Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #26--March 23, 2000

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/caar-index.htm

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I. Data:

1. HRS/AHEAD DATA ALERT REVISIONS: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study/Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (HRS/AHEAD) website has announced several revisions to data alerts that were originally posted March 7, 2000 (see CAAR #24, Mar. 10, 2000). Revisions were posted March 12, 2000.

http://www.umich.edu/~hrswww/new.html
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2. SEER: The National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program has released new state and county population estimates covering 1969-1997 that supersede the 1969-1996 data. Data (self extracting DOS .exe format) is available in one file or in individual files by state. There are also self extracting files for total US population, state totals, and standard million populations. Data are available by race, sex, and five year age breakdowns. Note that these are flat ASCII files and users will need the population documentation (available in .pdf format) in order to use them.

http://www-seer.ims.nci.nih.gov/USPops/
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3. AOA: 1998 National Ombudsman Reporting System Data Tables. The site includes 23 tables (Microsoft Excel Format), which can be downloaded separately or all in one workbook (.zip compressed or uncompressed). "Note: These tables are expected to be attached (as Appendix A and Appendix B) to the 1998 LTC Ombudsman Program Report when issued.

http://www.aoa.dhhs.gov/ltcombudsman/98nors/default.htm
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4. CENSUS BUREAU: The Census Bureau has released a major update to its International Data Base (IDB) which includes "new demographic estimates and/or projections for all countries." Country tables of possible interest include: Enumerated and Adjusted Census Population, by Age and Sex (004); Number of Deaths by Age and Sex (011); Life Table Values, by Sex (014); Population by Marital Status, Age, and Sex (047); Population by Literacy, Age, and Sex (060); Economically Active Population, by Age and Sex (069); Heads of Households, by Age and Sex (088); and Midyear Population, by Age and Sex (094), among others. For more on what has been updated see:

http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbr0003.html

IDB can be accessed interactively via the web or downloaded as a stand-alone program from:

http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbnew.html

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II. Reports and articles

5. UN REPORT: The United Nations Population Division has released: "Replacement Migration: Is It a Solution to Declining and Ageing Populations?" (March 2000, .pdf format, 140p.). Note: The report is split into several files for chapters, country reports, and Annex tables.

http://www.un.org/esa/population/migration.htm
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6. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE: "Reversal of Antipsychotic Induced Working Memory Deficits by Short-Term Dopamine D1 Receptor Stimulation," by Stacy A. Castner, Graham V. Williams, and Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic (_Science_, Vol. 287, No. 5460, Mar. 17, 2000, p. 2020-2022, HTML and .pdf formats). Note: Your organization may have access to full text of this article. Check your organization library.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/287/5460/2020
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7. _BMJ_ ARTICLES:

A. "Incidence and types of preventable adverse events in elderly patients: population based review of medical records," by Eric J. Thomas and Troyen A. Brennan (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 320, No. 7237, Mar. 18, 2000, p. 741-744, HTML and .pdf formats.)

>From the Abstract:

Objective: To determine the incidence and types of preventable adverse events in elderly patients. Conclusions: Preventable adverse events were more common among elderly patients, probably because of the clinical complexity of their care rather than age based discrimination. Preventable adverse drug events, events related to medical procedures, and falls were especially common in elderly patients and should be targets for efforts to prevent errors.

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/320/7237/741

links to full text HTML and PDF on right side of the page.

B. "Effects of preventive home visits to elderly people living in the community: systematic review," by Jolanda C. M. van Haastregt, Jos P. M. Diederiks, Erik van Rossum, Luc P. de Witte, and Harry F. J. M. Crebolder (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 320, No. 7237, Mar. 18, 2000, p. 754-758, HTML and .pdf formats.)

