Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #191--June 19, 2003

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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. _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." "Gini coefficient as a life table function: Computation from discrete data, decomposition of differences and empirical examples," by Vladimir Shkolnikov, Evgueni Andreev, and Alexander Z. Begun (Vol. 8, Article 11, .pdf format, p. 306-358).

Abstract:

This paper presents a toolkit for measuring and analyzing inter-individual inequality in length of life by Gini coefficient. Gini coefficient and four other inequality measures are defined on the length-of-life distribution. Properties of these measures and their empirical testing on mortality data suggest a possibility for different judgments about the direction of changes in the degree of inequality by using different measures. A new computational procedure for the estimation of Gini coefficient from life tables is developed and tested on about four hundred real life tables. The estimates of Gini coefficient are precise enough even for abridged life tables with the final age group of 85+. New formulae have been developed for the decomposition of differences between Gini coefficients by age and cause of death. A new method for decomposition of age-components into effects of mortality and composition of population by group is developed. Temporal changes in the effects of elimination of causes of death on Gini coefficient are analyzed. Numerous empirical examples show: Lorenz curves for Sweden, Russia and Bangladesh in 1995, proportional changes in Gini coefficient and four other measures of inequality for the USA in 1950-1995 and for Russia in 1959-2000. Further shown are errors of estimates of Gini coefficient when computed from various types of mortality data of France, Japan, Sweden and the USA in 1900-95, decompositions of the USA-UK difference in life expectancies and Gini coefficients by age and cause of death in 1997. As well, effects of elimination of major causes of death in the UK in 1951-96 on Gini coefficient, age-specific effects of mortality and educational composition of the Russian population on changes in life expectancy and Gini coefficient between 1979 and 1989. Illustrated as well are variations in life expectancy and Gini coefficient across 32 countries in 1996-1999 and associated changes in life expectancy and Gini coefficient in Japan, Russia, Spain, the USA, and the UK in 1950-1999. Variations in Gini coefficient, with time and across countries, are driven by historical compression of mortality, but also by varying health and social patterns.

http://www.demographic-research.org

Click on "Enter".
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2. AOA ENEWS: The US Administration on Aging has released the May issue of its eNews newsletter (Vol. 1, No. 4, June 2003, .pdf and Microsoft Word format, 6p.)."This monthly e-newsletter is dedicated to sharing information of importance with the State and Area Agencies on Aging, members of the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, grantees, tribal organizations, and service providers."

http://www.aoa.dhhs.gov/press/enewsletter/enewsletter.asp
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3. KFF REPORTS:

A. "Demand Effects of Recent Changes in Prescription Drug Promotion," by Meredith B. Rosenthal, Ernst R. Berndt, Julie M. Donohue, Arnold M. Epstein, and Richard G. Frank (Kaiser Family Foundation, June 2003, .pdf format, 33p.).

http://www.kff.org/content/2003/6084/

B. "Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health National Survey of the Public's Views on Medicare: (Kaiser Family Foundation, June 2003, News release, Toplines, and Chartpack, .pdf format). "A new national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health examines the public's attitudes and opinions on issues related to the Medicare reform and prescription drug debate. The survey also takes a separate look at the differing views of younger and older Americans on this topic."

http://www.kff.org/content/2003/20030619a/
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4. GAO REPORT: "Elderly Housing: Project Funding and Other Factors Delay Assistance to Needy Households" (US General Accounting Office GAO-03-512, May 2003, .pdf format, 72p.).

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03512.pdf

Note: This is a temporary address. GAO reports are always available at:

http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/aces/aces160.shtml
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5. CBO REPORT: "Acquiring Financial Assets to Fund Future Entitlements" (US Congressional Budget Office Long Range Fiscal Policy Brief, Jun. 16, 2003, HTML, WordPerfect and .pdf format, 3p.).

http://www.cbo.gov/showdoc.cfm?index=4324&sequence=0&from=7
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6. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASE: "363,000 Dollars To Give Canberra's Carers A Break" (Jun. 18, 2003).

http://www.health.gov.au/mediarel/yr2003/ka/ka03175.htm
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7. _BMJ_ ARTICLES: This week's _British Medical Journal_ (Vol. 326, No. 7402, Jun. 14, 2003, is a special issue dealing with "The patient". Included are four articles related to aging.

A. "The most pressing problem of our age," by Thomas B.L. Kirkwood (_British Medical Journal_ Ageing, Vol. 326, No. 7402, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1297-1299).

B. "Time to deliver with dignity," by Stan Davison and Ian Philp (_British Medical Journal_ Ageing, Vol. 326, No. 7402, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1300).

C. "Letter from America," by William D Novelli (_British Medical Journal_ Ageing, Vol. 326, No. 7402, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1301).

