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CCBAR Newsletter – November, 2012

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


Natalia Gavrilova participated in the 2012 annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America in San Diego, CA. She gave two oral presentations: “Familial Factors in Longevity: Exploring Complex Environmental and Genetic Effects” at the "Frailty: From the Cell to Society" symposium and “Biodemography of Old-Age Mortality in Humans and Rodents” at the "Biodemography of Aging and Longevity" symposium.  Dr. Eileen Crimmins was awarded a prestigious Kleemeier Award for her significant contribution to the field of biodemography. There were several sessions on biological measures in population-based aging research. Several sessions pointed to lung function as a powerful predictor of mortality for old adults and highlighted the value of this measure for population-based biosocial research on aging. 

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

An early and enduring advanced technology originating 71,000 years ago in Sou...
by Kyle S. Brown Curtis W. Marean Zenobia Jacobs Benjamin J. Schoville Simen Oestmo Erich C. Fisher Jocelyn Bernatchez Panagiotis Karkanas Thalassa Matthews
There is consensus that the modern human lineage appeared in Africa before 100,000 years ago. But there is debate as to when cultural and cognitive characteristics typical of modern humans first appeared, and the role that these had in the expansion of modern humans out of Africa. Scientists rely on...
A sirtuin link between metabolism and heart disease
by Keith A Webster
The sirtuins (SIRTs) have gained preeminence for their roles in the response to caloric restriction and the regulation of aging and lifespan. A new study now identifies gene promoters that bind the transcription factor AP1 as targets for silencing by SIRT6, providing possible...
Developmental pathways to amygdala-prefrontal function and internalizing symp...
by Cory A Burghy Diane E Stodola Paula L Ruttle Erin K Molloy Jeffrey M Armstrong Jonathan A Oler Michelle E Fox Andrea S Hayes Ned H Kalin Marilyn J Essex Richard J Davidson Rasmus M Birn
The authors assessed the contributions of early life stress (ELS) and childhood cortisol levels to adolescent resting-state functional connectivity. In females, ELS predicted increased cortisol levels in childhood, which predicted decreased amygdala-ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) functional ...
Future directions in cancer prevention
by Asad Umar Barbara K. Dunn Peter Greenwald
Prevention of cancer remains the most promising strategy for reducing both its incidence and the mortality due to this disease. For more than four decades, findings from epidemiology, basic research and clinical trials have informed the development of lifestyle and medical approaches to cancer preve...
Complex disease: Family history versus SNPs for disease predictions
by Hannah Stower
Chuong et al. used a theoretical model to compare the ability of family history and SNP-based methods to predict the risk of complex disease. Family-history-based methods were often more effective at predicting risk for more common heritable diseases, such as coronary artery disease, whereas
Sex differences in pain and pain inhibition: multiple explanations of a contr...
by Jeffrey S. Mogil
A clear majority of patients with chronic pain are women; however, it has been surprisingly difficult to determine whether this sex bias corresponds to actual sex differences in pain sensitivity. A survey of the currently available epidemiological and laboratory data indicates that the evidence for
Biomarkers: Predictors of CVD risk in the elderly
by Gregory B. Lim
Increasing numbers of individuals are living into old age (>80 years). According to Professor Athanase Benetos from the University Hospital of Nancy, France, in robust old people, high blood pressure (BP) is a very good predictor of increased [cardiovascular] risk... However, this approach may not
Risk factors: Long-term effects of air pollution
by Bryony M. Mearns
The epidemiological Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution (MESA Air) has provided new insight into how air pollution increases mortality and morbidity. As Dr Ranjini Krishnan and colleagues point out in the report of their study assessing both short-term and long-term effects of ai...
Breast cancer: Risk of death not increased for patients with dense breasts
by Lisa Hutchinson
Elevated mammographic density is well established as one of the strongest risk factors for non-familial breast cancer. High breast density increases the risk of breast cancer by fourfold to fivefold, and is associated with adverse prognostic features. What is unclear is whether women with breast
Breast cancer: Radiation risk in BRCA carriers
by Lisa Hutchinson
BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) genes are involved in the repair of DNA breaks, which can be caused by ionizing radiation. Thus, women carrying a mutation in BRCA1/2 likely have increased radiation sensitivity, as well as having an increased intrinsic risk
