblings Or Paren...
20-plus year study identifies subtle familial relationships in the origins of teenage smoking, with older siblings playing a significant role.
Induced Labor Linked to Raised Risk of Autism, Study Suggests
Male children seem to be most vulnerable, researchers report
High-flying pilots at increased risk of brain lesions
A new study suggests that pilots who fly at high altitudes may be at an increased risk for brain lesions.
Altruism or manipulated helping? Altruism may have origins in manipulation
Manipulation is often thought of as morally repugnant, but it might be responsible for the evolutionary origins of some helpful or altruistic behavior, according to a new study.
Major study links aging gene to blood cancer
A gene that helps control the ageing process by acting as a cell's internal clock has been linked to cancer by a major new study. Scientists found a genetic variant that influences the ageing process among four new variants they linked to myeloma -- one of the most common types of blood cancer. The study more than doubles the number of genetic variants linked to myeloma.
Who benefits from vitamin D?
Studying the expression of genes that are dependent on vitamin D makes it possible to identify individuals who will benefit from vitamin D supplementation, shows a new study. Population-based studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk for chronic diseases and weaken the body's immune system.
Blood pressure meds linked to raised breast cancer risk
Calcium channel blockers taken for 10 years more than doubled a woman's risk for breast cancer, researchers found

NIH Press Releases

NIH study links Hodgkin lymphoma treatment to possible risk of stomach cancer
While the cure rate for this disease is high, there is a risk of developing secondary cancers.
Researchers find essential brain circuit in visual development
NIH-funded study could lead to new treatments for amblyopia.
Protein-based urine test predicts kidney transplant outcomes
NIH-funded study provides more evidence supporting development of noninvasive tests.
NIH study finds chronic alcohol use shifts brain's control of behavior
Findings provide biological mechanism that helps explain compulsive alcohol use.
Endocannabinoids trigger inflammation that leads to diabetes
NIH scientists identify possible treatment target for type 2 diabetes.
3-D images show flame retardants can mimic estrogens in NIH study
They could possibly disrupt the body's endocrine system.
NIH issues online course on screening youth for alcohol problems
Program will help health care professionals conduct interventions with youth.
New data reveal extent of genetic overlap between major mental disorders
Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder share the most common genetic variation.
NIH-funded study discovers new genes for childhood epilepsies
New strategy may find more genes and provide a better understanding of these and other complex neurological disorders.
NIH scientists visualize how cancer chromosome abnormalities form in living c...
Researchers directly observe the change for the first time.
NIH researchers find diabetes drug extends health and lifespan in mice
Long-term treatment with metformin improved health and longevity in mice.
NIH math model predicts effects of diet, physical activity on childhood weight

NIH Announcements

Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities (R21)
Funding Number: PA-13-288
Expiration Date: September 8, 2016
Mid-life Reversibility of Early-established Biobehavioral Risk Factors (R01)
Funding Opportunity RFA-AG-14-006 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is to solicit two-year Research Project Grant (R01) applications that propose to explore the potential for midlife plasticity of biobehavioral or psychological systems affected by early life disadvantage. In order to speed the development of novel intervention strategies, applicants are encouraged either to use existing human cohort data to identify circumstances that mitigate or exacerbate the effects of early adversity or to use human and/or animal models to test the feasibility of developing interventions aimed specifically at increasing malleability in adulthood of risk persistence mechanisms.
High Priority Behavioral and Social Research Networks (R24)
Funding Opportunity RFA-AG-14-007 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) issued by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), working in part with funds contributed by the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research ( ), is to provide infrastructure support for advancing development of specific emerging and high priority interdisciplinary areas of behavioral and social research of relevance to aging. The infrastructure support will facilitate research networks through meetings, conferences, small scale pilots, training, and dissemination to encourage growth and development of specified priority areas and of resources for the field at large. Projects are solicited that will develop, strengthen, and evaluate transdisciplinary approaches and methods for basic behavioral and/or social research.
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R03) PA-13-123
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R21) PA-13-124
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Regional and International Differences in Health and Longevity at Older Ages (R01) PA-13-125
Expiration Date September 8, 2016
Obesity Policy Evaluation Research (R01) PA-13-110
Expiration Date: May 8, 2016
PAR-12-186  DBSR  Macroeconomic Aspects of Population Aging (R01)
Expiration date:  10/04/2014 
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



66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Wednesday, 11/20 to Sunday, 11/24, 2013
Sheraton New Orleans - New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, Louisiana
Deadline for abstract submissions was March 15, 2013    

2014 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America 
Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA, May 1-3, 2014
Abstract deadline:September 27, 2013

2014 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), May 15 - 17, 2014
Orlando, Florida
Abstract deadline: December 2, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST

The 26th REVES meeting on health expectancy
Edinburgh, UK, May 28-30, 2014
Abstract submission deadline: to be announced


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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