Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #120--January 31, 2002

CAAR (Current Awareness in Aging Research) is a weekly email report produced by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that helps researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:

http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/cdha/caar.html

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I. Data:

1. NLTCS: The Center for Demographic Studies at Duke University has announced the Beta 3 release of the National Long Term Care Survey, as well as release of the 1999 Analytic Data File. For more information, see:

http://cds.duke.edu/

and follow the relevant links.
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2. MEPS UPDATE: "Update of MEPS HC-026D: 1998 Hospital Inpatient Stays File" (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Jan. 25, 2002, compressed .zip and self-decompressing .exe SAS transport format). "Update Note for HC-026D: The SAS Transport version of File 1 was updated on 01/24/02. The new version reflects a minor change to the variable WTDPER98 which had been rounded to 6 decimal places on the previous version and is unrounded on the current version. The average difference in value for this variable between these 2 files is .000000002 with the maximum difference being .0000005. This rounding issue did not affect the ASCII version of this file."

http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/Data_Pub/updates/hc_udnote26d.htm

MEPS:

http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/

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II. Reports and articles:

3. DHHS OIG OEI REPORT: "Common Working File Edits for Unauthorized Laboratory Tests" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-05-00-00050, January 2002, .pdf format, 11p.).

http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-05-00-00050.pdf

Executive summary (.pdf format, 4p.).

http://oig.hhs.gov/oei/summaries/oei-05-00-00050s.pdf
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4. DHHS PRESS RELEASE: "HHS Approves Illinois Plan to Expand Medicaid Prescription Drug Coverage to Low-income Seniors: Administration's 'Pharmacy Plus' Project To Help Other States Create Similar Programs," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Jan. 28, 2002).

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2002pres/20020128a.html
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5. ILCUSA POLICY REPORT: "ILC Policy Report: Longevity News and Trends in the U.S. and Abroad" (International Longevity Center USA, January 2002, .pdf format, 5p.).

http://www.ilcusa.org/_lib/pdf/ilc200201.pdf

ILCUSA:

http://www.ilcusa.org/
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6. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF NURSING RESEARCH NEWS RELEASE: "Urinary Incontinence of Rural Older Women Dramatically Improved by Behavioral Techniques" (US National Institute of Nursing Research, Jan. 31, 2002, .pdf format, 2p.).

http://www.nih.gov/ninr/news-info/incontinence.pdf

National Institute of Nursing Research:

http://www.nih.gov/ninr/index.html
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7. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASES:

A. "Announcement of Successful Applicants for the 2001 Aged Care Approvals Round" (Australian Department of Health and Ageing, Jan. 30, 2002).

http://www.health.gov.au/mediarel/yr2002/ka/ka02003k.htm

B. "Rural and regional Australia to benefit from new Aged Care places" (Australian Department of Health and Ageing, Jan. 30, 2002).

http://www.health.gov.au/mediarel/yr2002/ka/ka02003j.htm

C. "Veterans to benefit from new allocation of Aged Care places" (Australian Department of Health and Ageing, Jan. 30, 2002).

http://www.health.gov.au/mediarel/yr2002/ka/ka02003i.htm
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8. MINNESOTA BOARD ON AGING REPORT: "Survey of Older Minnesotans" (Minnesota Board on Aging, January 2002, HTML or .pdf format). "Minnesota is a land of myths. From the tall tales of Paul Bunyan to last summer's fishing stories, myths are interwoven in the fabric of our lives. Most myths are harmless stories, while others are simply wrong. That's why the Minnesota Board on Aging conducts its Survey of Older Minnesotans. The Board examines some of the commonly held myths of aging, such as "Old people have tons of money," "Old people are sick," and "Older people need help, so they have to go to nursing homes," and gathers concrete data to draw a more accurate picture of who our older residents [are]." Note: Much of the information at this site can be gathered by clicking on the links on the left side of the page.

http://www.mnaging.org/som2001/index.html
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9. _JAMA_ ARTICLE, EDITORIAL:

A. "Excessive Daytime Sleepiness and Sudden-Onset Sleep in Parkinson Disease: A Survey by the Canadian Movement Disorders Group," by Douglas E. Hobson, Anthony E. Lang, W.R. Wayne Martin, Ajmal Razmy, Jean Rivest, and Jonathan Fleming (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 287, No. 4, Jan. 23/30, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, p. 455-463).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n4/rfull/joc10367.html

B. "Daytime Sleepiness, Agonist Therapy, and Driving in Parkinson Disease," by Cynthia L. Comella (_Journal of the American Medical Association_ Editorial, Vol. 287, No. 4, Jan. 23/30, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, p. 509-511).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v287n4/ffull/jed10089.html
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10. _BMJ_ ARTICLE: "Time trends in survival and readmission following coronary artery bypass grafting in Scotland, 1981-96: retrospective observational study," by J.P. Pell, K. MacIntyre, D. Walsh, S. Capewell, J.J.V. McMurray, J.W.T. Chalmers, J.H. Boyd, A.R. Finlayson, S. Stewart, and A.D. Redpath (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 324, No. 7331, Jan. 26, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, p. 201-202). Note: Click on "extra" on the right side of the page for more data relevant to the article.

