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Publications (4)16.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Relatively short telomere length may serve as a marker of accelerated aging, and shorter telomeres have been linked to chronic stress. Specific lifestyle behaviors that can mitigate the effects of stress might be associated with longer telomere lengths. Previous research suggests a link between behaviors that focus on the well-being of others, such as volunteering and caregiving, and overall health and longevity. We examined relative telomere length in a group of individuals experienced in Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM), a practice derived from the Buddhist tradition which utilizes a focus on unselfish kindness and warmth towards all people, and control participants who had done no meditation. Blood was collected by venipuncture, and Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes. Quantitative real time PCR was used to measure relative telomere length (RTL) (Cawthon, 2002) in fifteen LKM practitioners and 22 control participants. There were no significant differences in age, gender, race, education, or exposure to trauma, but the control group had a higher mean body mass index (BMI) and lower rates of past depression. The LKM practitioners had longer RTL than controls at the trend level (p=.083); among women, the LKM practitioners had significantly longer RTL than controls, (p=.007), which remained significant even after controlling for BMI and past depression. Although limited by small sample size, these results offer the intriguing possibility that LKM practice, especially in women, might alter RTL, a biomarker associated with longevity.
    Brain Behavior and Immunity 04/2013; · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Coffee has been reported to lower levels of estrogen and insulin, two hormones implicated in endometrial carcinogenesis, but prospective data on the relation between coffee consumption and risk of endometrial cancer are limited. We prospectively assessed coffee consumption in relation to endometrial cancer risk in the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) with 67,470 female participants aged 34 to 59 in 1980. Cumulative average coffee intake was calculated with all available questionnaires to assess long-term effects. Cox regression models were used to calculate incidence rate ratios (RR), controlling for other risk factors. Fewer than 4 cups of coffee per day were not associated with endometrial cancer risk. However, women who consumed 4 or more cups of coffee had 25% lower risk of endometrial cancer than those who consumed less than 1 cup per day (multivariable RR = 0.75; 95% CI = 0.57-0.97; P(trend) = 0.02). We found the similar association with caffeinated coffee consumption (RR for ≥4 vs. <1 cup/d = 0.70; 95% CI = 0.51-0.95). For decaffeinated coffee consumption, a suggestive inverse association was found among women who consumed 2 or more cups per day versus <1 cup/mo. Tea consumption was not associated with endometrial cancer risk. These prospective data suggest that four or more cups of coffee per day are associated with a lower risk of endometrial cancer. Drinking of coffee, given its widespread consumption, might be an additional strategy to reduce endometrial cancer risk. However, addition of substantial sugar and cream to coffee could offset any potential benefits.
    Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers &amp Prevention 11/2011; 20(12):2487-95. · 4.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammation and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) may play important role in ovarian cancer. However, epidemiologic data are inconsistent, possibly reflecting inter-individual genetic differences affecting the metabolism of NSAIDs. We examined whether common polymorphisms affecting the metabolism of NSAIDs modify the association between NSAIDs and ovarian cancer risk. We genotyped 1,353 DNA samples from women who developed ovarian cancer and 1,823 samples from matched controls participating in the New England Case-Control study and the Nurses' Health Studies. Conditional logistic regression estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) associated with regular use of NSAIDs and with relevant polymorphisms on ovarian cancer risk. Multivariable unconditional logistic regression estimated the association of NSAID use across stratum of each genotype. Regular use of NSAIDs was not associated with ovarian cancer risk. Multivariable OR (95% CI) associated with use NSAIDs was 0.85 (95% CI: 0.71-1.02). Associations between NSAID use and ovarian cancer risk did not differ significantly across strata of genotypes. None of the studied polymorphisms was associated with ovarian cancer risk. The multivariable ORs (95% CI) associated with CYP2C9 and UGT1A6 variant genotypes were 0.99 (0.90-1.08) and 0.93 (0.82-1.05), respectively. The multivariable ORs (95% CI) associated with PPAR-γ, COX-2 -765G>C, and COX-2 Ex10+837T>C polymorphisms were 1.02 (0.87-1.20), 0.87 (0.75-1.00), and 0.97 (0.87-1.09), respectively. In this relatively large study, we found no convincing evidence supporting an association between NSAIDs use and ovarian cancer risk. Furthermore, data did not suggest interaction between selected polymorphisms and use of NSAIDs in relation to ovarian cancer risk.
    International Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics 01/2010; 1(4):320-31.
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    ABSTRACT: A functional promoter polymorphism in the progesterone receptor (PR) gene previously has been associated with an increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Whether the relationship between genetic variation in PR and risk of breast cancer is modified by postmenopausal hormone (PMH) use is unknown. Thus, we conducted a case-control study nested within the prospective Nurses' Health Study to evaluate if the risk of breast cancer associated with having the +331 A risk allele was modified by PMH use. Genotyping of this SNP was available for 1,664 postmenopausal breast cancer cases and 2,391 controls. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for breast cancer. Women who were carriers of 1 or both variant A alleles had a 31% increased risk of developing breast cancer (95% CI 1.04-1.65). PMH use significantly modified the association between the +331G/A polymorphism and risk (p-interaction <0.05). Among never users of PMH, women who were variant carriers had a significantly increased risk of breast cancer compared to those with the wild-type genotype (OR = 2.57; 95% CI 1.64-4.02). The +331G/A polymorphism was not associated with breast cancer risk among past (OR = 1.23; 95% CI 0.77-1.97) or current (OR = 1.14; 95% CI 0.84-1.56) PMH users. The data from this large prospective study provide evidence for a 2-fold increased risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer among never users of PMH with the +331G/A SNP. This finding adds to the evidence that the PR has an important etiologic role in breast cancer and should be evaluated in future studies.
    International Journal of Cancer 04/2009; 125(7):1685-91. · 6.20 Impact Factor