Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #152--September 12, 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. Reports and articles:

1. NCHS COMPENDIUM: _Health, United States, 2002, With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans," by P.N. Pastor, D.M. Makuc, C. Reuben, and Xia H. (US National Center for Health Statistics, August 2002, .pdf and Microsoft Excel format, 426p.).

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm
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2. GAO CORRESPONDENCE: "U.S. Postal Service: Accounting for Postretirement Benefits," (US General Accounting Office GAO-02-916R, September 12, 2002, .pdf format, 5p.).

http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-02-916R

Note: This is a temporary addresses. GAO reports can always be found at:

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml

Search on title or report number.
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3. FDA NEWS RELEASE: "FDA to Consolidate Review Responsibilities for New Pharmaceutical Products" (US Food and Drug Administration, Sep. 6, 2002).

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2002/NEW00834.html
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4. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING PRESS RELEASE: "90 More Aged Care Beds For Victoria," (Australian Dept. of Health and Ageing, September 9, 2002).

http://www.health.gov.au/mediarel/yr2002/ka/ka02078.htm
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5. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS:

A. "A Randomized Trial Comparing Radical Prostatectomy with Watchful Waiting in Early Prostate Cancer," by Lars Holmberg, Anna Bill-Axelson, Fred Helgesen, Jaakko O. Salo, Per Folmerz, Michael Hggman, Swen-Olof Andersson, Anders Spngberg, Christer Busch, Steg Nordling, Juni Palmgren, Hans-Olov Adami, Jan-Erik Johansson, Bo Johan Norln, for the Scandinavian Prostatic Cancer Group Study Number 4 (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 347, No. 11, September 12, 2002, .pdf and HTML, p. 781-789).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/347/11/781?query=TOC

B. "Quality of Life after Radical Prostatectomy or Watchful Waiting," by Gunnar Steineck, Fred Helgesen, Jan Adolfsson, Paul W. Dickman, Jan-Erik Johansson, Bo Johan Norln, Lars Holmberg, for the Scandinavian Prostatic Cancer Group Study Number 4 (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 347, No. 11, September 12, 2002, .pdf and HTML, p. 790-796).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/347/11/790?query=TOC
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6. _LANCET_ ARTICLES, COMMENTARY: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content.

A. "Interventional versus conservative treatment for patients with unstable angina or non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction: the British Heart Foundation RITA 3 randomised trial," by A. A. Fox, P. A. Poole-Wilson, R. A. Henderson, T. C. Clayton, D. A. Chamberlain, T. R. D. Shaw, D. J. Wheatley, S. J. Pocock, for the Randomized Intervention Trial of unstable Angina (RITA) investigators (_Lancet_, Vol. 360, No. 9335, September 7, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 743-751). Note: _Lancet_ is providing free access to the full-text of this article.

HTML: http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol360/iss9335/full/llan.360.9335.original_research.22350.1

PDF: http://pdf.thelancet.com/pdfdownload?uid=llan.360.9335.original_research.22350.1&x=x.pdf

B. "Effects of losartan and captopril on mortality and morbidity in high-risk patients after acute myocardial infarction: the OPTIMAAL randomised trial," by Kenneth Dickstein, John Kjekshus, and the OPTIMAAL Steering Committee (_Lancet_, Vol. 360, No. 9335, September 7, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 752-760). Note: _Lancet_ is providing free access to the full-text of this article.

HTML: http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol360/iss9335/full/llan.360.9335.original_research.22351.1

PDF: http://pdf.thelancet.com/pdfdownload?uid=llan.360.9335.original_research.22351.1&x=x.pdf

C. "Non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome: fuel for the invasive strategy," by Lars Wallentin (_Lancet_, Vol. 360, No. 9335, September 7, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 738-739).