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/324/7331/201
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11. _LANCET_ ARTICLE, FEATURE: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content.

A. "Alcohol consumption and risk of dementia: the Rotterdam Study," by Annemieke Ruitenberg, John C. van Swieten, Jacqueline C.M. Witteman, Kala M. Mehta, Cornelia M. van Duijn, Albert Hofman, and Monique M.B. Breteler (_Lancet_, Vol. 359, No. 9303, Jan. 26, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, p. 281-286).

HTML:

http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol359/iss9303/full/llan.359.9303.original_research.19180.1

.pdf:

http://pdf.thelancet.com/pdfdownload?uid=llan.359.9303.original_research.19180.1&x=x.pdf

B. "Targeted treatment for incontinence beckons," by Lisa Melton (_Lancet_, Vol. 359, No. 9303, Jan. 26, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, p. 326).

HTML:

http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol359/iss9303/full/llan.359.9303.news.19286.1

.pdf:

http://pdf.thelancet.com/pdfdownload?uid=llan.359.9303.news.19286.1&x=x.pdf
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12. AARP PERIODICAL: Selected articles from the March-April 2002 edition of _My Generation_ are available from the AARP website.

http://www.mygeneration.org/contents.html
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13. _NEWSWEEK_ ARTICLE: "In A Peaceful Frame Of Mind: Patients demanding control over their medical care may not relinquish it in their final days," by Anna Quindlen (_Newsweek_, Feb. 4, 2002).

http://www.msnbc.com/news/694757.asp

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III. Working Papers:

14. RAND HEALTH: "The Costs of a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: A Comparison of Alternatives," by Dana P. Goldman, Geoffrey F. Joyce, and Jesse D. Malkin (Rand Corporation Health, MR-1529.0-NIA, January 2002, HTML and .pdf format, 23p.).

Summary:

Medicare is the only large health insurance carrier that does not include an outpatient prescription drug benefit. This exclusion is particularly important because the elderly are among the biggest consumers of pharmaceuticals. The principal concern in adding such a benefit to Medicare is the cost of providing access to expensive medications for a rapidly growing elderly population. This study reports the results of a model predicting drug expenses for Medicare beneficiaries.

http://www.rand.org/publications/MR/MR1529.0/
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15. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "AIDS and Older Persons: An International Perspective," by John Knodel, Susan Watkins, and John VanLandingham (PSC Research Report 02-495, January 2002, .pdf format, 17p.).

Abstract:

The impact of the worldwide AIDS epidemic on persons age 50 and over has received relatively little consideration except in the United States where interest has focused almost exclusively on older persons living with AIDS or at risk of infection. The place of older persons in the epidemic deserves international attention because their lives are being significantly affected in a variety of ways. Since most of the epidemic occurs in the developing regions, especially Africa and Asia, efforts to understand and deal with the concerns of older persons in relation to AIDS in those settings needs expansion. Although older persons represent a non-negligible minority of the reported global caseload, a far higher proportion are affected through the illness and death of their adult children and younger generation relatives who contract AIDS. From a global perspective, a broader concern encompassing those who are affected through the infections of others rather than a narrow concern with those who are at risk or infected themselves is called for if the needs of the large majority of older persons adversely impacted by the epidemic is to be addressed.

http://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/pubs/papers/rr02-495.pdf
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16. NBER:

A. "Guaranteeing Defined Contribution Pensions: The Option to Buy-Back a Defined Benefit Promise," by Marie-Eve Lachance, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Kent Smetters (National Bureau of Economic Research W8731, January 2002).

