American Association of Retired Persons

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American Association of Retired Persons

Washington, DC, United States
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News Article | May 11, 2017

The nation’s tax lobbying industry, already the second-largest source of arm-twisting activity on Capitol Hill, could see its biggest payday in more than three decades if President Donald Trump’s plan to slash corporate taxes is taken seriously by lawmakers. The centerpiece of the Trump plan, which was released in April, would slash corporate income tax rates to 15% from the current maximum of 35%. The White House complains that the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. The Treasury Department, however, found that the typical U.S. corporation only paid a 22% effective tax rate between 2007 and 2011. Even so, there’s a staggering amount of money at stake. A report by the Washington-based nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that the Trump plan could reduce tax receipts by $9.5 trillion during the next decade. Although his plan calls for the corporate tax rate to be cut by more than half, Trump has also pledged to eliminate a number of deductions used by businesses to reduce taxes. The president’s vow to “drain the swamp” by curbing the influence of Washington lobbyists will be tested during any attempt to overhaul the corporate tax structure for the first time since 1986. Multinational corporations and interest groups have spent $14.4 billion during the last decade to influence lawmakers and officials, according to a MapLight analysis of federal lobbying records. So far, Trump has shown little interest in ridding Washington of the influence of lobbyists. And corporations aren’t likely to slow their lobbying, given the potential profits. A study by Kansas and Virginia researchers found that corporations that hired lobbyists to influence a 2004 tax bill reaped a 22,000% rate of return on their investment. In other words, corporations made $220 for every $1 spent on lobbyists. About 4,000 registered lobbyists work on tax issues in the nation’s capital, but spending is highly concentrated among large multinational conglomerates and trade organizations. Fifteen companies and organizations, ranging from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the American Association of Retired Persons, have spent more than $2.7 billion while lobbying on tax issues since 2008, according to the MapLight analysis. The lobbying activity has coincided with a continuing slide in the percentage of federal revenues collected from corporate income taxes. During the 1950s, corporate taxes made up 28% of federal revenue. By 2015, the corporate share had fallen to roughly 11%. Individual income tax receipts have remained relatively stable, accounting for almost half of federal receipts. Deductions benefitting specific industries–and in some cases, specific companies–have helped push down corporate tax collections. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reported in March that 100 of 258 biggest U.S. companies paid no tax during at least one year between 2008 and 2015. At least 18 companies, including General Electric and Priceline, incurred either no tax burden or received a net refund during the entire period, according to the institute’s report.

News Article | February 15, 2017

A national meta-analysis led by a UTA researcher shows that single-family property increases only about 2.3 percent when located next to a transit station. According to previous studies, multi-family and commercial property located next to a transit station could see properties increase in value by as much as 18 percent. Shima Hamidi, UTA assistant professor of urban planning in the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs, led the meta-analysis. "The general conclusion of the meta-analysis is varied depending on the type of property that's located next to the transit station," said Hamidi, who also is director of UTA's Institute of Urban Studies. The Institute helps cities, school districts, counties and other entities with planning, surveys and research. "Our findings, combined with earlier meta-analyses, suggest that single family housing may not be the best residential use in areas very close to transit," Hamidi said. "Possibly, increasing zoning entitlements for these properties will increase values by giving homeowners the options of selling their property for more money, or converting their properties to more compatible uses. Current zoning and building codes make these types of property conversions difficult or impossible to accomplish legally in most locations." The meta-analysis gathered information from 114 studies dating back to 1967. The meta-analysis is titled: Value of Transit as Reflected in US Single-Family Home Premiums: A Meta-Analysis and was published in the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board. "Our recommendations include working with the cities before development takes place to put in place favorable zoning codes that would allow for easy and sensible higher density development next to the transit stations," Hamidi said. "Transit stations are more successful when a denser development is used." Hamidi said other recommendations the research team makes to create a better transit station and neighborhood are: better street design standards, parking standards that encourage walking, more relaxed annexation rules and design guidelines that would encourage walking or biking. "For instance, maybe cities could offer density bonuses for developers that employed such projects," Hamidi said. CAPPA Dean Nan Ellin said the study shed light on the most compatible developments around transit stations. "Cities could offer developers of such projects streamlined permitting or fee reductions based on the accessibility transit provides to regional destinations and the amount of traffic the project reduces," Ellin said. The meta-analysis fits in perfectly with the University's Strategic Plan Bold Solutions | Global Impact theme of sustainable urban communities. Hamidi also is a transportation planner and smart-growth advocate and, for the past five years, has been working on several funded projects from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation Research Board, National Institute of Transportation and Communities, American Association of Retired Persons, National Institutes of Health, and Smart Growth America. She has published extensively in the areas of urban sprawl and smart growth, transportation, urban design, walkability, housing affordability, public health, upward mobility as well as urban form and its quality-of-life impacts. The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 "highest research activity" institution. With a projected global enrollment of close to 57,000 in 2016-17, UTA is the largest institution in The University of Texas System. Guided by its Strategic Plan Bold Solutions | Global Impact, UTA fosters interdisciplinary research within four broad themes: health and the human condition, sustainable urban communities, global environmental impact, and data-driven discovery. UTA was cited by U.S. News & World Report as having the second lowest average student debt among U.S. universities. U.S. News & World Report also ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times' 2017 Best for Vets list.

