CCBAR logo

CCBAR Newsletter – September, 2012

Editors:  Natalia Gavrilova and Stacy Tessler Lindau  


Natalia Gavrilova took part in the EAPS Health, Morbidity and Mortality workshop held in Tallinn (Estonia) and presented her work on mortality measurement and mortality trajectories at advanced ages. The workshop was hosted by the Estonian Institute for Population Studies.

Video presentations from the last CCBAR Conference on Biomeasures Collection in Population-Based Health Research (October 2011) are now available online. Please visit CCBAR website and watch presentations by Rose Anne Kenny (Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland), Lorna Thorpe (Columbia University), Jennifer Makelarski (The University of Chicago),  Bill Funk (Northwestern University), Joachim Pleil (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency),  Heidi Allen (Providence Portland Medical Center) and  Jens Ludwig (The University of Chicago) using the following link:

News from the NEJM, Nature Journals, Science, BMJ, PNAS, Lancet and JAMA
Arc illuminates Alzheimer's pathophysiology
Pathological alterations in Alzheimer's disease disrupt neuronal network function. An in vivo imaging study using a fluorescent reporter of neuronal activity finds dysfunction specifically in those neurons near amyloid plaques.
Changing behavior with epigenetics
The drive to eat: comparisons and distinctions between mechanisms of food rew...
Many comparisons between obesity and drug addiction have been made in recent years. In this review, the authors critically compare the behavioral responses to food and drugs of abuse, as well as the neural circuitry involved in each, pointing out key differences between the two.
Biomarkers: Genetic predictors of oral cancer risk
Predicting whether premalignant lesions will progress to cancer is crucial for making appropriate treatment decisions. Miriam Rosin and colleagues analysed the loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) status of chromosomes 3p and 9p in 296 patients with low to moderate grade oral dysplasia who had known clinica...
Down's syndrome and Alzheimer's disease: towards secondary prevention
A public-private partnership to establish biomarkers of dementia in Down's syndrome could aid the development of preventive therapies for the dementia associated with both Down's syndrome and Alzheimer's disease, based on the apparent common pathogenic role of amyloid precursor protein in the two co...
Sting of Alzheimer's failures offset by upcoming prevention trials
Three prevention trials in asymptomatic Alzheimer's disease patients will attempt to validate the amyloid hypothesis, evaluate biomarkers and set the stage for drug approvals.
Revising the human mutation rate: implications for understanding human evolution
It is now possible to make direct measurements of the mutation rate in modern humans using next-generation sequencing. These measurements reveal a value that is approximately half of that previously derived from fossil calibration, and this has implications for our understanding of demographic event...
Lipids: HDL cholesterol is not HDL- don't judge the book by its cover
The concept that raising HDL-cholesterol level will uniformly translate into cardiovascular risk reduction has been challenged by genetic epidemiology studies and large-scale, randomized clinical trials. Studies suggest that we should go beyond HDL cholesterol, and consider emerging biomarkers of HD...
Metabolic hypothesis for human altriciality [Anthropology]
The classic anthropological hypothesis known as the 'obstetrical dilemma' is a well-known explanation for human altriciality, a condition that has significant implications for human social and behavioral evolution. The hypothesis holds that antagonistic selection for a large neonatal brain and a nar...
Alzheimer's disease risk genes and amyloid levels [Cell Biology]
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the presence of toxic protein aggregates or plaques composed of the amyloid peptide. Various lengths of A peptide are generated by proteolytic cleavages of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Mutations in many familial AD-associated genes affect ...
Neural consequences of combat stress [Neuroscience]
Prolonged stress can have long-lasting effects on cognition. Animal models suggest that deficits in executive functioning could result from alterations within the mesofrontal circuit. We investigated this hypothesis in soldiers before and after deployment to Afghanistan and a control group using fun...
Defaults, meaning, and behavior [Social Sciences]
Rates of participation in organ donation programs are known to be powerfully influenced by the relevant default policy in effect ('opt-in' vs. 'opt-out'). Three studies provide evidence that this difference in participation may occur in part because the requirement to opt-in or opt-out results in la...
The key to longevity
Almost six years ago, in my first Observations column for the BMJ, I wrote that the secret to a longer life is something that doctors can do very little to affect:...
A Trial of Sugar-free or Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Body Weight in Children
Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in the Development of New Drugs for Obesity Ca...
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, convened a meeting of the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products on March 28-29, 2012, to consider cardiovascular safety requirements for approval of new drugs to treat obesity. The broader context at that...
The Role of Government in Preventing Excess Calorie Consumption The Example o...
Americans consume many more calories than needed, and the excess is leading to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature mortality. Since the 1970s, caloric intake has increased by some 200 to 600 calories per person per day. Although it is unclear how important changes in physical activity ar...
Progress in Obesity Research Reasons for Optimism
It is tempting, when considering obesity, to be pessimistic. The prevalence of obesity in adults and children increased to record levels in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the rate of increase has slowed, in 2010 more than 35% of adults and 16% of children aged 2 to 19 years were obese. Obesity is acc...
Benefits and Risks of Aspirin Use
To the Editor: Ms De Berardis and colleagues reported that the use of low-dose aspirin was associated with a 55% increase in risk of major bleeding, consistent with existing evidence, but the incidence rates in both aspirin users and those not using aspirin were substantially higher than previously ...
Benefits and Risks of Aspirin Use - Reply
In Reply: Dr DiNicolantonio and colleagues suggest that reverse causation may be responsible for an overestimation of the risk of bleeding in individuals treated with aspirin. The increased risk of bleeding associated with the use of aspirin has been documented in many RCTs and observational studies...
Studies Probe Mechanisms That Have a Role in Obesity-Associated Morbidities
In the last half century, what was once an evolutionary advantage - being able to quickly store excess calories - and a sedentary lifestyle have contributed to an epidemic of obesity. Along with this increase in the number of obese individuals has come an increase in metabolic syndrome, characterized by...
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Volume Number: 308, Issue Number: 11, First Page: 1084, Last Page: 1084