HTML: http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol360/iss9335/full/llan.360.9335.editorial_and_review.22376.1

PDF: http://pdf.thelancet.com/pdfdownload?uid=llan.360.9335.editorial_and_review.22376.1&x=x.pdf
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7. _JAMA_, LETTERS: "State Mandates for Preventive Health Services," by Maris A. Bondi and David Atkins (_Journal of American Medical Association_, Vol. 288, No. 10, September 11, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1233).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/current/ffull/jlt0911-3.html
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8. _DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH_ --ARTICLE: Note: _DR_ is "a free, expedited, peer-reviewed journal of the population sciences published by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research." "A multilevel event history analysis of the effects of grandmothers on child mortality in a historical German population Krummhrn, Ostfriesland, 1720-1874," by Jan Beise and Eckardt Voland (Vol. 7, Article 13, September 12, 2002, .pdf format, 32p.).

Abstract

We analyzed data from the historic population of the Krummhrn (Ostfriesland, Germany, 1720-1874) to determine the effects of grandparents in general and grandmothers in particular on child mortality. Multilevel event-history models were used to test how the survival of grandparents in general influenced the survival of the children. Random effects were included in some models in order to take the potentially influential effect of unobserved heterogeneity into account. It could be shown that while maternal grandmothers indeed improved the childs survival, paternal grandmothers worsened it. Both grandfathers had no effect. These findings are not only in accordance with the assumptions of the "grandmother hypothesis" but also may be interpreted as hints for differential grandparental investment strategies.

http://www.demographic-research.org

Click on "Enter".
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9. _NATURE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Oxidative demethylation by Escherichia coli AlkB directly reverts DNA base damage," by Sarah C. Trewick, Timothy F. Henshaw, Robert P. Hausinger, Tomas Lindahl, and Barbara Sedgwick (_Nature_, Vol. 419, No. 6903, September 12, 2002, .pdf and HTML, p. 174-178).

http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v419/n6903/abs/nature00908_fs.html
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10. CENTER FOR STUDYING HEALTH SYSTEM CHANGES ISSUE BRIEF: "Growing Physician Access Problems Complicate Medicare Payment Debate," by Sally Trude and Paul B. Ginsburg (Center Issue Brief No. 55, September 2002, .pdf and HTML format, 4p.).

To access the .pdf and HTML of the report, go to:

http://www.hschange.org/CONTENT/466/

For more information about the Center go to:

http://www.hschange.org/index.cgi?file=about
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11. _MEDSCAPE_ ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

"The Choice of Antihypertensive Drugs in Patients With Erectile Dysfunction," by Masood A. Khan, Robert J. Morgan, and Dimitri P. Mikhailidis (_Current Medical Research and Opinion_ via Medscape, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2002, p. 103-107).

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/439675
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II. Working Papers:

12. NBER:

A. "The Impact of Income on Mortality: Evidence from the Social Security Notch," by Stephen E. Snyder and William N. Evans (National Bureau of Economic Research w9197, September 2002, .pdf format, 53p.).

Abstract:

There is widespread and longstanding agreement that life expectancy and income are positively correlated. However, it has proven much more difficult to establish a causal relationship since income and health are jointly determined. We use a major change in the Social Security law as exogenous variation in income to examine the impact of income on mortality in an elderly population. The legislation created a notch' in Social Security benefits based upon date of birth; those born before January 1, 1917 generally receive higher benefits than those born afterwards. We compare mortality rates after age 65 for males born in the second half of 1916 and the first half of 1917. Data from restricted-use versions of the National Mortality Detail File combined with Census data allows us to count all deaths among elderly Americans between 1979 and 1993. We find that the higher income group has a statistically significantly higher mortality rate, contradicting the previous literature. We also find that the younger cohort responded to lower incomes by increasing post-retirement work effort. These results suggest that moderate employment has beneficial health effects for the elderly.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9197

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

B. "Understanding Individual Account Guarantees," by Marie-Eve Lachance and Olivia S. Mitchell (National Bureau of Economic Research w9195, September 2002, .pdf format, 36p.).