Major J.M.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Doubeni C.A.,University of Massachusetts Medical School | Freedman N.D.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Park Y.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Purpose: Residing in deprived areas may increase risk of mortality beyond that explained by a person's own SES-related factors and lifestyle. The aim of this study was to examine the relation between neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and all-cause, cancer- and cardiovascular disease (CVD)-specific mortality for men and women after accounting for education and other important person-level risk factors. Methods: In the longitudinal NIH-AARP Study, we analyzed data from healthy participants, ages 50-71 years at study baseline (1995-1996). Deaths (n = 33831) were identified through December 2005. Information on census tracts was obtained from the 2000 US Census. Cox models estimated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for quintiles of neighborhood deprivation. Results: Participants in the highest quintile of deprivation had elevated risks for overall mortality (HRmen = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.10, 1.24; HRwomen = 1.13, 95% CI: 1.05, 1.22) and marginally increased risk for cancer deaths (HRmen = 1.09, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.20; HRwomen = 1.09, 95% CI: 0.99, 1.22). CVD mortality associations appeared stronger in men (HR = 1.33, 95% CI: 1.19, 1.49) than women (HR = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.38). There was no evidence of an effect modification by education. Conclusion: Higher neighborhood deprivation was associated with modest increases in all-cause, cancer- and CVD-mortality after accounting for many established risk factors.

Song Y.,Harvard University | Xu Q.,Chinese Institute of Basic Medical Sciences | Xu Q.,National Health Research Institute | Park Y.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | And 3 more authors.
Diabetes Care | Year: 2011

OBJECTIVE - Understanding the relationship between multivitamin use and diabetes risk is important given the wide use of multivitamin supplements among U.S. adults. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We prospectively examined supplemental use of multivitamins and individual vitamins and minerals assessed in 1995-1996 in relation to self-reported diabetes diagnosed after 2000 among 232,007 participants in the National Institutes of Health-American Association of Retired Persons Diet and Health Study. Multivitamin use was assessed by a food-frequency questionnaire at baseline. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs were calculated by logistic regression models, adjusted for potential confounders. In total, 14,130 cases of diabetes diagnosed after 2000 were included in the analysis. RESULTS - Frequent use of any multivitamins was not associated with risk of diabetes after adjustment for potential confounders and uses of individual supplements. Compared with nonusers of any multivitamins, the multivariate ORs among users were 1.07 (95% CI 0.94-1.21) for taking vitamins less than once per week, 0.97 (0.88-1.06) for one to three times per week, 0.92 (0.84-1.00) for four to six times per week, and 1.02 (0.98-1.06) for seven or more times per week (P for trend = 0.64). Significantly lower risk of diabetes was associated with the use of vitamin C or calcium supplements. The multivariate ORs comparing daily users with nonusers were 0.91 (0.86-0.97) for vitamin C supplements and 0.85 (0.80-0.90) for calcium supplements. Use of vitamin E or other individual vitamin and mineral supplements were not associated with diabetes risk. CONCLUSIONS - In this large cohort of U.S. older adults, multivitamin use was not associated with diabetes risk. The findings of lower diabetes risk among frequent users of vitamin C or calcium supplements warrant further evaluations. © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.