Obesity: Sugar-sweetened beverages 'fueling the epidemic of childhood obesity'
by Carol Wilson
Two randomized controlled studies have put consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks by children on trial. Together, they show that reducing children's consumption of such beverages could reduce their weight gain and fat accumulation. In the present study, we focused specifically on a single behaviour t...
Epidemiology: Lipid level trends improving in USA
by Joana Osório
Serum levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol and triglycerides have decreased in the US adult population in the past 22 years, which was accompanied by increases in serum levels of HDL cholesterol, reveals an analysis of data from three National Health and Nutrition
Reproductive endocrinology: Menstrual cycle lengths - what can they tell us?
by Shahla Nader
Short and long menstrual cycles have been associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases. Menstrual cycle length seems to be determined by the underlying hormonal profile - but could cycle length be a reliable indicator of hormone perturbations and disease risk in healthy regularly menstruating...
Epidemiology: Air pollution and mortality from diabetes mellitus
by Annette Peters
Urban traffic is a major source of ambient air pollution and induces oxidative stress, systemic inflammation and cardiovascular disease. A recent study shows that the risk of death from diabetes mellitus is increased in individuals exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution.
Clinical and Biomarker Changes in Alzheimer's Disease
New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 367, Issue 21, Page 2050-2052, November 2012.
Nonpharmacologic Management of Behavioral Symptoms in Dementia Nonpharmacolog...
by Gitlin LN, Kales HC, Lyketsos CG.
Behavioral symptoms such as repetitive speech, wandering, and sleep disturbances are a core clinical feature of Alzheimer disease and related dementias. If untreated, these behaviors can accelerate disease progression, worsen functional decline and quality of life, cause significant caregiver distre...
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Prediction Factors
by Williams K, Monroe HM.
To the Editor: The recent ERFC meta-analysis indicated that the standard hazard ratio (HR) for cardiovascular disease using baseline levels of non-HDL-C was 1.27 (95% CI, 1.22 to 1.33) vs 1.24 (1.19 to 1.29) using apolipoprotein B. In a head-to-head comparison, the HR for apolipoprotein B relative t...
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Prediction Factors - Reply
by Di Angelantonio E, Gao P, Danesh J, et al.
In Reply: The ERFC reported a meta-analysis of individual participant data involving 165 544 people in 37 prospective studies, showing that the addition of information on various lipid-related markers can slightly improve the prediction of first cardiovascular disease outcomes. We can confirm that t...
Chelation-therapy heart trial draws fire
by Ewen Callaway
Critics not persuaded that metal-snaring treatment works.
Metabolic phenotyping in clinical and surgical environments
by Jeremy K. Nicholson Elaine Holmes James M. Kinross Ara W. Darzi Zoltan Takats John C. Lindon
Metabolic phenotyping involves the comprehensive analysis of biological fluids or tissue samples. This analysis allows biochemical classification of a person's physiological or pathological states that relate to disease diagnosis or prognosis at the individual level and to disease risk factors at th...
Cancer: Complexion matters
by Mizuho Fukunaga-Kalabis Meenhard Herlyn
Sun exposure indisputably increases the risk of skin cancer. Mouse studies suggest that, in red-haired individuals, genetic factors also contribute through a mechanism that acts independently of exposure to sunlight. See Letter p.449
Relatives of people who die from sudden cardiac death are at increased risk o...
by Anekwe, L.
First degree relatives of young people who die suddenly from cardiovascular disease are at increased risk of heart problems, a study has found. Relatives under 35 years are at the greatest risk and...
Fasting makes little difference to results of lipid tests
by Anekwe, L.
Fasting before routine lipid level tests might be unnecessary, suggests a study that found that fasting time had little association with lipid subclass levels in a large population.The researchers,...
Long-term Care, Globalization, and Justice
by Fox P.
In Long-term Care, Globalization, and Justice, Lisa Eckenwiler examines the increasing demand for long-term care resulting from population aging and the organization of labor to meet this demand. She examines this complex issue using an ecological perspective to highlight the interdependence of econ...
The Biology of Alzheimer Disease
by Landau SM, Doraiswamy P.
The study of Alzheimer disease has undergone rapid change in recent years. Research has revealed exciting advances in the understanding of the biology of the disease and its clinical course. The recent revision of Alzheimer diagnostic criteria represents an important milestone resulting from the int...

