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CCBAR Newsletter – June-July, 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) is now open.  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 researcher, Natalia Gavrilova, PhD gave three outreach lectures on biomeasures in population-based aging research for European audiences. The first lecture was given for a short course "Contemporary Methods of Mortality Analysis" at the Institut Universitaire de Medecine Sociale et Preventive, Universite de Lausanne (IUMSP), Switzerland, on June 21, 2013. The second lecture was presented to students of Barcelona Insurance and Risk Management Summer School 2013 "New Approaches to Study Mortality and Longevity Risks" at the Universitat de Barcelona, Economics and Business Faculty, Spain on July 1, 2013. The third lecture was given to the members of the EU project "Social Innovation on Active and Healthy Ageing for Sustainable Economic Growth" (SIforAGE) in San Sebastian, Spain on July 3, 2013.  In August, CCBAR Director, Stacy Lindau, MD, will speak 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. 

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

Biological markers: Tailoring treatment and trials to prognosis
by David J. Kerr, Yuankai Shi
As we learn more about the biology of cancer, we may be able to apply prognostic biomarkers to select patients at high risk or low risk of disease recurrence or progression. This will allow a priori stratification of patients in clinical trials and will help to tailor treatment to patients.
Anxiety Can Be Good for You? Sometimes
by Ferris Jabr
Short-term stress can boost the immune system
Do CT Scans Cause Cancer?
by Carina Storrs
Researchers reevaluate the safety of radiation used in medical imaging
Diabetes: Look AHEAD published: weight loss not linked to fewer cardiovascula...
by Bryony M. Mearns
In a multicentre, randomized, controlled study of 5,145 patients who were overweight or obese and had type 2 diabetes mellitus, an intensive lifestyle intervention was associated with significant weight loss and improvements in cardiovascular risk factors, but had no effect on the rate of cardiovasc...
Public health: Cardiovascular disease insights - something new out of Africa
by George A. Mensah
Adverse trends in blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and other cardiometabolic risk factors, together with population growth and ageing, are contributing to the burden of cardiovascular diseases in Africa. This increasing problem, coupled with inadequate access to effective interventions for prevent...
Statins in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease
by Zeljko Reiner
Statins are widely used in the evidence-based lowering of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The use of these drugs for secondary prevention of CVD is well founded, but their expanding use in primary prevention - in individuals without documented CVD - has raised some concerns. Firstly, evidence suggest...
High-molecular-mass hyaluronan mediates the cancer resistance of the naked mo...
by Xiao Tian, Jorge Azpurua, Christopher Hine, Amita Vaidya, Max Myakishev-Rempel, Julia Ablaeva, Zhiyong Mao, Eviatar Nevo, Vera Gorbunova, Andrei Seluanov
The naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) displays exceptional longevity, with a maximum lifespan exceeding 30?years. This is the longest reported lifespan for a rodent species and is especially striking considering the small body mass of the naked mole rat. In comparison, a similarly sized house m...
Basic research: Understanding why the naked mole rat is cancer resistant
The naked mole rat's lifespan of 30 years is remarkable, as is its natural resistance to cancer. Researchers have now identified a mechanism responsible for the latter: high levels of high-molecular-mass hyaluronan secreted from fibroblasts, which accumulates because of decreased activity of hyaluro...
Epidemiology: Biorepositories for cancer research in developing countries
by Sandipan Ray, Aliasgar Moiyadi, Sanjeeva Srivastava
Well-documented biorepositories are essential for cancer research. Currently, major biobanks are located in the developed world, which represents the minority global population; however, countries with low-resource settings contribute more than 50% of the global cancer burden. Therefore, there is an...
Diabetes: Have the gut(s) to test the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mell...
by Elisabeth Kugelberg
The risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) might be predicted by the gut metagenome, a new study suggests. Previous studies have shown that the gut microbiota can affect host metabolism, and Chinese patients with T2DM have an altered gut metagenome. Now, Karlsson
Epidemiology: Work-related stress and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus
by Eric J. Brunner, Mika Kivimäki
A new cohort study links work-related stress to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in women, but the findings are less clear in men. Randomized controlled studies are now needed to determine whether management of stress could be used to reduce the risk of developing T2DM...
Testosterone and insulin resistance in the metabolic syndrome and T2DM in men
by Preethi M. Rao, Daniel M. Kelly, T. Hugh Jones
Obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Studies have demonstrated an association between low levels of testosterone and the above insulin-resistant states, with a prevalence of hypogonadism of up to 50% in men with type 2
Alzheimer disease: Skin cancer - protective effect against Alzheimer disease?
Risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) is slightly reduced in patients with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC), according to a recent population-based longitudinal study. 1,102 community-dwelling adults aged over 70 years were assessed annually as part of the Einstein Aging Study in New York City, USA. Relative
Ushering in the study and treatment of preclinical Alzheimer disease
by Jessica B. Langbaum, Adam S. Fleisher, Kewei Chen, Napatkamon Ayutyanont, Francisco Lopera, Yakeel T. Quiroz, Richard J. Caselli, Pierre N. Tariot, Eric M. Reiman
