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CCBAR Newsletter – February, 2009

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau


Oxford Journals has published articles in The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences authored by CCBAR members. These articles cover the vaginal self-swab and salivary specimen collection in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project:

Stacy T. Lindau, Joscelyn N. Hoffmann, Katie Lundeen, Angela Jaszczak, Martha K. McClintock, and Jeanne A. Jordan
Vaginal Self-Swab Specimen Collection in a Home-Based Survey of Older Women: Methods and Applications.

Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau
Salivary Sex Hormone Measurement in a National, Population-Based Study of Older Adults.

Melinda L. Drum, Sharon Shiovitz-Ezra, Elyzabeth Gaumer, and Stacy T. Lindau
Assessment of Smoking Behaviors and Alcohol Use in the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project.

News From the NEJM, Nature Journals, Science, BMJ and PNAS

BIOMARKERS: Metabolite in Urine May Point To High-Risk Prostate Cancer
Researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, have identified a metabolite in urine that they hope can be used to identify invasive prostate cancer at an early stage.

Mechanisms of disease: How stress affects fat
Although the mechanism by which obesity triggers insulin resistance is not fully understood, recent evidence suggests that inflammation in adipose tissue - triggered by macrophages that have infiltrated this tissue - contributes to this process. Roger Davis and colleagues now reveal that an inflammatory response

Birth characteristics and risk of colorectal cancer: a study among Swedish twins

[Evolution] Quantifying dominance and deleterious effect on human disease genes
Human genes responsible for inherited diseases are important for the understanding of human disease. We investigated the degree of polymorphism...

[Economic_Sciences] Behavioral experiments on biased voting in networks 
Many distributed collective decision-making processes must balance diverse individual preferences with a desire for collective unity. We report here on...

[Genetics] A network biology approach to aging in yeast
In this study, a reverse-engineering strategy was used to infer and analyze the structure and function of an aging and...

[Medical_Sciences] Aging-related loss of the chromatin protein HMGB2 in artic... 
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease and typically begins with an aging-related disruption of the articular cartilage surface....

[Neuroscience] From the Cover: Caloric restriction improves memory in elderly... 
Animal studies suggest that diets low in calories and rich in unsaturated fatty acids (UFA) are beneficial for cognitive function...

[NEWS FOCUS] SOCIAL SCIENCE: With Isolation Comes Ill Health
Social isolation, the flip side of social networks, is believed to have dire consequences, increasing the risk of certain diseases and earlier death. But attempts to transform this knowledge into action have had discouraging results.

SPECIAL ARTICLE: Fine-Particulate Air Pollution and Life Expectancy in the Un...
Particulate air pollution has been implicated as being responsible for deaths from any cause. This epidemiologic study examined the change in fine-particulate air pollution in 51 U.S. metropolitan areas between the late 1970s and the late 1990s. A decrease in fine-particulate air pollution was associated with increased life expectancy.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Long-Term Consequences of Kidney Donation
This study examined the vital status and lifetime risk of end-stage renal disease in 3698 persons who donated a kidney between 1963 and 2007. The results indicate that survival and the risk of end-stage renal disease among carefully screened kidney donors appear to be similar to those in the general population. Most donors who were studied had a preserved glomerular filtration rate, normal albumin excretion, and an excellent quality of life.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Breast Cancer after Use of Estrogen plus Progestin in Postm...
The Women's Health Initiative trial of estrogen plus progestin, compared with a placebo, in postmenopausal women was stopped in 2002 because the health risks exceeded the benefits of hormone therapy. Within the first year of follow-up after discontinuation of hormonal therapy, the risk of breast cancer declined sharply.

