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CCBAR Newsletter – January, 2012

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau


A new page has been added to the CCBAR website - Current Content of Journals on Aging, Population, and Biomarkers:

Stacy Lindau, MD, Director of the Chicago Core on Biomeasures in Population-Based Aging Research, co-authored new American Heart Association Guidelines on Sex after an MI:

   News from our colleagues

The MIDUS website ( has been thoroughly revamped.  The new format is intended to increase visibility of the study in the general public (i.e., taxpayers who fund the study) as well as usability of the study in the scientific community.  

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

Evolution: Social life shapes primate faces
Facial patterns such as skin and hair colour may have evolved to help primates recognize and communicate with others of their species.Sharlene Santana and her colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, analysed skin and hair colour patterns in the faces of adult
Inhaled oxytocin amplifies both vicarious reinforcement and self reinforcemen...
People attend not only to their own experiences, but also to the experiences of those around them. Such social awareness profoundly influences human behavior by enabling observational learning, as well as by motivating cooperation, charity, empathy, and spite. Oxytocin (OT), a neurosecretory hormone...
Novelty exposure overcomes foot shock-induced spatial-memory impairment by pr...
Novelty processing can transform short-term into long-term memory. We propose that this memory-reinforcing effect of novelty could be explained by mechanisms outlined in the 'synaptic tagging hypothesis.' Initial short-term memory is sustained by a transient plasticity change at activated synapses a...
Variation in cognitive functioning as a refined approach to comparing aging a...
Comparing the burden of aging across countries hinges on the availability of valid and comparable indicators. The Old Age Dependency Ratio allows only a limited assessment of the challenges of aging, because it does not include information on any individual characteristics except age itself. Existin...
Social selection and peer influence in an online social network [Social Scien...
Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science's greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported dat...
Prevalence of Obesity and Trends in the Distribution of Body Mass Index Among...
Between 1980 and 1999, the prevalence of adult obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30) increased in the United States and the distribution of BMI changed. More recent data suggested a slowing or leveling off of these trends. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of adult obesity from the 2009-2...
Prevalence of Obesity and Trends in Body Mass Index Among US Children and Ado...
The prevalence of childhood obesity increased in the 1980s and 1990s but there were no significant changes in prevalence between 1999-2000 and 2007-2008 in the United States.
Objectives: To present the most recent estimates of obesity prevalence in US children and adolescents for 2009-2010 and...
Prognostic Indices for Older Adults: A Systematic Review [Clinical Review]
To better target services to those who may benefit, many guidelines recommend incorporating life expectancy into clinical decisions.
Objective: To assess the quality and limitations of prognostic indices for mortality in older adults through systematic review. Data Sources: We searched MEDLINE...
Brisk and prolonged daily walking is needed to outpace the Grim Reaper
Stanaway and colleagues reported that 1.36 m/s is the optimal walking speed to avoid the Grim Reaper.1 With the aim of transposing this to clinical practice, we wondered how far Death can walk each day. A minimum of 30 minutes' daily walking is recommended to achieve health benefits, such as reduced...
Bone-Density Testing Interval and Transition to Osteoporosis in Older Women
Current osteoporosis management guidelines recommend routine bone mineral density (BMD) screening with the use of dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans for women 65 years of age or older, but no guidelines specify an osteoporosis screening interval that is based on data from longitudinal…
Cardiovascular researcher fabricated data in studies of red wine
A leading researcher on the beneficial properties of resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of red grapes, has been found guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data, an investigation has found. The University of Connecticut Health Center reached its conclusion after a three yea...
Effect of Dietary Protein Content on Weight Gain, Energy Expenditure, and Bod...
Context: The role of diet composition in response to overeating and energy dissipation in humans is unclear. Objective: To evaluate the effects of overconsumption of low, normal, and high protein diets on weight gain, energy expenditure, and body composition.
Vitamin A supplementation in preschool children and risk of hearing loss as a...
Objective To determine whether vitamin A supplementation administered in the preschool years can lower the risk of hearing loss in adolescence and adulthood. Design Follow-up study of adolescents and young adults who, as preschool aged children in 1989, were enrolled into a cluster randomised, double...
Long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes after intrauterine and neona...
Intrauterine and neonatal insults have a high risk of causing substantial long-term neurological morbidity. Comparable cohort studies in resource-poor regions should be done to properly assess the burden of these conditions, and long-term outcomes, such as chronic disease, and to inform policy and programme investments.
Prematurity and Mortality in Childhood and Early Adulthood [Letters]
Prematurity and Mortality in Childhood and Early Adulthood--Reply [Letters]