Abstract:

After a long commitment to defined benefit (DB) pension plans in the US public sector, many state legislatures have introduced defined contribution (DC) plans for their public employees. In this process, investment risk which was previously borne by state DB plans has now devolved to employees covered by the new DC plans. In light of this trend, some states have proposed a guarantee mechanism to help protect DC plan participants. One such guarantee takes the form of an option to buy back the DB benefit. This paper develops a theoretical framework to analyze the option design and how employee characteristics influence the option's cost. We illustrate the potential magnitude of these costs with a buy-back option embedded in a recent reform enacted by the state of Florida for its public employee plan.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8731

Note: This paper is not yet available online. Check back at the above site. NBER claims the paper will be electronically available shortly.

B. "Controlling the Cost of Minimum Benefit Guarantees in Public Pension Conversions," by Kent Smetters (National Bureau of Economic Research W8732, January 2002, .pdf format 39p.).

Abstract:

Unfunded defined-benefit (DB) public pension plans throughout the world are being converted to funded defined-contribution (DC) plans that typically contain a minimum benefit guarantee (DC-MB). Risk management techniques must be used to control the cost of these guarantees. The most common technique is to "over-fund" the benefit: the contribution rate is set high enough so that the expected benefit is much larger than the guaranteed minimum benefit. This paper shows that while over-funding is very effective in controlling guarantee costs in traditional DB plans, it is highly ineffective for DC-MB plans. This result holds even at very large contribution rates and when risky investments are restricted to a very diversified index like the S&P 500. Calculations show that the true risk-adjusted value of unfunded guarantees in a realistic DC-MB plan equals 40 to 90 percent (or more) of the value of the unfunded liability in the DB benefit being replaced, depending on design. This result is true even when the contribution rate in the DC-MB plan is chosen to produce an expected benefit five times larger than the DB benefit. This paper considers two approaches to controlling guarantee costs. The first approach borrows from the recent catastrophic insurance literature. A"standardized" portfolio is guaranteed, requiring agents to accept "basis risk" if they chose a non-standard portfolio. However, for large conversions from DB to DC-MB plans, in which there is little or no DB benefit remaining, the government must still worry about any "implicit guarantee" extending beyond the standardized portfolio, thereby enticing agents to accept a lot of basis risk (a "Samaritan's Dilemma"). The second method, therefore, uses a more brute force approach: private portfolio returns in the good states of the world are taxed while returns in the bad states are subsidized. Both options are very effective at controlling guarantee costs, and they can be used separately or together. Calculations demonstrate that all of the unfunded liabilities associated with modern pay-as-you-go public pension programs can be eliminated under both approaches even at a modest contribution rate.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8732

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address for full text.

C. "Retirement Consumption: Insights from a Survey," by John Ameriks, Andrew Caplin, and John Leahy (National Bureau of Economic Research W8735, January 2002, .pdf format 34p.).

Abstract:

Prior research has established that consumption falls significantly at retirement. What is not known is the extent to which this fall is anticipated during the working years. Do working households expect such a large fall in consumption upon retirement, or are they taken by surprise? Using data from a new survey, we show that many working households do expect a considerable fall in consumption when they retire. In fact, those who are already retired report significantly smaller falls in consumption than are expected by those who are still working. We show that participation in the stock market plays a dominant role in explaining the gap between expectations and outcomes, indicating that much of the gap is a result of unexpected stock market appreciation. The survey produces new insights into the high level of uncertainty in the period leading up to retirement, and the surprises that may lie in store when households actually retire.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8735

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address for full text.

D. "Mortality Change, the Uncertainty Effect, and Retirement," by Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan and David N. Weil (National Bureau of Economic Research W8742, January 2002, .pdf format 32p.).

Abstract:

We examine the role of changing mortality in explaining the rise of retirement over the course of the 20th century. We construct a model in which individuals make labor/leisure choices over their lifetimes subject to uncertainty about their date of death. In an environment in which mortality is high, an individual who saved up for retirement would face a high risk of dying before he could enjoy his planned leisure. In this case, the optimal plan is for people to work until they die. As mortality falls, however, it becomes optimal to plan, and save for, retirement. We simulate our model using actual changes in the US life table over the last century, and show that this "uncertainty effect" of declining mortality would have more than outweighed the "horizon effect" by which rising life expectancy would have led to later retirement. One of our key results is that continuous changes in mortality can lead to discontinuous changes in retirement behavior.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8742

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address for full text.
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IV. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability):

17. Aging and Mental Health (Vol. 6, No. 1, February 2002).

http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/carfax/13607863.html

Click on "Table of Contents", then "Volume 6, No. 1/February 1, 2002".
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18. American Journal of Sociology (Vol. 107, No. 1, July 2001). Note: Full electronic text (HTML, .pdf, and PostScript format) may be available. Check your organization's library. Note 2: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJS/journal/home.html