Mahabir S.,Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program | Forman M.R.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Dong Y.Q.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Park Y.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | And 2 more authors.
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention | Year: 2010

Background: Using data from a case-control study, we previously reported that low dietary intakes of magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), but not selenium (Se) and calcium (Ca), were associated with increased lung cancer risk. Due to dietary recall bias in case-control studies, our objective was to assess whether these findings hold in a prospective cohort study. Methods: We analyzed data from the NIH-American Association of Retired Persons Diet and Health study of 482,875 subjects (288,257 men and 194,618 women) who were cancer-free and completed a food frequency questionnaire at enrollment between 1995 and 2003. Cox proportional hazards models were computed to estimate the relative risk adjusted for potential confounders. Results: During a mean follow-up of 7 years, 7,052 lung cancer cases were identified. For all subjects, we observed no significant associations between total (diet + supplement) Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Se, and Zn intakes and lung cancer risk. Total Ca intake was protective (P trend < 0.05) for current smokers and subjects with adenocarcinomas. Total Mg intake increased risk (P trend < 0.05) in men and current smokers. Total Fe intake was inversely associated with risk in women (P trend < 0.01). For dietary minerals, Mg increased risk (P trend < 0.05) in all subjects, among men and current smokers. Increased dietary Ca intake reduced risk in women (P trend = 0.05). Dietary Fe decreased risk in all subjects and among women (P trend < 0.05). Mineral intake from supplements did not affect lung cancer risk. Conclusions: Dietary minerals are risk factors for lung cancer. Impact: Dietary mineral consumption may influence lung cancer risk, but the associations differ by type of mineral and population subgroups. ©2010 AACR.

Gao J.,National Health Research Institute | Nalls M.A.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Shi M.,National Health Research Institute | Joubert B.R.,National Health Research Institute | And 5 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2012

Little is known about gene-environment interactions in Parkinson disease (PD). We examined potential interactions of smoking and caffeine intake with 10 genome-wide association studies single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at or near the SNCA, MAPT, LRRK2, and HLA loci among 584 PD patients and 1571 controls. The main effects of these SNPs and environmental exposures were consistent with previous reports. Family history of PD was associated with PD risk (odds ratio = 2.71, 95% confidence interval, 1.97-3.74), which was little affected by further adjustment for these SNPs and environmental exposures. Overall, we did not find significant interactions of either smoking or caffeine intake with these SNPs. However, with a combined smoking and caffeine intake exposure, we found a significant interaction with rs2896905 at SLC2A13, near LRRK2 (p uncorrected = 0.0008). Each A allele was associated with a 35% higher PD risk among never smokers with low caffeine intake, but with a 32% lower risk among smokers with high caffeine intake. This study provides preliminary evidence of a potential gene-environment interaction for PD, which should be investigated in future studies. Published by Elsevier Inc. © 2012.

Trabert B.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Wentzensen N.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Yang H.P.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Sherman M.E.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

Given the strong link between use of unopposed estrogens and development of endometrial cancers, estrogens are usually prescribed with a progestin, particularly for women with intact uteri. Some studies suggest that sequential use of progestins may increase risk; however, the moderating effects of usage patterns or patient characteristics, including body mass index (BMI), are unknown. We evaluated menopausal hormone use and incident endometrial cancer (n = 885) in 68,419 postmenopausal women with intact uteri enrolled in the National Institutes of Health-American Association of Retired Persons Diet and Health study. Participants completed a risk factor questionnaire in 1996-1997 and were followed up through 2006. Hazard rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox regression. Among 19,131 women reporting exclusive estrogen plus progestin use, 176 developed endometrial cancer (RR = 0.88; 95% CI = 0.74-1.06). Long-duration (≥10 years) sequential (<15 days progestin per month) estrogen plus progestin use was positively associated with risk (RR = 1.88; 95% CI = 1.36-2.60], whereas continuous (>25 days progestin per month) estrogen plus progestin use was associated with a decreased risk (RR = 0.64; 95% CI = 0.49-0.83). Increased risk for sequential estrogen plus progestin was seen only among thin-to-normal weight women (BMI < 25 kg/m 2; RR = 2.53). Our findings support that specific categories of estrogen plus progestin use increases endometrial cancer risk, specifically long durations of sequential progestins, whereas decreased endometrial cancer risk was observed for users of short-duration continuous progestins. Risks were highest among thin-to-normal weight women, presumably reflecting their lower endogenous estrogen levels, suggesting that menopausal hormones and obesity increase endometrial cancer through common etiologic pathways. Copyright © 2012 UICC.