>From the Abstract:

Objective: To assess the effects of preventive home visits to elderly people living in the community. Conclusions: No clear evidence was found in favour of the effectiveness of preventive home visits to elderly people living in the community. It seems essential that the effectiveness of such visits is improved, but if this cannot be achieved consideration should be given to discontinuing these visits.

http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/320/7237/754

links to full text HTML and PDF on right side of the page.
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8. _JAMA_ ARTICLE: "Correlation Between Elevated Levels of Amyloid b-Peptide in the Brain and Cognitive Decline," by Jan Naslund, Vahram Haroutunian, Richard Mohs, Kenneth L. Davis, Peter Davies, Paul Greengard, and Joseph D. Buxbaum (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Mar. 22/29 2000, Vol. 283, No. 12, p. 1571-1577, HTML and .pdf formats.)

>From the Abstract:

Context: Alzheimer disease (AD) is characterized neuropathologically by the presence of amyloid beta-peptide (A beta) containing plaques and neurofibrillary tangles composed of abnormal tau protein. Considerable controversy exists as to whether the extent of accumulation of A beta correlates with dementia and whether A beta alterations precede or follow changes in tau. Conclusions: In this study, levels of total A beta x-40 and A beta x-42 were elevated early in dementia and levels of both peptides were strongly correlated with cognitive decline. Of particular interest, in the frontal cortex, A beta was elevated before the occurrence of significant tau pathology. These results support an important role for A beta in mediating initial pathogenic events in AD dementia and suggest that treatment strategies targeting the formation, accumulation, or cytotoxic effects of A beta should be pursued.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v283n12/full/joc90912.html
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9. _NATURE_ ARTICLES:

A. "Alzheimer's disease: Apolipoprotein E and cognitive performance," by Jacob Raber, Derek Wong, Gui-Qiu Yu, Manual Buttini, Robert W. Mahley, Robert E. Pitas, and Lennart Mucke (_Nature_, Mar. 23, 2000, Vol. 404, p. 352-354). Note: Full text is available only to print subscribers at this time.

Abstract:

http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v404/n6776/abs/404352b0_fs.html

B. "A Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease," by Mel B. Feany and Welcome W. Bender (_Nature_, Mar. 23, 2000, Vol. 404, p. 394-398). Note: Full text is available only to print subscribers at this time.

Abstract:

http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v404/n6776/abs/404394a0_fs.html
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10. MEDSCAPE DIABETES AND EDOCRINOLOGY (Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles): Conference Report: "Endocrinology of Aging," by Johannes D. Veldhuis.

>From the Scientific Program:

In the report Endocrinology of Aging, Johannes D. Veldhuis, MD highlights some of the topics discussed at the International Symposium on Endocrinology of Aging, held on October 27-30, 1999 in Tempe, Arizona and organized by Serono Symposia USA. During this 3-day conference, a group of the most renowned researchers and clinicians assembled to exchange ideas and review contemporary and emerging concepts in the study of aging as it affects the endocrine system.

http://www.medscape.com/19006.rhtml

or

http://www.medscape.com/Medscape/endocrinology/journal/2000/v02.n03/mde0315.veld/mde0315.veld-01.html
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11. MEDSCAPE MEDLINE ABSTRACTS (Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles):

A. Medscape Diabetes and Endocrinology: DHEA and Aging

http://www.medscape.com/19005.rhtml

or

http://www.medscape.com/Medscape/endocrinology/journal/2000/v02.n03/mde0315.veld/ca-mde0315.veld.html

B. Medscape Nursing: End of Life Care

http://www.medscape.com/18947.rhtml

or

http://www.medscape.com/Medscape/Nurses/journal/2000/v02.n02/ca-mns0313/ca-mns0313.html
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12. _ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE_ ARTICLES: The Vol. 132, No. 6, Mar. 21, 2000 issue carries a special selection of articles in the "Medicine and Public Issues" section on physician assisted suicide. All articles can be accessed from the Internet address given below. They are available in HTML and .pdf formats, and include non-technical summaries.

A. "Assisted Suicide: Finding Common Ground, by L. Snyder and A.L. Caplan (p. 468-469).

B. "Assisted Suicide Compared with Refusal of Treatment: Valid Distinction?" by F.G. Miller, J.J. Fins, and L. Snyder (p. 470-475).

