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CCBAR Newsletter – December, 2012

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


Q:  What is the reliability of DBS HbA1c measurement versus venous specimen analyzed under clinical conditions?

A:  Studies showed that DBS collection method provides  accurate, robust, and reproducible measurement of Hb A(1c). Therefore, dried blood spot samples represent an alternative to whole blood for HbA1c by measurement when transporting whole blood is not feasible. The specific assays used are not uniform and may differ from one lab to another. 

Jones, T.G., Warber, K.D., Roberts, B.D. 2010. Analysis of hemoglobin A1c from dried blood spot samples with the Tina-quantR II immunoturbidimetric method.
Journal of diabetes science and technology, 2010: 4(2),244-9

Egier, DA, Keys, JL,  Hall, SK, McQueen, MJ. Measurement of Hemoglobin A(1c) from Filter Papers for Population-Based Studies,
Clinical Chemistry, 2011, 57(4), 577-585


Natalia Gavrilova participated in the conference "Determinants of Unusual and Differential Longevity," organized by the Vienna Institute of Demography in November 21-23, 2012 in Vienna, Austria. Together with Leonid Gavrilov, she presented an opening session lecture on "Determinants of exceptional human longevity: new ideas and findings." More information about the conference, including participants’ presentations, can be found at  the conference website.