Lai G.Y.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Park Y.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Hartge P.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Hollenbeck A.R.,American Association of Retired Persons | Freedman N.D.,U.S. National Cancer Institute
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2013

Context: Epidemiological studies have observed associations between diabetes and a number of different cancers. Yet the association with cancer overall and the interrelationship of diabetes and obesity with cancer have been unclear. Objective, Design, Setting, and Participants: We evaluated the association between self-reported diabetes and cancer incidence in the NIH-AARP (National Institutes of Health-American Association of Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study, a prospective cohort in which 295 276 men and 199 591 women completed a questionnaire in 1995-1996 and were followed up for cancer through 2006. Main Outcome Measures: Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for cancer incidence, overall and by type, were estimated from multivariate Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Diabetes was positively associated with total incident cancer in women (1.07, 95% CI 1.02-1.12) but inversely in men (0.96, 95% CI 0.93-0.98). However, diabetes was inversely associated with prostate cancer (HR 0.74, 95% CI 0.70-0.78), which constituted 42% of cancers in men. After excluding prostate cancer, diabetes was also positively associated with cancer in men (HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.04-1.14). By site, diabetes was positively associated with anal, bladder, colon, kidney, liver, pancreatic, rectal, and stomach cancers and in women with endometrial cancer. We also evaluated the joint effect of obesity and diabetes and observed that diabetes conferred additional risk, beyond that of overweight or obesity, for cancer overall, excluding prostate, and for certain sites including the bladder, colon, endometrium, kidney, liver, pancreas, rectum, and stomach. Conclusion: Our results suggest an etiological role for diabetes in a number of cancers, independent of obesity, and that preventing diabetes may contribute to reduced cancer risk. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society.

Tasevska N.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Jiao L.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Cross A.J.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Kipnis V.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2012

Prospective epidemiologic data on the effects of different types of dietary sugars on cancer incidence have been limited. In this report, we investigated the association of total sugars, sucrose, fructose, added sugars, added sucrose and added fructose in the diet with risk of 24 malignancies. Participants (n = 435,674) aged 50-71 years from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study were followed for 7.2 years. The intake of individual sugars was assessed using a 124-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) in multivariable models adjusted for confounding factors pertinent to individual cancers. We identified 29,099 cancer cases in men and 13,355 cases in women. In gender-combined analyses, added sugars were positively associated with risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma (HR Q5 vs. Q1: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.07-2.45; p trend = 0.01), added fructose was associated with risk of small intestine cancer (HR Q5 vs. Q1: 2.20, 95% CI: 1.16-4.16; p trend = 0.009) and all investigated sugars were associated with increased risk of pleural cancer. In women, all investigated sugars were inversely associated with ovarian cancer. We found no association between dietary sugars and risk of colorectal or any other major cancer. Measurement error in FFQ-reported dietary sugars may have limited our ability to obtain more conclusive findings. Statistically significant associations observed for the rare cancers are of interest and warrant further investigation. Copyright © 2011 UICC.