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Sex drive link to prostate cancer
Men who are more sexually active in their 20s and 30s may run a higher risk of prostate cancer, research suggests.
New Biomarker For Fatal Prostate Cancer Found
New research findings may help provide some direction for men diagnosed with prostate cancer about whether their cancer is likely to be life-threatening.
Shortening Telomeres Linked To Aging In Population Studies, But Original Telo...
Researchers have shown that the shortening of telomeres in pace with increasing age, as demonstrated in population studies, does not apply at the individual level. The attrition rate seems to mainly depend on the original length of the telomeres, which indicates that some individuals can even have longer telomeres over time.
Calm people may have lower dementia risk
People with a stable mood and better capacity to handle stressful situations without anxiety have a reduced risk of developing dementia, according to a study published this week in the journal Neurology.
Coffee Linked to Lower Dementia Risk 
A 21-year study finds that moderate coffee drinkers are much less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.
Coffee Cuts Stroke Risk in Women
Regular coffee consumption reduces the risk of stroke in women, according to a new study.
Fountain Of Youth In A Wine Rx?
Scientists have found a substance called resveratrol in red wine that slows down the aging process in mice. Will it someday lengthen the lives of humans, too? Morley Safer reports.
'Longevity Gene' Common Among People Living To 100 Years Old And Beyond
Kiel scientists show that 100-year-old Europeans carry a special sequence variation of the FOXO3A gene. A variation in the gene FOXO3A has a positive effect on the life expectancy of humans, and is found much more often in people living to 100 and beyond -- moreover, this appears to be true worldwide. Scientist have now confirmed this assumption by comparing DNA samples taken from 388 German centenarians with those from 731 younger people.
Hunger Control: Women The Weaker Sex?
Hungry women can't control their desire for food as well as hungry men can, a brain-imaging study suggests.
High Blood Pressure Climbs In Winter
Dropping temperatures in winter may cause an unhealthy rise in high blood pressure among the elderly, according to a new study linking cooler temperatures with higher blood pressure.
Feeling Old? Blame Your Nuclear Pores
Leaking nuclei may contribute to aging
Eating Less May Not Extend Human Life: Caloric Restriction May Benefit Only O...
Caloric restriction only benefits obese mice, according to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition. The results suggest that caloric restriction may not be a universally beneficial anti-aging strategy, as commonly believed.
Obese cancer 'explosion' warning
The current generation of children faces a far higher risk of cancer later in life due to their unhealthy habits, a specialist has warned.
Active Life May Cut Colon Cancer Risk
People who are physically active are less likely to develop colon cancer, a new research review confirms.
Study Finds That for Women Over 40, In Vitro Fertilization Doesn't Restore Yo...
In vitro fertilization, which thousands of women undergo each year in the hope that it will give them the same odds of having a baby as when they were younger, cannot fully turn back the biological clock, researchers are reporting today.
Test Tube Babies Shed Light on Nature Versus Nurture
Children born to genetically unrelated mothers provide clues to origins of antisocial behavior
Heart Rate Predicts Women's Heart Risk
A woman's heart rate taken when at rest is a good predictor of her heart attack risk, a new study shows.
Menopause Hormone Therapy: 'Safe' Time?
Two new studies gauge breast cancer risk from hormone replacement therapy.
Higher Education, Lower Alzheimer's Risk
Having more education reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease but doesn't slow memory loss once it starts, says a new study.
Diabetes Can Double Odds of Alzheimer's
Diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer's and other kinds of dementia, according to a new report.
• Insulin may help treat Alzheimer's
Scientists are reporting that a substance commonly used to treat diabetes may also protect against the devastating memory-robbing illness.
Study Suggests Preemie, Autism Link
There is growing evidence linking very premature birth to a dramatic increase in autism risk, but more study is needed to confirm the association.
Artificial Light At Night: Higher Risk Of Prostate Cancer, Study Suggests
Worldwide, countries with the highest levels of artificial light at night also have the highest rates of prostate cancer.
Time to 'reclaim the night' for sleep
We all know the health risks of smoking, drinking and eating too much. But in this week's Scrubbing Up, Neil Stanley says we don't pay attention to the risks of having too little sleep - and says it's time to 'reclaim the night'.

Expert Panel: Omega-6 Won't Hurt Heart
In a scientific advisory, an American Heart Association panel notes that there is little credible evidence that omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation and increase cardiovascular risk.
Salt May Restrict Blood Flow to Heart
Reducing the salt in your diet can help lower your blood pressure, but it may also lower your risk for having a heart attack or stroke in another important way.
Tobacco Smoke And Alcohol Harm Liver Worse As Combo
Mice exposed to secondhand smoke and who drank ethanol had 110 percent more liver fibrosis proteins than mice who breathed filtered air, according to the findings of a new study. Elevated risk of liver disease is now added to mounting evidence that tobacco smoke and alcohol are worse for health as a combination, beyond the individual exposure risks, researchers said.
Vital Signs: Regimens: Multivitamins Not Found to Reduce Risks
Many postmenopausal women take multivitamins in the belief that they help prevent cardiovascular disease or cancer, but a large study has found that they do neither.
Vitamin D May Cut Multiple Sclerosis Risk
Not getting enough vitamin D may increase multiple sclerosis risk in people with a certain gene variant, researchers report.
Vitamin E May Decrease Mortality Of Elderly Male Smokers, Yet Increase Mortal...
Six-year vitamin E supplementation decreased mortality by 41% in elderly male smokers who had high dietary vitamin C intake, but increased mortality by 19% in middle-aged smokers who had high vitamin C intake.
Genes Vs. Behavior: What Makes Us Age?
Genes play a role in your appearance as you get older, but the real villains of the wrinkles of aging involve behavioral choices such as smoking, eating, and sun exposure, a new study shows.
Mwah! Kissing eases stress, study finds
Kissing, it turns out, unleashes chemicals that ease stress hormones in both sexes and encourage bonding in men, though not so much in women.