Click on "Volume 107, Number 1" for table of contents.
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19. The Gerontologist (Vol. 42, No. 1, February 2002.). Note 1: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available at the site. Check your organization's Library. Note 2: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://gerontologist.gerontologyjournals.org/content/vol42/issue1/index.shtml
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20. Journals of Gerontology (A): Biological and Medical Sciences (Vols. 57A, Nos. 2, February 2002). Note 1: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available at the site. Check your organization's Library. Note 2: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://biomed.gerontologyjournals.org/content/vol57/issue2/index.shtml
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21. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

http://www.ingenta.com/

B. click on "Search Options"
C. Type the Journal Name in the "Publication title" search box and click the radio button "Words in Title"
D. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Clinical Gerontologist (Vol. 23, No. 3/4, 2001).

International Journal of Ageing and Human Development (Vol. 53, No. 3,
2001).

Omega: Journal of Death and Dying (Vol. 43, No. 2, 2001)
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22. AMEDEO MEDICAL LITERATURE: Note: "AMEDEO has been created to serve the needs of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, other members of the health professions, and patients and their friends. They can easily access timely, relevant information within their respective fields... All AMEDEO services are free of charge. This policy was made possible thanks to generous unrestricted educational grants provided by AMGEN, Berlex, Eisai, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Schering AG."

A. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jan. 29, 2002:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/ad.htm

B. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jan. 29, 2002:

http://www.amedeo.com/medicine/pd.htm

AMADEO Literature Guide:

http://www.amedeo.com/index.htm

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V. Funding Opportunities:

23. NIH NIA: "NIA Pilot Research Grant Program (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, PAR-02-049, Jan. 24, 2002). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-02-049.html
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24. NIH: "Dissertation Research Grants for Underrepresented Minorities in the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genetics Research (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, Jan. 22, 2002). For more information see:

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-048.html
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25. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH, BOSTON COLLEGE: "Steven H. Sandell Grant Program." The Center is currently soliciting proposals for a new round of the Sandell grant program. The new deadline for proposals is March 15, 2002. For more information on the program see:

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/csom/executive/crr/sandellguidelines.shtml
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26. NASI SUMMER INTERNSHIPS: "The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) seeks outstanding graduate and upper division undergraduate students to serve as interns on social policy research and policy analysis projects in Washington, D.C. Students studying economics, gerontology, journalism, political science, public policy, social work, actuarial science or related subjects are urged to apply for this 12-week summer semester internship. Deadline for application is Mar. 15, 2002. Student interns have the opportunity to discuss current policy issues and attend Congressional hearings, learn the history of social insurance and health care financing, gain valuable work experience, make professional contacts and network in their area of interest, and work with leading academic experts and officials who are recognized authorities on Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program, disability, long-term care, health care financing, and related public and private programs and issues." For more information, including contact information and application forms see:

http://www.nasi.org/info-url_nocat2708/info-url_nocat_show.htm?doc_id=50069

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VI. Conferences:

27. AOA LISTENING SESSION: A listening session to "provide input to the development of the new regulations for the Older Americans Act," to be held Mar. 1, 2002, in Denver, Colorado. For more information see:

http://www.aoa.dhhs.gov/Oaa/regs/default.htm
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28. FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY: "Pathways to Successful Aging," a conference to be held Apr. 20, 2002 at Boca Raton, Florida. "The purpose of the conference is to engage both professionals and laypersons in an intensive one day learning experience in areas focusing on the older adult. The conference will have former Governor Michael Dukakis delivering the keynote speech, April 20, 2002 at Florida Atlantic University. This keynote speech will be followed by a panel discussion on the theme of the conference from the perspective of different disciplines. In the afternoon, workshops will be held on many different topics, with presenters from the FAU faculty and the various parts of the United States." For more information see:

http://ns1.fau.edu/gerontology/gerontologyconf.html
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VII. Legislation Information Updates:

29. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING PUBLICATION: "Long-Term Care After Olmstead: Aging and Disability Groups Seek Common Ground," a hearing held Sep. 24, 2001 (Senate Hearing 107-179, Senate Serial Publication 107-15, HTML and .pdf format, 90p.).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate22sh107.html

Scroll to or "find in page" "107-179" (without the quotes).

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VIII. Websites of Interest:

30: CENSUS 2000 GATEWAY: The US Census Bureau has released a Census 2000 Gateway website, with links to data highlights, raw data, comparisons, and reports.

http://www.census.gov/main/www/cen2000.html


Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology and Center for
Demography of Health and Aging
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
608-262-9827
jsolock@ssc.wisc.edu