Imagine if, upon paying for your groceries, you received not just your cash receipt but also a receipt detailing your groceries’ nutritional information. That’s the concept behind an innovation that won first place at the 15th annual IDEAS Global Challenge, held Saturday in the MIT Media Lab. ValueMe, co-founded by two MIT Sloan School of Management students, earned the $15,000 award — and high praise from judges — for inventing an app that gives food shoppers “nutrition receipts” for their purchased groceries, and tells them if the foods in their cart are lacking in essential nutrients. In all, 12 teams split $97,500 in cash prizes at the IDEAS innovation showcase and awards ceremony, organized by MIT's Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center. The other winners were: Muhit ($5,000), dot Learn ($5,000), Bamboo Bicycles Beijing ($5,000), SmartSocket ($7,500), Flare ($7,500), PrepHub Nepal ($7,500), Ricult ($7,500), Torr Energy ($7,500), Roots Studio ($10,000), Astraeus Technologies ($10,000), and Tactile ($10,000). IDEAS is an annual competition that provides MIT’s social entrepreneurs with mentorship and resources to launch social enterprises. This year, 46 teams competed in nine categories: water and sanitation, education and training, agriculture and food, health and medical, emergency and disaster relief, housing and transportation, energy and environment, mobile devices and communication, and finance and entrepreneurship. ValueMe team member Malena Gonzalez, a student in MIT’s Executive MBA Program, said the team’s app is powered by an algorithm that leverages data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database. In so doing, the app can analyze someone’s groceries for missing vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbohydrates needed to fulfill a preset diet. By partnering with the American Association of Retired Persons, ValueMe also plans to incentivize buyers with discounts for buying healthier foods. The team aims to partner with supermarkets to integrate their system at registers. At check-out, a person will swipe their insurance card, and the system will recognize the person and analyze all food items purchased for nutritional value. This information will be sent to the buyer’s app. “When they’re printing your receipt, [you] will receive a nutrition snapshot of everything that you purchased and it will analyze if there are components or nutrients that are missing in your diet,” Gonzalez said. “This provides, at the point of sale, education for consumers on how healthy they’re eating.” In presenting the award to ValueMe, Ben Sanchez, co-founder of the Latin American Science Education Network, which won a $7,500 prize at last year’s IDEAS competition, said judges called the concept “more innovative than anything they have seen in the history of the competition.” One judge noted that ValueMe “could trigger a systematic change in the food industry,” Sanchez said. ValueMe will put the IDEAS prize money toward a pilot program with a grocery store in Philadelphia, according to Gonzalez. The other ValueMe team member is executive MBA student Tomasz Grzegorczyk, a former researcher in MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics, who has a background in data analytics. In its 15-year history, IDEAS has awarded more than $750,000 to 128 teams, more than half of which are still active in 44 countries as for-profit and nonprofit firms. Winners have gone on to secure more than $40 million in additional funding. This year, 64 teams submitted innovations for IDEAS. Participating teams received guidance from IDEAS mentors and participated in workshops, dinners, and other events to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs. All 46 finalist teams displayed their innovations to judges and around 150 attendees during a showcase before the awards ceremony. Each team had a large monitor for presentations about their innovations, and some displayed working prototypes. Undergraduate team SmartSocket showed off some prosthetic limbs created with locally sourced materials to make them more affordable and comfortable for people in developing countries. One of their leg prostheses was made from plastic and lined on the inside with mushrooms, which keep the device springy and conform with a person’s leg. An antimold component keeps the mushrooms fresh for 30 days, and then they can be easily replaced. SmartSocket team member Krithika Swaminathan, a junior studying mechanical engineering, said IDEAS was “a great way to kickstart prototyping … and finally [invent] something that will actually be a product.” Keely Swan, administrator for the the IDEAS Global Challenge in MIT’s Public Service Center, said the showcase and awards ceremony together represent good opportunities for student teams to gather more feedback from judges, peers, and others. “That feedback will help them develop as they continue forward,” Swan said. Many award presenters were previous IDEAS winners, who praised the competition for kickstarting their commercial ventures. Among those was Scot Frank, co-founder of One Earth Designs, a 2008 IDEAS winner that develops solar cookers for developing countries. The competition, Frank said, provided his team with sage startup advice and offered “a stamp of approval” from MIT for commercializing the invention. The company’s solar cookers are now being sold in 30 countries. “It really goes to show what the IDEAS competition can do for the ideas that are here in this room and here as part of the MIT community,” Frank said. In her welcoming remarks, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart praised the competing students’ ingenuity. “You’ve recognized some of humanity’s most pressing problems and you’ve gotten to work solving them,” Barnhart said. “Thank you for embodying the most important MIT tradition of all: using your knowledge to make the world better for this generation and the ones that follow.”

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