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CCBAR Newsletter – June, 2011

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau


The Chicago Core on Biomeasures in Population-Based Health and Aging Research (CCBAR) at the NORC University of Chicago Center on Demography and Economics of Aging will host a fall conference entitled "Biosocial Approaches to Urban Health and Aging" on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 from 7:30am to 5pm at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago. Rose Anne Kenny, MD, PI of the innovative Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing will present the keynote lecture.  Please contact Pleasant Radford ( if you are interested in participating.

CCBAR member, Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, MAPP, gave a lecture "Methods development and application: Lessons from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project" at the Cells to Society (C2S) Sixth Annual Summer Biomarker Institute on the Evanston campus of Northwestern University on June 7, 2011. More information about this event can be found at the C2S website <> .

In June, CCBAR held its second community-oriented hands-on training session on blood spot methods in conjunction with the University of Chicago Urban Health Initiative South Side Health and Vitality Studies. 16 representatives from the university and 5 from the community participated in this training session. Dr. Lindau's C2S lecture included discussion about the process and value of including community members in training about biological methods being used in population-based research.

Blood spot collection at the June training session organized by SSHVS and CCBAR.

We appreciate contribution from Pleasant Radford, Lisa Teverbaugh and Natalie Watson who helped to prepare this section of newsletter.

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

Evolution: Male harassment can doom species
The males of many species demonstrate behaviours that are harmful to females. Some, for example, can physically damage females during courting or mating. Daniel Rankin at the University of Zurich in Switzerland and his team now demonstrate that such sexual conflict can lead to a
City living marks the brain
Neuroscientists study social risk factor for mental illness.
Demographics: The growth of nations
Michael Sargent enjoys a social history of how height and lifespan increased during the Industrial Revolution.
Comparison of Effect Sizes Associated With Biomarkers Reported in Highly Cite... Many biomarkers are proposed in highly cited studies as determinants of disease risk, prognosis, or response to treatment, but few eventually transform clinical practice.
Objective: To examine whether the magnitude of the effect sizes of biomarkers proposed in highly cited studies is accurate...
The Thin Line Between Hope and Hype in Biomarker Research [Editorial]
The Fountain of Youth?
Aging results in a slow deterioration of biological structures. Even budding yeast undergo replicative aging, with cells dying after producing a limited number of offspring. However, the effects of aging ? [Read more]
Anticholinergic effects of common drugs are associated with increased mortali...
The combined anticholinergic effects of many common drugs increase the risk of cognitive impairment and death in people aged over 65, a large scale study of the long term effect of drugs on health...
Social neuroscience: Stress and the city
Many of us were raised or currently live in an urban environment. A neuroimaging study now reveals how this affects brain function when an individual is faced with a stressful situation. See Letter p.498
The Best Medicine
A quiet revolution in comparative effectiveness research just might save us from soaring medical costs
Nutrition: Anomalous role for dietary salt in diabetes mellitus?
Prevailing guidelines advocate a low-salt diet to mitigate progression of renal and cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes mellitus. However, two recent cohort studies in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus associate lower salt intake with increased rates of end-stage renal d...
Epidemiology: Outcomes of diabetes mellitus in Asian Americans
A recent study of health outcomes among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with diabetes mellitus demonstrates that use of broad racial categories can mask important differences in risks among ethnic subgroups and emphasizes the importance of appropriate classifications as a strategy for improvin...
Dementia: Overweight or obesity during midlife is associated with late-life d...
Being overweight or obese during midlife is associated with increased risk of dementia later in life, according to a Swedish twin study involving 8,534 individuals.The findings relating to obesity, defined as BMI >30, have been shown in previous reports. However, the effect of being
Value-driven attentional capture [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
Attention selects which aspects of sensory input are brought to awareness. To promote survival and well-being, attention prioritizes stimuli both voluntarily, according to context-specific goals (e.g., searching for car keys), and involuntarily, through attentional capture driven by physical salienc...
Vitamin D and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes: Why the Evid...
Television Viewing and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, and A...
Prolonged television (TV) viewing is the most prevalent and pervasive sedentary behavior in industrialized countries and has been associated with morbidity and mortality. However, a systematic and quantitative assessment of published studies is not available.