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Long Life Is Still (Somewhat) in Your Genes
Update of retracted study ties extreme longevity to nearly 300 gene variants
Natural Trans Fats Less Unhealthy Than Manmade Variety
Artery-clogging, manmade trans fats do increase the risk for heart disease, and efforts have been made to get them out of our food supply. Natural trans fats, however, are another story.
Magnesium-Rich Foods May Lower Stroke Risk
People who eat more foods rich in the mineral magnesium appear to reduce their odds of having a stroke, a new study shows.
Vital Signs: Vitamins B, C, D and E and Omega-3 Strengthen Older Brains
Higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E are associated with better mental functioning in the elderly, a study shows.
Real 'Benjamin Button'? Stem cells reverse aging
Scientists may one day slow down aging with a simple injection of youthful stem cells, a new study on mice shows.
Genes and timing of menopause
Researchers have discovered 13 new regions of the genome associated with the timing of menopause. These genes shed light on the biological pathways involved in reproductive lifespan and will provide insights into conditions connected to menopause, such as breast cancer and heart disease.
Tiny amounts of alcohol dramatically extend a worm's life, but why?
Minuscule amounts of ethanol can at least double the life span of a tiny worm used as a model for aging studies, biochemists report. "This finding floored us; it's shocking" said the senior author of the study.
Personal Health: Elderly 'Experts' Share Life Advice in Cornell Project
A new book called - 30 Lessons for Living - draws from interviews with more than 1,000 older Americans from different economic, educational and occupational strata.
Why are older people happier?
Older people tend to be happier. But why? Some psychologists believe that cognitive processes are responsible -- in particular, focusing on and remembering positive events and leaving behind negative ones; those processes, they think, help older people regulate their emotions, letting them view life in a sunnier light.
Sex guidelines issued for post-heart attack life
American Heart Association: If you can walk up two flights of stairs or walk briskly, you're likely OK to have sex
Couples' friendships make for happier marriages, relationships
A new book, "Two Plus Two: Couples and Their Couple Friendships," presents findings based on more than 400 interviews in which couples share experiences over the lifespan that readers can emulate to improve their own marriages.
Grief 'raises heart attack risk'
The risk of a heart attack is increased shortly after bereavement, findings show.
UA study: Divorce can raise risk of early death
Getting a divorce? Be careful. Your health could plummet as if you had taken up smoking, become overweight or started drinking excessively.
Nicotine 'may be dementia help'
Nicotine patches may improve the memory of elderly people experiencing the earliest symptoms of dementia, US researchers say.
Well: P.S.A. Test Does Not Save Lives
Updated findings from one of the largest studies of prostate cancer screening show that the commonly used P.S.A. blood test did not save lives, although questions remain about whether younger men or those at very high risk for the disease might benefit.
Another potential risk factor for developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease...
A hormone derived from visceral fat called adiponectin may play a role as a risk factor for development of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer's disease in women, according to a new study.
How books, puzzles may help ward off Alzheimer's
Doing puzzles and reading books have been linked with a decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease, and a new study may explain why - it reduces the accumulation of harmful proteins in the brain.
Memory loss from aging can start as early as 45: Study
Study authors stress importance of living healthy to stave off dementia
PET effectively detects dementia, decade of research shows
Scientists find that a method of positron emission tomography safely and accurately detects dementia, including the most common and devastating form among the elderly, Alzheimer's disease.
Really?: The Claim: Drinking Water Can Help Lower the Risk of Diabetes.
The amount of water you drink can play a role in how your body regulates blood sugar, researchers have found.
Pancreatic cancer risk increases with every 2 strips of bacon you eat: Study
Eating 50 grams of processed meat every day tied to 19 percent increased risk for pancreatic cancer
Vital Signs: Trace Elements and Levels of Pancreatic Cancer Risk
High bodily levels of the trace elements nickel and selenium may be associated with reduced risk for pancreatic cancer, and high levels of arsenic, cadmium and lead may increase the risk.
Aspirin Therapy for Heart Disease, Stroke Prevention Not for Everyone
Many people who have never had a heart attack or stroke take an aspirin every day to lower their risk for these events. While some may benefit, for many others the benefits appear to be outweighed by an increased risk for potentially serious and even life-threatening bleeding, a new study shows.
'Alternate day' aspirin recommended
New research suggests that taking an aspirin every day, which is commonly thought to reduce the risk of heart attacks, could be doing more harm than good. Professor Kausik Ray explains.
Climate Tied to Inflammatory Bowel Disease Risk
Living in a sunny climate appears to reduce women's risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease, a large new study shows.
Stillbirth Causes Are Tallied, but Risks Remain a Challenge
Two studies in The Journal of the American Medical Association provide new clues, but many questions remain.
The New Old Age Blog: Older Women and Bone Tests
A new study finds that many older women do not need frequent bone testing. But surprisingly few get even a baseline test, experts say.
Vital Signs: Study Links Immigrating at Young Age and Higher Risk of Psychosis
Researchers in the Netherlands found risk was highest among people from Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles, Turkey and Morocco who immigrated before age 4.
Key to aging well? Keep your bones strong
Osteoporosis causes the bones to become brittle and afflicts about 44 million Americans. Half of women will break a bone because of it.
The bad attitude? Blame the birth month
Numerous studies suggest a link between temperament and health and the month in which a person is born. If you're overweight, you could be a winter baby.
No walk in the park: Factors that predict walking difficulty in elderly
Researchers have found that the likelihood of becoming disabled with age increases with the following factors: having a chronic condition or cognitive impairment; low physical activity; slower gross motor coordination; having poor lower-extremity function; and being hospitalized. Women are also more likely than men to become disabled in their later years.