C. "The Role of Guidelines in the Practice of Physician-Assisted Suicide," by A.L. Caplan, L. Snyder, and K. Faber-Langendoen (p. 476-481).

D. "Should Assisted Suicide Be Only Physician Assisted?" by K. Faber-Langendoen and J.H.T. Karlawish (p. 482-487).

E. "Palliative Treatments of Last Resort: Choosing the Least Harmful Alternative," by T.E. Quill, B.C. Lee, and S. Nunn (p. 488-493).

F. "Understanding Economic and Other Burdens of Terminal Illness: The Experience of Patients and Their Caregivers," by E.J. Emanuel, D.L. Fairclough, J. Slutsman, and L.L. Emanuel (p. 451-459).

http://www.acponline.org/journals/annals/21mar00/21martoc.htm

scroll to "Medicine and Public Issues."

Note that this is a temporary Internet address and will probably be unavailable after about one or two weeks. After that, the issue will be located in the _AIM_ archive.

http://www.acponline.org/journals/annals/pastiss.htm
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13. URBAN INSTITUTE RETIREMENT PROJECT STRAIGHT TALK ON SOCIAL SECURITY: "Do Analysts Use Atypical Workers to Evaluate Social Security?" by Eugene Steuerle, Christopher Spiro and Adam Carasso (Straight Talk #19, March 2000, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

http://www.urban.org/retirement/st/Straight19.html

click on "PDF format" for .pdf version.
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14. URBAN INSTITUTE RETIREMENT PROJECT REPORT: "Competition with Constraints: Challenges Facing Medicare Reform," edited by Marilyn Moon (February 2000, .pdf format, 186p.). See the introduction (available in HTML format) for abstracts of the seven papers that make up the report.

http://www.urban.org/retirement/reports/cwc.html

click on "PDF" for full text.
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15. MILKEN INSTITUTE REPORT: "America's Demography in the New Century: Aging Baby Boomers and New Immigrants as Major Players," by William H. Fry and Ross C. DeVol (Milken Institute Policy Brief No. 9, March 2000, .pdf format, 62p.). Note: "The Milken Institute's mission is to explore and explain the dynamics of world economic structure, conduct, and performance by conducting research in economics, business, and finance. The objective is a better-informed public, more thoughtful public policies, improved economic outcomes, and better lives for people."

http://www.milken-inst.org/pdf/frey.pdf
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16. DHHS OAS OIG REPORT: The Office of the Inspector General of the Office of Audit Services of the Department of Health and Human Services has released "Six State Review of Outpatient Rehabilitation Facilities," (A-04-99-01193, March 2000, .pdf format, 22p.).

From the Executive Summary:

This final report estimates, based on a statistical sample of 200 claims from outpatient rehabilitation facilities (ORF) in 6 States, that the ORFs were paid approximately $173 million for unallowable or highly questionable services for the 12-month period ended June 30, 1998. Services were unallowable or questionable because in the opinion of medical experts the services were not reasonable and necessary for the patient's condition. For example, services were provided to beneficiaries; (1) who exhibited no functional impairment, (2) who evidenced no active participation with a therapist, and/or (3) who had no expectation for significant improvement within a reasonable and predictable length of time. Other services were inadequately documented or were missing required documentation. The Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) concurred with our recommendations detailing steps HCFA needs to take to shore up Medicare's reimbursement requirements for outpatient rehabilitation services.

http://www.hhs.gov/progorg/oas/reports/region4/49901193.htm
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17. SSA/URBAN INSTITUTE REPORT: "FINAL Report: Modeling Income in the Near Term-Projection of Retirement Income Through 2020 for the 1931-60 Cohorts," by Eric Toder, Cori Uccello, John O'Hare, Melissa Favreault, Caroline Ratcliffe, Karen Smith, Gary Burtless, and Barry Bosworth (September 1999, .pdf format, 331p.).