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

New biomarker may help with early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
A new biomarker may help identify which people with mild memory deficits will go on to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study. The biomarker may be more accurate than the currently established biomarkers.
Older drinkers 'need lower limit'
People over 65 should limit themselves to 1.5 units of alcohol a day, a report suggests.
Supported 'out' people healthier
The level of support that people perceive in their surroundings when they come out as lesbian, gay, or bisexual is closely related to their mental health and overall well-being, and this may mean that coming out to some people (but not others) is less psychologically damaging than has been believed, a new study suggests.
Bad choices, not aging, pack on the pounds
Adults gain an average of almost a pound a year as they age, and much of that weight gain is caused by changes in diet such as eating extra ...
New report urges parents to invest early in childhood obesity prevention
In recent years there has been much emphasis on fighting overweight in school-age kids, but weight problems often begin in younger children, ...
18 and Under: A Graduation That May Carry Unnecessary Risk
Studies show that the zone at the end of the pediatric period is fraught with uncertainties and risks, especially for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities.
Studies: Chemicals May Harm Breast Development
Testing chemicals to determine their impact on breast development and breast cancer risk should be a standard part of the regulatory process, according to a new report.
Job Stress and Your Heart: Cutting Your Risk
WebMD discusses the connection between job stress and your heart health and what you can do to help minimize your job stress and heart health risk.
World Health Org. Warns Of Cell Phone Cancer Risk
There have been studies linking cell phones to cancer. But when the World Health Organization speaks, many listen.
Elderly 'facing social care cuts'
Social care budgets in England will be cut this year - despite promises to put more money into services, according to an analysis of spending plans.
Lean gene 'linked to heart risk'
Genes that result in a slender figure have been linked to heart disease and type-two diabetes, conditions normally associated with being overweight.
10 states most fanatical about fast food
Fast food has taken hits for health risks, but some states have huge appetite for the stuff
Diabetes Rates Double Since 1980
The number of adults with diabetes worldwide has more than doubled since 1980 to nearly 350 million, fueled in large part by an aging population and rising rates of obesity.
Waistlines in people, glucose levels in mice hint at sweeteners' effects: Rel...
In the constant battle to lose inches or at least stay the same, we reach for the diet soda. Two studies suggest this might be self-defeating behavior. Epidemiologists report data showing that diet soft drink consumption is associated with increased waist circumference in humans, and a second study that found aspartame raised fasting glucose (blood sugar) in diabetes-prone mice.
How Much Does Lifestyle Affect Breast Cancer Risk?
A new study shows that modifiable risk factors, such as maintaining a healthy weight, drinking alcohol moderately, and exercising, even when taken together, account for a relatively small portion of a woman's overall breast cancer risk.
Black members of Adventist church defy health disparities, study shows
Health disparities between black Americans and the rest of the nation have been well-documented in medical journals. But one study shows that blacks who identify as members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church actually report a better quality of life than the average American. Researchers point to certain lifestyle behaviors as a possible explanation for the difference.
Calcium plus vitamin D may reduce melanoma risks in some women, study finds
A combination of calcium and vitamin D may cut the chance of melanoma in half for some women at high risk of developing this life-threatening skin cancer, according to a new study.

NIH Press Releases

Drug boosts growth factor to jump-start rapid antidepressant response
A study in mice has pinpointed a pivotal new player in triggering the rapid antidepressant response produced by ketamine. By deactivating a little-known enzyme, the drug takes the brakes off rapid synthesis of a key growth factor thought to lift depression, say researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health.
New videos, website offer important resources for people affected by diabetes
New videos to help people make lifestyle changes and cope with the demands of diabetes were announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). The series of three- to five-minute videos, address topics such as setting goals to improve health, living with diabetes, finding the support you need, as well as segments on diabetes prevention and physical activity.
NIH researchers slow immune attack on ovaries in mice
In a study of mice, researchers have slowed an immune system attack on the ovaries. The mice developed a disorder resembling primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), a menopause-like condition that affects women under the age of 40, sometimes years or even decades before normal menopause. The study was conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Difficulty estimating quantity linked to math learning disability
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have discovered that the innate ability to estimate quantities is impaired in children who have a math learning disability.
NIH researchers identify new marker to predict progressive kidney failure, death
A high level of a hormone that regulates phosphate is associated with an increased risk of kidney failure and death among chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, according to a recent study led by researchers at the University of Miami and funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health. Results are in the June 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
NIH expands reach of national clinical and translational research consortium
The National Institutes of Health announced that it will provide $200 million over five years to five health research centers to speed scientific discoveries into treatments for patients. The grants were awarded as part of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program, which is led by the NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).
NIH researchers find new clues about aging
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a new pathway that sets the clock for programmed aging in normal cells. The study provides insights about the interaction between a toxic protein called progerin and telomeres, which cap the ends of chromosomes like aglets, the plastic tips that bind the ends of shoelaces.
Potential new target for smoking cessation without weight gain
A new study uncovers a brain mechanism that could be targeted for new medications designed to help people quit smoking without gaining weight. This research, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, shows that a specific subclass of brain nicotinic receptor is involved in nicotine's ability to reduce food intake in rodents. Prior research shows that the average weight gain after smoking is less than 10 pounds, but fear of weight gain can discourage some people who would like to quit.