A., B., and C. can be accessed from:

http://bmj.com/content/vol326/issue7402/#AGEING

D. "You matter to the last moment of your life," by Irene Brignall (_British Medical Journal_ Ageing, Vol. 326, No. 7402, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1335).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7402/1335
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8. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS, EXTRACT:

A. "Noninvasive Detection of Clinically Occult Lymph-Node Metastases in Prostate Cancer," by Mukesh G. Harisinghani, Jelle Barentsz, Peter F. Hahn, Willem M. Deserno, Shahin Tabatabaei, Christine Hulsbergen van de Kaa, Jean de la Rosette, and Ralph Weissleder (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 348, No. 25, Jun. 19, 2003, p. 2491-2499).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/348/25/2491

B. "Leisure Activities and the Risk of Dementia in the Elderly," by Joe Verghese, Richard B. Lipton, Mindy J. Katz, Charles B. Hall, Carol A. Derby, Gail Kuslansky, Anne F. Ambrose, Martin Sliwinski, and Herman Buschke (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 348, No. 25, Jun. 19, 2003, p. 2508-2516).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/348/25/2508

C. "Use It or Lose It--Do Effortful Mental Activities Protect against Dementia?" by Joseph T. Coyle (_New England Journal of Medicine_ Perspectives Extract, Vol. 348, No. 25, Jun. 19, 2003, p. 2489-2490).

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/extract/348/25/2489
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9. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Experience With COSOPT, the Fixed Combination of Timolol and Dorzolamide, Gained in Swiss Ophthalmologists' Offices," by Bojan Pajic (_Current Medical Research and Opinion_, Vol. 19, No. 2, 2003, p. 95-101, via Medscape).

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/452984?mpid=14650
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10. _TIME_ ARTICLE: "Saving Your Nest Egg: Retirement funds suffer if you go on disability. An insurance policy can help," by Sharon Epperson (_Time_, Vol. 161, No. 25, Jun. 23, 2003).

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030623-458772,00.html
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11. US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT ARTICLE: "Age has its rewards: As mortality rates drop and life expectancy grows longer, insurance premiums fall for consumers," by Leonard Wiener (_US News and World Report_, Jun. 23, 2003).

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/030623/biztech/23insure.htm

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II. Working Papers:

12. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "Data Collection Strategies for Studying the Impacts of AIDS on Older Parents: Lessons from Research in Thailand," by John Knodel, Mark VanLandingham, Chanpen Saengtienchai, Wassana Im-em and Jiraporn Kespichayawattana (PSC Research Report 03-357, June 2003, .pdf format, 28p.).

Abstract:

The present report addresses the methodological challenges to collection of data on the situation of parents of adults who become ill and die of HIV/AIDS, describes and evaluates the different strategies adopted in our research on the topic in Thailand, and draws lessons for researchers who might wish to conduct related studies in other settings. The specific challenges we discuss involve the sensitivity of the topic, the extended time frame in which impacts may occur, case definition, obtaining an appropriate sample, the need to develop sensitive instruments, and the protection of confidentiality. We then describe in some detail five data collection strategies we developed during the course of our research in Thailand: interviews with key informants about individual AIDS cases and their families; open-ended interviews with AIDS parents; direct survey interviews with AIDS affected and non-AIDS affected parents; assisted self-administered questionnaires to persons living with HIV/AIDS; and extraction of information from welfare applications related to AIDS. To highlight the relative strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches, we compare them in terms of sample characteristics, selected results, and problems they posed for maintaining confidentiality. We conclude with the major lessons from our experience that we believe can help guide future research on this topic generally.

http://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/pubs/papers/rr03-537.pdf
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13. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH:

A. "The Effects of Private Insurance on Measures of Health: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," by Avi Dor, Joseph Sudano, and David W. Baker (w9774, June 2003, .pdf format, 42p.).

Abstract:

In this paper we investigate whether the presence of private insurance leads to improved health status. Using the Health and Retirement study we focus on adults in late middle age who are nearing entry into Medicare. Estimation addresses endogeneity of the insurance participation decision in health outcome regressions. Two models are tested, an instrumental variables models, and a model with endogenous treatment effects due to Heckman (1978). Insurance participation and health behaviors enter with a lag to allow their effects to dissipate over time. Separate regressions were run for groupings of chronic conditions. We find that the overall impact of insurance on health tends to be significantly downwards biased if no adjustment for endogeneity is made. With corrections there is a four-fold increase in the insurance effect; yielding a 7 percent increase in the overall health measure for the uninsured. Results are consistent across IV and treatment effects models, and for all major groupings of medical conditions. Thus, the effect of private insurance on health may be larger than previously estimated. As for policy, expanding coverage to the uninsured should result in substantial health improvement. By conjecture, this is likely to reduce the need for health care when individuals retire and enter Medicare, potentially leading to savings.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9774

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address at the bottom of the page for full text.