Researchers have begun to characterize the subtle biological and cognitive processes that precede the clinical onset of Alzheimer disease (AD), and to set the stage for accelerated evaluation of experimental treatments to delay the onset, reduce the risk of, or completely prevent clinical decline. I...
Dementia in the oldest old
by Zixuan Yang, Melissa J. Slavin, Perminder S. Sachdev
People over the age of 90 years - the oldest old - are the fastest growing sector of the population. A substantial proportion of these individuals are affected by dementia, with major implications for the individual as well as society. Research on dementia in the oldest old is important
Cognition improves in successive birth cohorts of the oldest old
In 1998, researchers set out to survey the health of all surviving Danish adults born in 1905. Twelve years later, they surveyed all surviving adults born...
Vitamin D Deficiency Induces Early Signs of Aging in Huma...
by Busse, B., Bale, H. A., Zimmermann, E. A., Panganiban, B., Barth, H. D., Carriero, A., Vettorazzi, E., Zustin, J., Hahn, M., Ager, J. W., Puschel, K., Amling, M., Ritchie, R. O.
Vitamin D deficiency is a widespread medical condition that plays a major role in human bone health. Fracture susceptibility in the context of low vitamin D has been primarily associated with defective mineralization of collagenous matrix (osteoid). However, bone’s fracture resistance is due t...
Epigenetics: Keeping it in the family
by Leonie Welberg
Paternal exposure to stress influences offspring stress responsiveness, probably through changes in the microRNA content of sperm.
Psychology in markets [Psychological and Cognitive Sciences]
by Sonnemann, U., Camerer, C. F., Fox, C. R., Langer, T.
A fundamental debate in social sciences concerns how individual judgments and choices, resulting from psychological mechanisms, are manifested in collective economic behavior. Economists emphasize the capacity of markets to aggregate information distributed among traders into rational equilibrium pr...
Association Between Duration of Overall and Abdominal Obesity Beginning in Yo...
by Reis JP, Loria CM, Lewis CE, et al.
ImportanceYounger individuals are experiencing a greater cumulative exposure to excess adiposity over their lifetime. However, few studies have determined the consequences of long-term obesity.ObjectiveTo examine whether the duration of overall and abdominal obesity was associated with the presence ...
China's Shifting Burden of Disease Global Health
by Friedrich MJ.
In the past 2 decades, China has made enormous improvements in the health of its population, but it has also seen a shift in the burden of disease, according to an analysis carried out by an international collaboration of researchers (Yang G et al. Lancet. 2013;381:1987-2015).
Ageing: An ageing balancing act
by Hannah Stower
The regulation of lifespan is known to be coordinated by intersecting metabolic pathways, but we are far from knowing the precise metabolic readouts that feed into longevity. Although alterations in respiration are known to have a role in regulating lifespan, surprisingly Houtkooper et al.
Telomeres: Telomere length measurement in single cells
by Hannah Stower
Current measurements of telomere length take the average from a population of cells. Here, the authors adapted a quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR)-based method for telomere measurement in order to be able to take measurements in single cells. They optimized a multiplex pre-amplification step that is
IOM Report: Evidence Fails to Support Guidelines for Dietary Salt Reduction
by Mitka M.
A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) finds no evidence that drastically reducing salt, and the sodium it contains, in individuals' diets reduces the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, or death. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Heart Association (A...
B vitamins reduce Alzheimer's-related atrophy [Neuroscience]
by Douaud, G., Refsum, H., de Jager, C. A., Jacoby, R., E. Nichols, T., Smith, S. M., Smith, A. D.
Is it possible to prevent atrophy of key brain regions related to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease (AD)? One approach is to modify nongenetic risk factors, for instance by lowering elevated plasma homocysteine using B vitamins. In an initial, randomized controlled study on elderly subjects ...
The Morality of Using Mortality as a Financial Incentive Unintended Consequen...
by Kupfer JM.
The strategy of using financial incentives to improve quality and lower costs is firmly embedded in the Affordable Care Act and the hospital value-based purchasing program launched nationwide in October 2012. The Affordable Care Act not only stiffens penalties for hospitals with high readmission rat...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Stress can cause weight gain
Studies show stress can cause weight gain. CNN's Mary Ellen Hopkins has more.
Taller women may have greater cancer risk
New studies show the taller the woman, the greater her risk for cancer.
5 Health Problems Linked to Height
Your height might raise your risk for certain diseases. 
Task Force Urges Scans for Smokers at High Risk
A shift to CT scans from chest X-rays has the potential to save 20,000 lives a year, experts say.
The Consumer: Concerns About Dementia Screening
A push for early detection and treatment, even in the absence of cognitive symptoms, of the amyloid plaques that indicate a risk for Alzheimer's and other dementias has some researchers worried. 
Red Wine Supplement May Block Benefits of Exercise in Older Men
In small study, resveratrol undermined gains in blood pressure, cholesterol and aerobic fitness
Family History of Cancer May Raise Risk for Other Types of Tumors
Large European study looked at people with close relatives who'd been affected
Taste preference changes in different life stages of rats
In humans and animals aging decreases dietary and energy requirements and it is generally believed that reduced consumption is related to alterations in taste preference. However, the mechanisms underlying an age-induced shift in taste preference remain unclear. Thus, the researchers investigated differences in fluid intake and taste nerve responses across different age groups of rats.
Stress early in life leads to adulthood anxiety and preference for 'comfort f...