NIH Press Releases

NIH announces funding for new learning disabilities research centers
Funding for four centers to conduct research on the causes and treatment of learning disabilities in children and adolescents has been provided by the National Institutes of Health.
New NIDA resource helps families navigate addiction treatment options
A new resource, Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask, will help individuals and families struggling with addiction ask the right questions before choosing a drug treatment program. It was developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is available to the public free online or in hard copy through NIDA's DrugPubs service.
NIH study shows 32 million Americans have autoantibodies that target their ow...
More than 32 million people in the United States have autoantibodies, which are proteins made by the immune system that target the body's tissues and define a condition known as autoimmunity, a study shows.
NIH study to test treatment for fatty liver disease in children
With the launch of a new clinical trial supported by the National Institutes of Health, researchers are working to determine whether treating children diagnosed with the most severe form of fatty liver disease with a drug called cysteamine will help improve the liver.
Vitamin D may improve bone health in those taking anti-HIV drug
Vitamin D may help prevent hormonal changes that can lead to bone loss among those being treated for HIV with the drug tenofovir, according to the results of a National Institutes of Health network study of adolescents with HIV.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences reorganizes
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health that supports basic research and research training, has established two new divisions. Each will administer existing NIGMS programs along with programs transferred to NIGMS from the former NIH National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).
NIH launches first online genetics course for social and behavioral scientists
A new genetics educational program will provide social and behavioral scientists with sufficient genetics background to allow them to engage effectively in interdisciplinary research with genetics researchers. The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health, partnered with the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics to create the free, Web-based project.

NIH Announcements

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
Small Grants Program for Cancer Epidemiology (R03)
Funding Opportunity PAR-12-039 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), issued by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), encourages the submission of Small Research Grant (R03) applications for research on cancer etiology and epidemiology. The overarching goal of this FOA is to provide support for pilot projects, testing of new techniques, secondary analyses of existing data, development and validation of measurement methods, linkage of genetic polymorphisms with other variables related to cancer risk, and development of innovative projects for more comprehensive research in cancer etiology and epidemiology.
Limited Competition: Archiving and Dissemination of Research Data on Aging (P30)
Funding Opportunity RFA-AG-12-013 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this FOA is to continue the P30 Center Grant to 1) maintain the existing collections of the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging and develop it further as a user-friendly data archive to support behavioral and social science research on aging; 2) advise and assist researchers in documentation and archiving of data and metadata; 3) advise and assist researchers on methods of sharing data for secondary analysis while providing adequate protections for confidentiality; and 4) facilitate secondary analysis by providing user support, access to data, and training and consultation.
Economic Studies Ancillary to Completed or Ongoing Health Care Delivery and F...
Funding Opportunity RFA-RM-11-023 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) solicits applications for Research Project (R01) grant awards to support health economics research ancillary to completed or ongoing large-scale health care delivery and financing pilots, demonstrations, and other experiments (PDEs) that are intended to reduce health care costs or cost growth while maintaining or improving patient outcomes. This FOA provides support for up to five years of funding. This FOA is a component of the Common Fund initiative on Health Economics for Health Care Reform (



2012 WLS Pilot Grant Program
The Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will award two to three pilot grants to investigators using the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) data for scholarly research.  Grant application must be received by May 25, 2012. Please contact Carol Roan by e-mail or by telephone (608) 265-6196 for more information.

The 12th Annual OBSSR Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials is now accepting applications.
For further information and application instructions please follow this link:

6th Advanced Training Institute on Health Behavior Theory -- Applications due by February 1, 2012
Announcing an intensive, 7-day workshop for early career investigators July 14 to July 21, 2012 at the Fluno Center for Executive Education in Madison, Wisconsin.  The objectives of the institute are to allow approximately 30 attendees to extend their understanding of the assumptions underlying major types of health behavior theories, to explore how theories are tested and improved, and to examine how to use theories appropriately in designing interventions for behavioral risk factor modification.  The institute is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research. More information, the application, and comments from previous participants are available at:


Population Association of America Annual meeting, San Francisco, CA.
The 2012 Annual Meeting will be held May 3-5 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square Hotel.

American Geriatrics Society 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting, May 2-5, 2012, Seattle, WA
Abstracts Deadline: December 5, 2011

Summer Research Institute on Behavioral Intervention, June 14-16, 2012
Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD

RAND Summer Institute, July 9-10, Santa Monica, California.
RAND is pleased to announce the 19th annual RAND Summer Institute (RSI). RSI consists of two annual conferences that address critical issues facing our aging population. The Mini-Medical School for Social Scientists will be held on July 9–10, and the Demography, Economics, Psychology, and Epidemiology of Aging conference on July 11–12, 2012. Both conferences will convene at the RAND Corporation headquarters in Santa Monica, California.
The application deadline is March 9, 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


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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