B. "Phasing Into Retirement," by Steven G. Allen, Robert L. Clark, and Linda S. Ghent (w9779, June 2003, .pdf format, 30p.).

Abstract:

Employers have been launching phased retirement programs to help workers navigate the transition from work to retirement more effectively. This paper examines the experience of the phased retirement system for tenured faculty in the University of North Carolina system. After phased retirement was introduced, there was a sizable increase in the overall separation rate in the system. A multinomial logit model of the retirement decision as a function of pension incentives, employee performance, demographics, and campus characteristics is developed. The key empirical result is that the odds of entering phased retirement are strongly and inversely related to employee performance, as measured by recent pay increases.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W9779

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address at the bottom of the page for full text.
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14. UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO [CANADA] DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS: "Ceaseless Toil? Health and Labor Supply of the Elderly in Rural China," by Dwayne Benjamin, Loren Brandt, and Jia-Zhueng Fan (WP 03-01, .pdf format, 56p.).

Abstract:

Deborah Davis-Friedmann (1991) described the retirement pattern of the Chinese elderly in the prereform era as ceaseless toil: lacking sufficient means of support, the elderly had to work their entire lives. In this paper we re-cast the metaphor of ceaseless toil in a labor supply model, where we highlight the role of age and deteriorating health. The empirical focus of our paper is (1) Documenting the labor supply patterns of elderly Chinese; and (2) Estimating the extent to which failing health drives retirement. We exploit the panel dimens ion of the 1991-93-97 waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey, confronting a number of econometric issues, especially the possible contamination of age by cohort effects, and the measurement error of health. In the end, it appears that ceaseless toil is also an accurate depiction of elderly Chinese work patterns since economic reform, but failing health only plays a small observable role in explaining declining labor supply over the life-cycle.

http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/ecipa/archive/UT-ECIPA-BENJAMIN-03-01.pdf
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15. THE PENSIONS INSTITUTE [BIRKBECK COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON]:"Performance Evaluation of Public Pension Funds: The Reformed Pension System in Poland," by Dariusz Stanko (Discussion Paper PI-0308, June 2003, .pdf format, 32p.).

Abstract:

The paper is an updated first performance evaluation study of the Polish pension funds operating from 1999. The unconditional performance evaluation models are used. It is shown that pension fund managers did produce additional value due to active management. Therefore, unsatisfactory overall results for the public pension system cannot be attributed to the inefficiency of the investment process. The research presents some facts on pension funds investment behaviour (successful diversification, returns clustering around median manager, positive timing skills).

http://www.bbk.ac.uk/res/pi/wp/wp0308.html

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.
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III. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability):

16. The Gerontologist, Vol. 43, No. 3, June 2003. Note: 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/vol43/issue3/index.shtml?etoc

17. Journals of Gerontology (A): Biological and Medical Sciences (Vols. 58A, Nos. 6, June 2003). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

http://biomed.gerontologyjournals.org/content/vol58/issue6/index.shtml?etoc
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18. 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 Jun. 17, 2003:

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

B. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jun. 17, 2003:

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

C. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Jun. 17, 2003:

http://amedeo.com/medicine/prc.htm

AMADEO Literature Guide:

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

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IV. Funding Opportunities/Awards:

19. NIH:

A. "Centers on the Demography of Aging" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, AG-04-001, Jun. 17, 2003).

http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AG-04-001.html

B. "Basic Research in the Bladder and Lower Urinary Tract" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, PA-03-136, Jun. 9, 2003).

http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-03-136.html
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20. INTER-AMERICAN CONFERENCE OF SOCIAL SECURITY AWARD: Inter-American Award for Research on Social Security, 2003: "The Inter-American Conference for Social Security (CISS), an international organization grouping pensions and health institutions from the Americas, will be awarding for the second year in a row a monetary prize in order to encourage Dissertation research on social security issues. Approved thesis work will be received under either of two categories: (1) undergraduate level (research papers required to graduate with honors at undergraduate level will be taken as equivalent to a Thesis for a degree at undergraduate level), and (2) master and doctorate level. Current and former students who either will be defending their thesis very soon or have already defended in the past 5 years are eligible for this Award." For more information see:

http://www.ciss.org.mx/Premio/Portada%20Premio.htm
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V. Legislation Information Updates:

21. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "5.2 Billion Dollars For Low-Income Senior Housing Not Reaching The Elderly: Why?" a hearing held Jun. 17, 2003.

Hearing testimony:

http://www.senate.gov/%7Eaging/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Detail&HearingID=22

A webcast of the hearing (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, running time: 1 hour and 25 minutes) is also available.

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