New research finds that adult rats reared in a stressful neonatal environment demonstrate more anxiety and stress, and they prefer to eat more foods rich in fat and sugar.
Recognizing people by the way they walk
Recognizing people by the way they walk can have numerous applications in the fields of security, leisure or medicine. A new technique offers significant advantages as recognition can be done remotely and does not require the cooperation of the subject. Detecting suspicious behavior (video surveillance), access control to buildings or to restricted areas and demographic analysis of a population in terms of gender and age range are just some of the possible applications of this technology.
Hot flashes? Thank evolution
A study of mortality and fertility patterns among seven species of wild apes and monkeys and their relatives, compared with similar data from hunter-gatherer humans, shows that menopause sets humans apart from other primates.
Evolution of monogamy in humans the result of infanticide risk, new study sug...
The threat of infants being killed by unrelated males is the key driver of monogamy in humans and other primates, a new study suggests.
Heavy cell phone use linked to oxidative stress
A new study finds a strong link between heavy cell phone users and higher oxidative stress to all aspects of a human cell, including DNA. Uniquely based on examinations of the saliva of cell phone users, the research provides evidence of a connection between cell phone use and cancer risk.
By Measuring 'Health Backwards From Death, Not Forwards,' We Know Now That Th...
A new study finds that the elderly are living two years longer than before, with better quality of health.
Drinking Coffee Reduces Suicide Risk By 50%: 2 To 4 Cups A Day Is Effective A...
A recent Harvard study finds a link between coffee and a lower risk of suicide. Could coffee be doing more than keeping us awake?
Study: Later retirement may help prevent dementia
New research boosts the "use it or lose it" theory about brainpower and staying mentally sharp. People who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia, a study of nearly half a million people in France found....
How to tell signs of dementia from normal aging
New studies suggest that noticing you are having memory or thinking problems could be the earliest sign of Alzheimer's disease. The Alzheimer's Association lists these 10 warning signs, plus advice on how to tell them from normal age-related changes:...
The New Old Age Blog: In Europe, Dementia Rates May Be Falling
New studies from Denmark and Britain find that older people are getting healthier and experiencing less dementia.  
Elderly Cognitive Function May Be Determined By Childhood IQ
Decreased cognitive function might come with old age, but researchers have found that intelligence in youth might be able to postpone dementia and other forms of cognitive decline. 
Fish oils may raise prostate cancer risks, study confirms
Everyone knows that fish oil is good for you, right? It's a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are marketed to reduce the risk of just about everything from heart disease to Alzheimer's.
Fatty acids found in fish linked to lower risk of breast cancer
A high intake of fatty acids found in fish is associated with a 14 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer in later life, a new study finds.
Cancer risks double when two carcinogens present at 'safe' levels, epigenetic...
New research has found that low doses of arsenic and estrogen -- even at levels low enough to be considered "safe" for humans if they were on their own -- can cause cancer in prostate cells.
Screening fails to affect breast cancer mortality statistics, UK study finds
New research from the UK analysing breast cancer mortality data spanning almost 40 years concludes that breast cancer screening does not yet show an effect on mortality statistics. The research analyzed mortality trends before and after the introduction of the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme in 1988.
Gene Biomarkers Reveal Colon Cancer: New Noninvasive DNA Test Detects 92% Of ...
Researchers developed a noninvasive colon cancer test by identifying biomarkers on the SDC2 gene linked to the disease.
An aspirin every other day cuts colon cancer risk for women, study says
For women, an aspirin every other day may keep colon cancer away, a new study suggests.Women who took low dose aspirin on alternate days for 18 years saw a 20 percent drop in their risk of developing colon cancer, according to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Sugary Snacks Tied To Bowel Cancer, Found In Many Industrialized, Western Diets
Sugary snacks are linked to bowel cancer, which now joins heart disease and diabetes as a risk factor for high-sugar diets.
Gut Bugs Could Explain Obesity-Cancer Link
In obese mice, changes in intestinal bacteria may lead to higher cancer risk
Vegetarians May Live Longer
California research finds 12% lower risk of dying for those who don't eat meat
Unattractive people more likely to be bullied at work
It's common knowledge that high school can be a cruel environment where attractive students are considered "popular," and unattractive kids often get bullied. And, while that type of petty behavior is expected to vanish with adulthood, new research proves it does not. Colleagues can be just as immature as classmates.
Young Adults Who Are More Outgoing Win Later In Life, Too
A new study finds that younger people with more social connections and emotional stability report greater happiness later in life.
Do Pretty Women Cause Men's Mouths To Water? Courting Behavior Spikes Testost...
Ever wonder why men's mouths water at the sight of pretty women?
Studies Show Chinese Have Higher Risk of Stroke Than White People
A study found that Chinese people have a higher risk of stroke than whites. But after an earlier study found that South Asians were more prone to diabetes than whites because of poor fitness, could there be a link between the two?
Gene Flaws Common In Blacks With Breast Cancer
African American women have higher rates of breast cancer at younger ages, and their survival rates are lower than white women. Now researchers might have an idea why.