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Unemployment hard on the heart
In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers report that repeated job losses may be as damaging to the heart health as smoking, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
What exactly does fiber do?
Nutritionists and diet books often stress that eating fiber is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Dr. Melina Jampolis explains why.
Traffic can be slow or fast killer
The stress of waiting in gridlock can get intense if you're in a hurry, leaving you feeling frustrated and anxious about the traffic. That stress can translate into deeper health hazards.
Air Pollution May Raise Autism Risk
Being exposed to high levels of air pollution from traffic may raise the risk of autism for babies, researchers say.
Some Teens Risk Health to Build Muscle
The quest for six-pack abs and a ripped physique may be leading some teens -- especially boys -- in an unhealthy direction, a new study suggests.
Does Air Pollution Hurt Memory of Older Adults?
Older adults who live in areas of high pollution did not do as well on tests of memory and other thinking skills, according to a new study.
Brief exercise immediately enhances memory: Results apply to older adults bot...
A short burst of moderate exercise enhances the consolidation of memories in both healthy older adults and those with mild cognitive impairment, scientists have discovered.
Tracking down smallest biomarkers
Scientists have developed a vacuum-compatible X-ray detector that allows the size of low-contrast nano-objects to be determined.
Lack of nutrients and metabolic syndrome linked to different subtypes of depr...
A low intake of folate and vitamin B12 increases the risk of melancholic depressive symptoms, according to a study among nearly 3,000 middle-aged and elderly Finnish subjects.
Fertility: Putrescine water may be fountain of youth for human eggs
A scientist has discovered a critical reason why women experience fertility problems as they get older. The breakthrough also points to a simple solution that could increase the viability of egg cells for women in their late 30s and older -- putrescine water.
Does being fat make you more jolly?
A gene associated with obesity also decreases your risk of depression. Here's what the discovery really means for your health
Smoking Damages Brain, Researchers Say
Smoking and high blood pressure lead to the brain rotting faster. Researchers say that people who smoke need to make lifestyle changes to decrease risk of cognitive decline.
U.S. panel advises HIV tests for everyone ages 15 to 64
The Preventive Services Task Force opens public comment on a recommendation of HIV tests for everyone 15 to 64.
Nearly everyone ages 15 to 64 should be screened for HIV even if they're not at great risk for contracting the virus, according to new guidelines proposed by an influential panel of medical experts. If the panel ultimately adopts those recommendations, Medicare and most private health insurers will be required to pay for the tests.
Early puberty may raise heart risks
Predicting heart disease risk is not an exact science, but doctors are building the case for another tool to guide their evaluations when it comes to women.
Boomers find youth in testosterone
You'd think testosterone was magic from its advertised results, but anti-aging experts say it can be dangerous if not administered properly.
Consequences of a long commute
The stress of waiting in gridlock can get intense if you're in a hurry, leaving you feeling frustrated and anxious about the traffic. That stress can translate into deeper health hazards.
How Having a Younger Brother or Sister Can Raise Your Risk for Heart Disease
Researchers found that having a younger brother can raise a person's blood pressure by 3 percent to 5.9 percent, and having a younger sister can raise a person's blood pressure by 3.8 percent.

NIH Press Releases

COPD awareness returns to 2008 levels, according to new NIH survey
Awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has been rising gradually in recent years, but the results of a national survey show current awareness levels have returned to those of 2008. The survey was released today by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.
Research breakthrough selectively represses the immune system
In a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed innovative technology to selectively inhibit the part of the immune system responsible for attacking myelin - the insulating material that encases nerve fibers and facilitates electrical communication between brain cells.
This is your brain on freestyle rap
Researchers in the voice, speech, and language branch of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at the National Institutes of Health have used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the brain activity of rappers when they are "freestyling" -- spontaneously improvising lyrics in real time.
PCBs, other pollutants may play role in pregnancy delay
Couples with high levels of PCBs and similar environmental pollutants take longer to achieve pregnancy in comparison to other couples with lower levels of the pollutants, according to a preliminary study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
Migraine-associated brain changes not related to impaired cognition
Women with migraines did not appear to experience a decline in cognitive ability over time compared to those who didn't have them, according to a nine-year follow up study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
HPV vaccine may benefit HIV-infected women
Women with HIV may benefit from a vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV), despite having already been exposed to HPV, a study finds. Although many may have been exposed to less serious forms of HPV, more than 45 percent of sexually active young women who have acquired HIV appear never to have been exposed to the most common high-risk forms of HPV, according to the study from a National Institutes of Health research network.

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
Basic social and behavioral research on culture, health, and wellbeing (R24)
Funding Number: RFA-LM-12-002
Expiration Date: December 18, 2012
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:

Trends in 21st Century Epidemiology: From Scientific Discoveries to Population Health Impact (Days 1-2)   
Air date (Day 1):  Wednesday, December 12, 2012, 1:00:00 PM
Air date (Day 2):  Thursday, December 13, 2012, 8:00:00 AM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local 
Description:  In this workshop, researchers and thought leaders will present their perspectives on major facets of the epidemiologic enterprise.


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

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


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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