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

Global survey reveals impact of disability
by Declan Butler
Study tracks changes in life expectancy and health burdens.
The True Cost of Risky Behavior
by Mark Fischetti
Consequences of good and bad health habits are boiled down to 30-minute slices of your life
Translating genes into health
by Larry J Kricka, Chiara Di Resta
A major challenge for genomics is to provide clinical benefits to the genetically diverse human population. Genome science has achieved a catalog of mutations and informative SNPs. Next-generation sequencing is rapidly delivering thousands of complete human genomes, but understanding and applying ge...
Plasmonic ELISA for the ultrasensitive detection of disease biomarkers with t...
by Roberto de la RicaMolly, M. Stevens
A new signal generation mechanism based on the growth of gold nanoparticles offers a way to detect ultralow concentrations of analytes with the naked eye.
Human epigenetics: Showing your age
by Darren J. Burgess
Characterizing the molecular features of ageing is key for understanding the mechanisms of normal and premature ageing, and has applications such as predicting the age of an individual from a forensic sample. A new study has characterized the DNA methylomes of large cohorts of humans
The nature of confounding in genome-wide association studies
by Bjarni J. Vilhjįlmsson, Magnus Nordborg
The authors argue that population structure per se is not a problem in genome-wide association studies ? the true sources are the environment and the genetic background, and the latter is greatly underappreciated. They conclude that mixed models effectively address this issue.
Learning and memory: Stressful pathways to memory
by Darran Yates
This study shows that stress-induced glucocorticoid signalling acts rapidly through various signalling pathways to promote memory consolidation.
Pharmacotherapy: Benefits of menopausal hormone therapy - timing is key
by Andrea R. Genazzani, Tommaso Simoncini
A large Danish study overturns the concept that postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of experiencing cardiovascular events. Indeed, the study shows that such therapy decreases the risk of myocardial infarction by 50% and mortality by 40%. So what is the truth?
Psychological bias drives cultural evolution [Biological Sciences]
by Claidiere, N., Kirby, S., Sperber, D.
MacCallum et al. used an innovative Darwinian method to demonstrate the importance of consumers' preferences in shaping the evolution of music, a fact that has often been overlooked and deserved attention. Their experimental design, however, emphasizes the role of selection at the expense of oth...
Psychological bias in cultural evolution [Biological Sciences]
by Leroi, A. M., MacCallum, R. M., Mauch, M., Burt, A.
We showed that it is possible to produce music by a Darwinian process in which consumers select particular tunes over others. Our objective was to isolate the role of one element of the evolutionary process: consumer selection. In our system, heritable variation was generated by a computer algor...
Vitamin D and tuberculosis [Biological Sciences]
by Grey, A., Bolland, M.
Coussens et al. reported an analysis of markers of immune and inflammatory response in a subset of participants from a randomized clinical trial of vitamin D3 supplementation in culture-positive pulmonary tuberculosis. In that trial, the vitamin D intervention did not alter the primary endpoint,...
Perceptions of trust [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
by Castle, E., Eisenberger, N. I., Seeman, T. E., Moons, W. G., Boggero, I. A., Grinblatt, M. S., Taylor, S. E.
Older adults are disproportionately vulnerable to fraud, and federal agencies have speculated that excessive trust explains their greater vulnerability. Two studies, one behavioral and one using neuroimaging methodology, identified age differences in trust and their neural underpinnings. Older and y...
Agencies method in experiments [Economic Sciences]
by Nash, J. F., Nagel, R., Ockenfels, A., Selten, R.
In society, power is often transferred to another person or group. A previous work studied the evolution of cooperation among robot players through a coalition formation game with a non-cooperative procedure of acceptance of an agency of another player. Motivated by this previous work, we conduct a ...
Rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game [Psychological and Cognitive...
by Yamagishi, T., Horita, Y., Mifune, N., Hashimoto, H., Li, Y., Shinada, M., Miura, A., Inukai, K., Takagishi, H., Simunovic, D.
The strong reciprocity model of the evolution of human cooperation has gained some acceptance, partly on the basis of support from experimental findings. The observation that unfair offers in the ultimatum game are frequently rejected constitutes an important piece of the experimental evidence for s...
Distance correlation and SS-ANOVA [Statistics]
by Kong, J., Klein, B. E. K., Klein, R., Lee, K. E., Wahba, G.
We present a method for examining mortality as it is seen to run in families, and lifestyle factors that are also seen to run in families, in a subpopulation of the Beaver Dam Eye Study. We observe that pairwise distance between death age in related persons is on average less...
Early adversity and immune system gene expression [Medical Sciences]
by Cole, S. W., Conti, G., Arevalo, J. M. G., Ruggiero, A. M., Heckman, J. J., Suomi, S. J.
To identify molecular mechanisms by which early life social conditions might influence adult risk of disease in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), we analyze changes in basal leukocyte gene expression profiles in 4-mo-old animals reared under adverse social conditions. Compared with the basal conditi...
A copyright-free alternative to the mini-mental state examination is needed
by Seshadri, M., Mazi-Kotwal, N.
With elderly people being the fastest increasing subgroup of the population in most developed countries, the prevalence of dementia will increase exponentially. Early diagnosis and support will improve quality of life and reduce financial costs to the state.Folstein's mini-mental state examinatio...
Mortality and Access to Care after Medicaid Expansions
New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 367, Issue 25, Page 2453-2454, December 2012.
Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Autopsy-Determined Atherosclerosis Among U...
by Webber BJ, Seguin PG, Burnett DG, et al.
Autopsies of US service members killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars demonstrated that atherosclerotic changes in the coronary arteries can appear early in the second and third decades of life, long before ischemic heart disease becomes clinically apparent.Objective: To estimate the current pr...
Comparison of Novel Risk Markers for Improvement in Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Intermediate-Risk Individuals
by Joseph Yeboah, Robyn L.McClelland, Tamar S. Polonsky, et al.
We compared improvement in prediction of incident CHD/cardiovascular disease (CVD) of ... 6 risk markers within intermediate-risk participants (FRS >5%-<20%) in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Markers for Prediction of Cardiovascular Disease Risk
by Kavousi M, Leening MG, Witteman JM.
To the Editor: The article by Dr Yeboah and colleagues compared the ability of several risk markers to improve prediction of coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) among individuals at intermediate risk. The authors reported that coronary artery calcium (CAC) provided superior...
Markers for Prediction of Cardiovascular Disease Risk - Reply
by Yeboah J, Greenland P, Herrington DM.
In Reply: Our study showed the superiority of CAC for improving discrimination for incident CHD and CVD in individuals classified as intermediate risk by the Framingham risk score. We agree with Dr Kavousi and colleagues that contemporary CHD risk prediction models such as the Framingham risk score ...
Trends in the Prevalence of Extreme Obesity Among US Preschool-Aged Children ...
by Pan L, Blanck HM, Sherry B, et al.
To the Editor: Obesity and extreme obesity in childhood, which are more prevalent among minority and low-income families, have been associated with other cardiovascular risk factors, increased health care costs, and premature death. Obesity and extreme obesity during early childhood are likely to co...
QuickStats: Percentage of Men Aged 25-64 Years With Activity Limitation, by A...
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Prevalence of Nonrefractive Visual Impairment in US Adults and Associated Ris...
by Ko F, Vitale S, Chou C, et al.
Over the past decade, chronic illnesses with ophthalmic sequelae such as diabetes and diabetic retinopathy have increased. Objectives: To estimate prevalence of nonrefractive visual impairment and to describe its relationship with demographic and systemic risk factors including diagnosed diabete...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Top ten Christmas health risks
Fergus Walsh asks: what should you do to have a healthy Christmas?
Diet plans may lower diabetes risk
It's one thing to find a strategy that works in the lab, but quite another to prove that it's effective in the real world as well.
Fruits, Veggies Tied to Lower Breast Cancer Risk
Women now have one more reason to eat their fruits and veggies.
Healthy Diet Helps Damaged Hearts
A new study shows older people with heart disease who ate the most heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts had a much lower risk of dying or having a repeat heart attack or stroke than those who ate the unhealthiest diet.