Biomarkers and Aging in the News Media

Launching a new war on cancer
Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center is announcing a $3 billion program aimed at significantly improving survival in a handful of cancers by the end of this decade.
Vital Signs: Risks: BPA Levels Tied to Obesity in Youths
A study has found that the risk of obesity is higher among children with high urinary levels of the chemical, which is widely used in food packaging.
Vital Signs: Aging: Early Menopause Is Linked to Heart Risk
A study of a large multiethnic population found an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke among women who reached menopause before age 47.
Radiation may up breast cancer risk in some women
Mammograms might raise the chances of developing cancer in young women whose genes put them at higher risk, a study suggests.
Study: Ginkgo doesn't prevent Alzheimer's disease
Taking ginkgo biloba didn't prevent Alzheimer's disease in older adults, according to the biggest prevention study in Europe.
University pulls Kinsey Institute app over privacy concerns
The Kinsey Institute released a new mobile app that allows users to report on sexual behavior and experiences.
War might be making young bodies old
A VA study finds that veterans in their 20s and 30s show signs of premature aging.
Painkillers linked to repeat heart attack or death
Common painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen are considered risky for people who've had a heart attack. And now a large study suggests those risks do not go away with time.
3 Quick Questions Help ID Ovarian Cancer Risk
Screening all women for ovarian cancer does more harm than good. But a three-item questionnaire identifies women most likely to benefit from further tests.
Leaders Less Stressed Out
It's easy to presume that people in leadership positions are more stressed because of their heavy workloads and increased responsibilities, but a new study suggests that may not be the case.
Sugary Drinks and Weight Gain Linked
If you're at risk of obesity because of your genes, you may be extra susceptible to weight gain from sugary drinks.
Secrets in small blood vessels could reveal the risks of heart disease and di...
Researchers have embarked on a unique study that will shed new light on the risk of heart disease and diabetes in later life.
Obesity promotes prostate cancer by altering gene regulation
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and early treatment is usually very successful. However, like other cancers, obesity increases the risk of aggressive prostate disease. New research finds that the fat surrounding the prostate of overweight or obese men with prostate cancer provides a favorable environment to promote cancer growth.
You have to eat, except when you're not hungry
A study of siblings indicates a behavioral inclination toward obesity in children.
Pregnancy complications up to twice higher in women born preterm
Women who were born premature are more likely to have pregnancy complications than women who weren't, according to new research. This study clearly shows the impact of preterm birth (i.e. before 37 weeks of gestation) itself on pregnancy risks. Low-weight at birth is an additional but independent risk factor.
Cancer researchers show why genetic risks promote breast cancer
Cancer researchers studying 44 known genetic variants associated with breast cancer have found the way to identify why they increase cancer risk, opening the door to future therapeutic applications based on personalized medicine.
Food for thought: Do family meals really make a difference for child academic...
Despite popular wisdom and findings from much previous research that suggests the beneficial impact of family mealtime, a rigorous analysis of 21,400 children, ages five to 15, brings a new argument to the table: When researchers controlled for a host of confounding factors, they didn't find any relationship between family meals and child academic outcomes or behavior.
Eunuchs provide clues to longer life
Eunuchs in the Korean Choson dynasty lived around 17 years longer than their non-castrated peers, hinting at testosterone's influence on lifespan
Red Wine Compound Found to Extend Life
A compound found in red wine has been found to decrease appetite and increase the lifespan of bees.
More Middle-Aged Men Committing Suicide Due to Loss of Pride, Masculinity
A report commissioned by the Samaritans revealed though suicide rates in younger men has decrease, for men in their middle-ages it's on the rise.
Low-Fat Yogurt Cuts High Blood Pressure Risk
People who eat low-fat yogurt regularly are less likely to develop high blood pressure, a new study says.
A Glass of Wine a Day Ups Breast Cancer Risk
Drinking just one glass of wine may up the risk of many types of cancers, including breast cancer, according to new research. However, The International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research says that studies such as these fail to talk about the various health benefits of light alcohol consumption.
Boys Don't Cry: Men and Women Feel Empathy Over Different Things
Men, who were aged 13 to 83, needed to personally feel sad or distressed in order to feel empathy for characters.
Heat Waves and Cold Spells Could Trigger Fatal Heart Attacks
Extreme temperatures during heat waves and cold spells may significantly increase the risk of premature death from heart disease, according to a new study.