Abstract:

Demographic aging renders workers vulnerable to the inherent uncertainty of unfunded social security systems. This realization has set off a global wave of social security reforms, and numerous countries have now set up Individual Accounts (IA) plans in response. Strengths of IAs are that participants gain ownership in their accounts, and they also may diversify their pension investments; additionally, they produce a capitalized, funded system that enhances old-age economic security. While IAs reduce the risk participants face due to unfunded social security systems, participants holding capital market investments in IAs are exposed to fluctuations in the value of their pension assets. Concern over market volatility has prompted some to emphasize the need for guarantees' of pension accumulations. This paper offers a way to think about guarantees in the context of a social security reform that includes Individual Accounts. When a pension guarantee has economic value to participants, it will have economic costs. We illustrate how these costs can be important and vary significantly with time horizon, investment mix, and guarantee design. Our findings indicate that plan designers and budget analysts would do well to recognize such costs and identify how they can be financed.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9195

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

C. "The Social Security Early Entitlement Age in a Structureal Model of Retirement and Wealth," by Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier (National Bureau of Economic Research w9183, September 2002, .pdf format, 47p.).

Abstract:

This paper specifies and estimates a structural life cycle model of retirement and wealth that explains the peaks in retirement both at ages 62 and at 65. Our estimates suggest that leisure and time reference are widely distributed among the population, with a bimodal distribution of time preference. Discount rates are either very low or very high. Those with high discount rates find the actuarial adjustments in Social Security benefits, which use a 3 percent real interest rate, to be inadequate. Once they reach age 62, the benefit accrual profile declines with age. This is the major explanation for the spike in retirement activity at 62. Liquidity constraints from inability to borrow on Social Security and pension benefits add to this effect. Simulations with the model suggest that raising the Social Security early entitlement age from age 62 to 64 will shift about three fifths of the bunching of retirements at age 62 to age 64. The bunching amounts to about 8 percent of the population, so raising the Social Security early age of entitlement will cause about 5 percent of the population to delay their retirement, implying a substantial effect on the Social Security system and its finances.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9183

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

D. "Investor Behavior and the Purchase of Company Stock in 401(k) Plans - The Importance of Plan Design," by Nellie Liang and Scott Weisbenner (National Bureau of Economic Research w9131, August 2002, .pdf format, 64p.).

Abstract:

Using panel data for nearly 1,000 companies during 1991 to 2000, this paper documents that the average share of participant's discretionary 401(k) contributions in company stock was almost 20 percent, and then relates this share to plan design features and firm financial characteristics. We find that the number of investment alternatives offered, n, and whether the company requires some of the match to be in company stock are key factors of the share of total contributions in company stock. We cannot reject the hypothesis that participants invest 1/n of their contributions in company stock. In addition, participants do not offset an employer match in company stock with a smaller share of their own contributions to company stock, contrary to efficient diversification. Workers also appear to view other plan restrictions as providing cues about the desirability of purchasing company stock. Thus, plan design is very important in determining the share of 401(k) assets in company stock.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9131

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

D. "The Effects of Subjective Survival on Retirement and Social Security Claiming," by Michael D. Hurd, James P. Smith, and Julie M. Zissimopoulos (National Bureau of Economic Research w9140, September 2002, .pdf format, 36p.).

Abstract:

According to the life-cycle model, mortality risk will influence both retirement and the desire to annuitize wealth. We estimate the effect of subjective survival probabilities on retirement and on the claiming of Social Security benefits because delayed claiming is equivalent to the purchase of additional Social Security annuities. We find that those with very low subjective probabilities of survival retire earlier and claim earlier than those with higher subjective probabilities, but the effects are not large. The great majority of workers claim as soon as they are eligible.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9140

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

E. "Expected Bequests and Their Distribution," by Michael Hurd and James P. Smith (National Bureau of Economic Research w9142, September 2002, .pdf format, 37p.).