NIH Press Releases

NIH math model predicts effects of diet, physical activity on childhood weight
Findings suggest major differences between obese adults and children.
NIH researchers identify therapy that may curb kidney deterioration in patien...
Innovation in mouse model helps researchers distinguish disease mechanisms and biomarkers.
NIH researchers discover how brain cells change their tune
Study may advance fundamental understanding of how brain cells communicate.
NIH commits $24 million annually for Big Data Centers of Excellence
Efforts will harness power of complex datasets to improve health, aid discovery, reduce duplication.
For a healthy brain, don't let the trash pile up
NIH-funded study finds that quickly clearing away damaged proteins may help prevent neurodegenerative disorders.
NIH-funded study suggests that moving more may lower stroke risk
New research finds link between frequency of exercise and stroke risk.
NIH scientists find that proteins involved in immunity potentially cause cancer
Naturally produced mutations may be just as powerful as known carcinogens.
Federal report shows drop in proportion of children in US population
Annual statistics compilation forecasts increasing diversity.
mHealth has great potential, but needs a rigorous scientific foundation
Dr. Robert M. Kaplan discusses how to move from hype to real scientific value.
NIH study identifies brain circuits involved in learning and decision making
Finding has implications for alcoholism and other patterns of addictive behavior.
Urine test can diagnose, predict kidney transplant rejection
NIH-funded study describes noninvasive alternative to kidney biopsy.
Vietnam vets with PTSD more than twice as likely to have heart disease
NIH-funded study finds PTSD is a risk factor for heart disease among Vietnam vets.
Only half of U.S. youth meet physical activity standards, NIH study shows
Few consume recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Estrogen therapy has no long-term effect on cognition in younger postmenopaus...
NIH-funded study finds neither benefit nor risk to cognitive function years after treatment.
Two gene variants may predict who will benefit from breast cancer prevention ...
NIH-supported discovery could advance individualized care of high-risk women.
NIH scientists find link between allergic and autoimmune diseases in mouse study
Discovery of gene may help scientists better understand diseases such as MS, Crohn's disease, celiac disease and type 1 diabetes.

NIH Announcements

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



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

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

66th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of AmericaWednesday, 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: to be announced

2014 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), May 15 - 17, 2014
Orlando, Florida
Abstract deadline: to be announced

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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