NIH Press Releases

Study reveals genomic similarities between breast cancer and ovarian cancers
One subtype of breast cancer shares many genetic features with high-grade serous ovarian cancer, a cancer that is very difficult to treat, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health. The findings suggest that the two cancers are of similar molecular origin, which may facilitate the comparison of therapeutic data for subtypes of breast and ovarian cancers.
Vaginal delivery safe for head first births before 32 weeks
Infants born to mothers attempting to deliver vaginally before the 32nd week of pregnancy are as likely to survive as those delivered by a planned cesarean, provided the fetus is in the head-first position, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
Dark matter DNA active in brain during day -- night cycle
Long stretches of DNA once considered inert dark matter appear to be uniquely active in a part of the brain known to control the body's 24-hour cycle, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health.
NIH announces new program in metabolomics
The National Institutes of Health will invest $14.3 million this year, potentially investing more than $51.4 million over five years, to accelerate an emerging field of biomedical research known as metabolomics. Metabolomics is the study of small molecules called metabolites, found within cells and biological systems. Metabolites are produced or consumed in the chemical reactions that take place in the body to sustain life. The awards are supported by the NIH Common Fund.
Rare cancers yield potential source of tumor growth
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered a genetic mutation that appears to increase production of red blood cells in tumors. The discovery, based on analysis of tissue from rare endocrine tumors, may help clarify how some tumors generate a new blood supply to sustain their growth, the researchers explained.

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
Secondary Analyses of CALERIE Data Set and Stored Biospecimens to Address Research Questions Related to Effects of Caloric Restriction in Humans and Adherence to Caloric Restriction Interventions (R01). RFA-AG-13-008
Expiration Date: October 31, 2012
Time-Sensitive Obesity Policy and Program Evaluation (R01)
Expiration Date: September 11, 2015
Estimating the Economic Costs of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (R03)
Expiration Date: September 8, 2015
Estimating the Economic Costs of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (R21)
Expiration Date: September 8, 2015
Estimating the Economic Costs of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (R01)
Expiration Date: September 8, 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



NEA and NIH co-host live webinar on new funding opportunity on culture and health
Webinar will focus on new funding opportunity on the arts and social sciences from the National Institutes of Health
You are invited to a live, public webinar Thursday, October 4, 2012, 3:00 - 4:00 pm, EST
The webinar is free and open to the public.  No registration is required.
To join the webinar, go to  and check the "Enter as Guest" radio button. Type in your name and click hit "Enter Room" to join. 
You may listen using your computer's speakers or dial-in to 1-877-685-5350 and use participant code: 739587. Attendees will be muted but able to type in questions and comments through a text Q&A box.
Follow the conversation on Twitter @NEAarts with the hashtag #NEAtaskforce.
An archive of the webinar will be available on Monday, October 8, 2012 at


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

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 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)

If you would like to unsubscribe please notify us at