Abstract:

Based on a sample of actual bequests that is population-representative and on the subjective probability of bequests, we estimate the distribution of bequests that the older population will make. We find that the distribution is highly skewed, so that the typical baby-boom person will receive a very modest inheritance. This is partly due to the skewed distribution of wealth and partly due to the tendency of the wealthy to have fewer children. But it is also due to anticipated dissaving: we estimate that households in the age band 70-74 will bequeath just 39% of their wealth, consuming the rest before they die.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9142

F. "The Welfare Implications of Increasing Disability Insurance Benefit Generosity," by John Bound, Julie Berry Cullen, Austin Nichols, and Lucie Schmidt (National Bureau of Economic Research w9155, September 2002, .pdf format, 73p.).

Abstract:

The focus on efficiency costs in the empirical literature on Disability Insurance (DI) provides a misleading view of the adequacy of payment levels. In order to evaluate whether workers are over- or under-insured through the social insurance program, we develop a framework that allows us to simulate the benefits as well as the costs associated with marginal changes in payment generosity from a representative cross-sectional sample of the population. Under the assumption that individuals are reasonably risk averse, our simulations suggest the typical worker would value increased benefits somewhat above the average costs of providing them. However, we find that benefit increases tend to lower average utility when we average across all individuals in our sample, particularly at high levels of risk aversion. This counterintuitive finding arises because some lower income DI-insured workers face replacement rates that are near or above one. For such individuals, a benefit increase would represent transfers from an even lower income state of the world in which they are not on DI to one in which they are, a transfer that would not be beneficial even if there were no behavioral distortions associated with the provision of DI benefits.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9155

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

13. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 156, No. 6, September 16, 2002). Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available at the site. Check your organization's library.

http://aje.oupjournals.org/content/vol156/issue6/index.shtml
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14. Experimental Aging Research, (Vol. 28, No. 4, October 2002). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.catchword.co.uk/titles/tandf/0361073X/v28n4/contp1-1.htm
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15. 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.

Demography (Vol. 39, No. 3, 2002). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and this issue.

Journal of Gerontological Social Work (Vol. 36, No. 3/4, 2001).
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16. 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. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of September 10, 2002:

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

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of September 10, 2002:

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

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of September 10, 2002:

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

AMADEO Literature Guide:

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

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IV. Funding Opportunities:

17. NIH NIA: "Long-Term Care Recipients: Quality of Life and Quality of Care Research," (US National Intitutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with several other agencies, PA-02-162, September 4, 2002).

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-162.html
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18. AMERICAN GERIATRIC SOCIETY: The American Geriatric Society is now accepting applications for the "2003 Dennis W. Jahnigen Career Development Scholars Awards." The deadline for applications is December 3, 2002. "The Jahnigen Scholars program offers two-year career development awards to support young faculty in the specialties of anesthesiology, emergency medicine, general surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, thoracic surgery, and urology. The award is intended to allow individuals to initiate and sustain a career in research and education in the geriatrics aspects of their discipline." For more information about the Awards, including requests for application materials, go to:

http://www.americangeriatrics.org/hartford/scholars_award.shtml
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V. Conferences:

19. AHRQ: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality will hold a one day conference entitled "How to Access and Analyze Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)". The conference will be held October 16, 2002 in Austin, Texas. For information about the conference, including registration information, go to:

http://www.meps.ahrq.gov/workshop/MEPSWorkshop_UT.htm
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20. ACADEMY FOR HEALTH SERVICES RESEARCH AND HEALTH POLICY/AHRQ: "The Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy is pleased to offer the fifth in a series of fall Seminars in Health Services Research Methods." Seminars will be held in Washington, DC, November 4-6, 2002. For more information, including an agenda and registration information, go to:

http://www.academyhealth.org/seminars/fall2002/

Thanks,

Charlie

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Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Rm. 4470A Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400
Email: fiss@ssc.wisc.edu

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