• B.M.I. Found to Be Good Predictor of Risks
For certain health problems, body mass index, derived from the ratio of height to weight, is the best overall predictor, a new study says.
Obesity, Diabetes Holding Back Heart Health Improvement in US, Report Says
Poor eating habits and low levels of physical activity are damaging health of millions of Americans.
'Autopsy-based study examines prevalence of atherosclerosis among U.S. service...
Among deployed U.S. service members who died of combat or unintentional injuries between 2001-2011 and underwent autopsies, the prevalence of coronary atherosclerosis was 8.5 percent, with factors associated with a higher prevalence of the disease including older age, lower educational level and prior diagnoses of dyslipidemia, hypertension, and obesity, according to a new study.

Regular Aspirin Use May Boost Eye Problem Risk
Taking aspirin regularly appears to slightly raise the risk of the eye condition known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD, new research suggests.
Coffee May Lower Risk of Dying From Oral Cancers
Heavy coffee drinkers -- those who drink more than four cups a day --  may cut their risk of dying from cancers of the mouth and throat by nearly half, according to new research.
Excessive protein synthesis linked to autistic-like behaviors, neuroscientist...
Autistic-like behaviors can be partially remedied by normalizing excessive levels of protein synthesis in the brain, a team of researchers has found in a study of laboratory mice. The findings provide a pathway to the creation of pharmaceuticals aimed at treating autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that are associated with diminished social interaction skills, impaired communication ability, and repetitive behaviors.
Blood test for autism in early stages
Earlier detection of autism, relying on markers in the blood, may help more children to take advantage of helpful behavioral therapies.
Spinal Fluid Chemical Levels Linked to Suicidal Behavior
For the first time, researchers have found that a chemical in the brain called glutamate is linked to suicidal behavior.

Smoking Doubles Women's Sudden Death Risk
Smoking cigarettes may more than double a woman's risk of sudden cardiac death. But quitting can reduce that risk significantly over time, according to a new study.

Stress May Be as Bad for Your Heart as Smoking Five Cigarettes a Day
A study has found that stress can elevate your risk of a heart attack by 27 percent - the equivalent of smoking five cigarettes each day.
Distress Tied to Higher Risk of Stroke
Older adults with high levels of distress are more likely to have certain kinds of strokes than those who aren't as troubled, a new study shows.
Elevated levels of C-reactive protein appear associated with psychological di...
Elevated levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammatory disease, appear to be associated with increased risk of psychological distress and depression in the general population of adults in Denmark, according to a new study.
Feeling Down Triples the Risk of Dying From Stroke in Older Adults
Feeling down triples the risk of death from stroke in older people, a new study suggests.
Feeling Lonely Ups Risk for Dementia by 64 Percent
A new research suggests that another factor should be added to the list of the risk factors for dementia: loneliness.
In-laws may be tied to divorce risk
Whether you adore your partner's parents or barely tolerate your in-laws, your rapport with them can have lasting effects on your own romantic relationship.

Boosted Protein May Protect Against Cancer, Aging, Turns Mice Into Mini Olymp...
Scientists believe that they have discovered a protein that protects against both cancer and aging.
Survival of the females: Horse embryo study provides important new information
It is well known that many mammals are able to adjust the ratio of male and female young depending on the surrounding conditions at the time of conception. A recent study provides important information on how the survival of female embryos may be enhanced under conditions that would otherwise favor the birth of males.
Waiting to Have Kids Lowers Women's Risk for Aggressive Breast Cancer
There has been a lot of ink spent in recent weeks about many younger people delaying starting families. Research indicates that delay may have a positive health benefit, after all.
Vitamin D Deficiency in Pregnancy Raises the Odds of Low Birth Weight
Pregnant women who don't get enough vitamin D have a high risk of delivering babies with lower birth weight, says a new study.
Delayed Growth in Childhood Linked to Longer Lifespan
The slower you grow, the longer you live, a new study suggests.
More Than 80 Percent Centenarians in US Are Women
Women make up to 80 percent of the nearly 53,000 people in the U.S. who are over hundred years old.