NIH Press Releases

New Survey Results Show Huge Burden of Diabetes
In the United States, nearly 13 percent of adults age 20 and older have diabetes, but 40 percent of them have not been diagnosed, according to epidemiologists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), whose study includes newly available data from an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT).

NIDA Study Shows That Methylphenidate (Ritalin) Causes Neuronal Changes in B...
Investigators funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse have shown that the medication methylphenidate (Ritalin), which is commonly prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can cause physical changes in neurons in reward regions of mouse brains -- in some cases, these effects overlapped with those of cocaine.

Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Women Reduces Urinary Incontinence
Reducing urinary incontinence can now be added to the extensive list of health benefits of weight loss, according to a clinical trial funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Support Cells, Not Neurons, Lull the Brain to Sleep
Brain cells called astrocytes help to cause the urge to sleep that comes with prolonged wakefulness, according to a study in mice, funded by the National Institutes of Health. The cells release adenosine, a chemical known to have sleep-inducing effects that are inhibited by caffeine.

Researchers Find Abnormal Cells in the Blood Years before Leukemia is Diagnosed
Researchers have shown that abnormal white blood cells can be present in patients' blood more than six years prior to the diagnosis of a chronic form of lymphocytic leukemia. This finding may lead to a better understanding of the cellular changes that characterize the earliest stages of the disease and how it progresses. The study, led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was published in the Feb. 12, 2009, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Anti-HIV Gel Shows Promise in Large-scale Study in Women
An investigational vaginal gel intended to prevent HIV infection in women has demonstrated encouraging signs of success in a clinical trial conducted in Africa and the United States. Findings of the recently concluded study, funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH, were presented today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Montreal.

Scientists Discover Key Factor in Controlling the Breakdown of Bone
A new study demonstrates that a chemical mediator in the blood that influences immune cell migration also plays a key role in maintaining the balance between the build-up and breakdown of bones in the body. The study comes from the laboratory of immunologist Ronald Germain, M.D., Ph.D., at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

NIH Announcements

Request for Information (RFI): Priorities for Biomarkers For Cancer Detection...
Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment Research Coordinating Unit (U01)
Request for Applications from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (OAICs)(P30), RFA-AG-10-003
Expiration Date: March 25, 2009
Independent Scientist Award (K02) PA-09-038
NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) PA-09-036
Academic Career Award (K07) PA-09-041
Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08) PA-09-042
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) PA-09-043
Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01) PA-09-040
Midcareer Investigator Award in Patient-Oriented Research (K24) PA-09-037
Notice of NIA Participation in PAR-07-018, "Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R21)"
New NIH Policy on Resubmission (Amended) Applications
Updates and Reminders on NIH Policy Pertaining to Grants to Foreign Institutions, International Organizations and Domestic Grants with Foreign Components
Using Systems Science Methodologies to Protect and Improve Population Health (R21)
Methodology and Measurement in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (R01)
Archiving and Development of Socialbehavioral Datasets in Aging Related Studies, (R03)
Translational Research at the Aging/Cancer Interface (TRACI) (R01)
Program Announcement: PA-08-230


Population Association of America Annual Meeting. April 30-May 2, 2009. Detroit, Michigan Marriott Renaissance Center.

REVES 2009. Copenhagen, Denmark, 27-29 May 2009. "Reducing gaps in health expectancy"

The 19th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics. July 5-10, 2009. Paris, France

RAND Summer Institute (RSI). RSI consists of two annual conferences that address critical issues facing our aging population. The MiniMedical School for Social Scientists will be held on July 6-7, and the Demography, Economics, and Epidemiology of Aging conference on July 8-9, 2009 in Santa Monica, CA. RSI is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health.

ICPSR Summer Program Workshop In Longitudinal Analysis Of Historical Demographic Data. July 20 - August 14, 2009. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Gerontological Society of America Annual meeting will be held November 18-22, 2009 in Hilton and Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, GA

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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