NIH Announcements

Specialized Centers of Research (SCOR) on Sex Differences (P50)
Funding Opportunity RFA-OD-11-003 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The ORWH and participating organizations and institutes seek to expand the Specialized Centers of Interdisciplinary Research (SCOR) on Sex Differences. These centers will provide opportunities for interdisciplinary approaches to advancing studies in sex differences research. Each SCOR should develop a research agenda bridging basic and clinical research underlying a health issue that affects women.
Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA)...
Funding Opportunity RFA-NS-12-005 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This FOA solicits Research Project Grant (R01) applications from institutions/organizations proposing exceptionally innovative research on novel hypotheses or difficult problems, solutions to which would have an extremely high impact on biomedical or biobehavioral research in the epilepsies. This FOA is for support of new projects, not continuation of projects that have already been initiated. It does not support pilot projects, i.e., projects of limited scope that are designed primarily to generate data that will enable the PD/PI to seek other funding opportunities. Interventional clinical trials are also not appropriate for this FOA.
Limited Competition: Addressing Health Disparities in Maternal and Child Heal...
Funding Opportunity PAR-11-241 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), requests applications to implement developmental community-based participatory research (CBPR) projects planned and developed by recipients of the Phase I Academic-Community Partnerships Conference Series awards under PAR-08-106 and RFA-HD-06-019. This FOA provides support for community based participatory research (CBPR) projects that were identified and planned during the Phase I grant award. Only one CBPR project will be supported per grant award. The areas of emphasis include: infant mortality; sudden infant death syndrome; fibroid tumors; childhood, adolescent, and/or adult obesity; literacy; techniques for outreach and information dissemination; pediatric and maternal HIV/AIDS prevention; and violence prevention.
NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards FY 2011
Notice NOT-OD-11-068 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
NIMHD Health Disparities Research (R01)
Funding Opportunity RFA-MD-12-001 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to solicit innovative research that can directly and demonstrably contribute to the elimination of health disparities. Research aims may include, but are not limited to, biological mechanisms; behavioral strategies; lifestyle factors; environmental, structural, and economic factors; cultural and family influences; delivery system interventions; medical procedures and regimens (including alternative therapy), and medical assistive devices and health information technologies. Projects may involve primary data collection or secondary analysis of existing datasets.
NIMHD Resource-Related Minority Health and Health Disparities Research (U24)
Funding Opportunity RFA-MD-11-005 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) encourages applications from organizations to provide support for conducting minority health and health disparities resource-related research activities that support the objectives and research strategy outlined in the NIMHD FY 2009-2013 Health Disparities Strategic Plan. The priority areas for this initiative are: Bioethics Research, Global Health Research, Data Infrastructure and Dissemination, and Healthcare for Rural Populations Research.
Modification of the Biographical Sketch in NIH Grant Application Forms (PHS 3...
Notice NOT-OD-11-045 from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts



The Summer Institute in LGBT Health at the Center for Population Research in LGBT Health at the Fenway Institute, Boston, July 18-August 12, 2011.
Applications are due April 18, 2011

Gerontological Society of America's 64th Annual Scientific Meeting, November 18-22, 2011, Boston Hynes Convention Center, Boston, MA.
Abstracts Deadline: March 15, 2011

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. The 2012 Call for Papers will be available at the end of July,

NIH Videocasts:

The Role of Science Policy and Communications in Advancing Public Health Impact
NIMH OSPPC Director Candidate Presentation
Air date: 7/11/2011 12:00:00 PM Eastern Time

Basic Science and Clinical Application of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
Fifth Sayer Vision Research Lecture
Dr. Napoleone Ferrara, winner of a 2010 Lasker Award, will deliver the fifth Sayer Vision Research Lecture.
Ferrara, a Fellow at Genentech, Inc., has spent nearly 30 years working to understand the mechanisms of angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels). He is credited with isolating and cloning vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that plays a key role in angiogenesis. Ferrara and colleagues showed that cancerous tumors are able to g...

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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