NIH Press Releases

NIH plans to relocate its chimpanzees from New Iberia to the Federal Sanctuar...
The National Institutes of Health, after extensive collaboration with the Chimp Haven federal sanctuary, New Iberia Research Center (NIRC), and other organizations, has developed a plan to formally retire directly to the Federal Sanctuary System all of its chimpanzees at New Iberia that were recently designated as permanently ineligible for biomedical research. The NIH animals housed at NIRC, New Iberia, La., are to be transferred to the Chimp Haven sanctuary in Keithville, La., over the next 12-15 months.
National Institute on Drug Abuse to announce results of 2012 Monitoring the F...
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will hold a press conference on Wednesday, Dec. 19, to announce the results of its 2012 Monitoring the Future survey (MTF). The survey, funded by NIDA -- part of the National Institutes of Health -- tracks annual drug abuse trends of 8th, 10th, and 12th-grade students, including attitudes and perceived risk of specific drugs of abuse. The 2012 MTF survey will include use of bath salts among students for the first time.
Stress-resilience/susceptibility traced to neurons in reward circuit
A specific pattern of neuronal firing in a brain reward circuit instantly rendered mice vulnerable to depression-like behavior induced by acute severe stress, a study supported by the National Institutes of Health has found.
Experimental agent briefly eases depression rapidly in test
A drug that works through the same brain mechanism as the fast-acting antidepressant ketamine briefly improved treatment-resistant patients' depression symptoms in minutes, with minimal untoward side effects, in a clinical trial conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The experimental agent, called AZD6765, acts through the brain's glutamate chemical messenger system.
NIH scientists uncover how immune cells sense who they are
Scientists at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health, have demonstrated that DNA previously thought to be 'junk' plays a critical role in immune system response. The team's findings were published in Cell and may lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of immune-related disorders.
NIH proposes critical initiatives to sustain future of U.S. biomedical research
The National Institutes of Health is seeking to launch multiple initiatives designed to help strengthen the biomedical research enterprise and sustain the global competitiveness of the U.S. scientific community well into the future. Faced with significant challenges affecting the biomedical research workforce and the storage and use of large biomedical datasets, the NIH Director charged the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) to develop recommendations. The ACD used three specialized committee working groups, each of which included additional outside experts on the relevant topics.
2012 Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit
The 2012 Science of Eliminating Health Disparities Summit is the leading scientific gathering on health disparities. Thousands of participants will attend approximately 100 sessions to exchange new knowledge, and learn about progress, successes, challenges, and opportunities in implementing innovative research.

NIH Announcements

Secondary Analyses and Archiving of Social and Behavioral Datasets in Aging (R03)
Funding Number: RFA-AG-13-009
Expiration Date: February 15, 2013
Request for Information (RFI): Large Scale Clinical Trials on Aging
Notice NOT-AG-12-018 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Changes to the NIH Public Access Policy and the Implications to Awards: Webin...
Notice NOT-OD-13-016 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Time-Sensitive Obesity Policy and Program Evaluation (R01)
Expiration Date: September 11, 2015
PAR-12-186  DBSR  Macroeconomic Aspects of Population Aging (R01)
Expiration date:  10/04/2014 
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



NIH Videocasts:

Industry Careers Overview and Job Packages    
Air date:  Thursday, January 24, 2013, 2:00:00 PM (ET)
This session will highlight career opportunities in industry and provide insight into how to position yourself (including building your resume and cover letters) to be competitive for these jobs.

October NICHD Director's podcast now online. The October 2012 NICHD Research Perspectives, the NICHD’s monthly podcast.
The podcast features discussions of research of a study on a treatment to reduce the risk of preterm birth and the new Safe to Sleep campaign.


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 

2013 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), May 3 - 5, 2013
Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX
Abstract deadline: December 3, 2012

The 25th REVES meeting on health expectancy
The University of Texas at Austin (TX), May 27-29, 2013
Abstract submission deadline: February 15, 2013

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

108th Annual meeting of the American Sociological Association
August 10-13, Hilton New York & Sheraton New York
The deadline for paper submission is January 9, 2013 at 3:00pm EST.

XXVII IUSSP International Population Conference
26 to 31 August 2013. Busan, Republic of Korea
Abstract deadline: November 7, 2012

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 is March 15, 2013


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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