>From the Introduction:

The Division of Policy Evaluation (DPE) at the Social Security Administration (SSA) is developing a model to evaluate the distributional effects of Social Security policy changes. The model is referred to as Modeling Income in the Near Term, or MINT, because the project sought to develop within a short time frame a model that could assess the effects of reforms through the early retirement years of the early post-war birth cohorts. This technical report describes the results of development work on the MINT model performed under contract to SSA by the Urban Institute (UI) and the Brookings Institution (Brookings). The report discusses the methods used to project future incomes, presents regression results for equations explaining the path of different sources of income, and displays tables that summarize the results of projections. It discusses how income in retirement is projected to change for younger cohorts, relative to birth cohorts retiring in the 1990s, and discusses the sources of projected changes in the distribution of income of retirees. The base data sets used in the model are 1990-93 panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), matched to Social Security Earnings Records (SER) and Master Beneficiary Records (MBR). The SERs give earnings histories for the years 1951-1996. The project uses data on the matched files for individuals in the 1931-60 birth cohorts to project their incomes at ages 62 and 67 and post-retirement incomes to the year 2020. As part of the contract, UI and Brookings have supplied the SSA with SAS export files and documentation of all the projections and of the programs that create the projections. This report summarizes the research results that are contained in the data files.

Urban Institute (single .pdf file):

http://www.urban.org/socsecurity/MINT_full.html

click on "PDF" for full text.

Social Security Administration (.pdf file for each chapter):

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/policyareas/evaluation/MINT/UI/index.html

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III. Working Papers

18. NBER (NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH) WORKING PAPERS:

A. "Retirement Outcomes in the Health and Retirement Study," by Alan L. Gustman and Thomas L. Steinmeier (W7588, March 2000, .pdf format, 44p.).

>From the Abstract:

This study examines retirement outcomes in the first four waves of the Health and Retirement Study. Measured retirement is seen to differ, sometimes substantially, with the definition of retirement used and among various groups analyzed. Moreover, these differences vary with the wave of the survey as respondents age. Retirement is comprised of a complex set of flows among states representing full time work, partial retirement and complete retirement. Seventy-seven percent of transitions continue in the same or equivalent states between adjoining waves of the HRS; 17 percent involve a move from greater to lesser labor force participation, and 6 percent involve a move from states of lesser to greater labor force participation. Twenty-two percent of the sample report they were partially retired at some time in the first four waves, and by age 65, over a fifth of the population is partially retired. Altogether, 14 percent of the sample experienced a reversal in the course of the survey, moving from a state of less work to a state of more work. Comparing retirement flows for men between the HRS and the 1969-1979 Retirement History Study, the large spike in the population leaving full time work at age 65 observed in the RHS is reduced to half its original size in the HRS, while the share leaving full time work at age 62 has almost doubled over time. The results presented here should help researchers to improve their understanding of the structure of the dependent variable in retirement studies.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/w7588

Click on "PDF" for full text.

B. "Why a Funded Pension System is Useful and Why It is Not Useful," by Hans-Werner Sinn (W7592, March 2000, .pdf format, 34p.).

>From the Abstract:

Based on explicit present value calculations, the paper criticizes the view that the PAYGO system wastes economic resources. In present value terms, there is nothing to be gained from a transition to funded system even though the latter offers a permanently higher rate of return. The sum of the implicit and explicit tax burdens that result from the need to respect the existing pension claims is the same under all systems and transition strategies. Nevertheless a partial transition to a funded system may be a way to overcome the current demographic crisis because it replaces missing human capital with real capital and helps smooth tax and child reading costs across the generations

http://papers.nber.org/papers/w7592

Click on "PDF" for full text.

C. "How Effective is Redistribution Under the Social Security Benefit Formula?" by Alan L. Gustman, and Thomas L. Steinmeier (W7597, March 2000, .pdf format, 46p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper uses earnings histories obtained from the Social Security Administration and linked to the survey responses for participants in the Health and Retirement Study to investigate redistribution under the current social security benefit formula. We find that as advertised, at the level of the individual respondent, the benefit formula is progressive. When individuals are arrayed by indexed lifetime earnings, own benefits are significantly redistributed from those with high lifetime earnings to those with low lifetime earnings. However, much of this apparent redistribution is from men to women, and when examined at the level of the family, from primary to secondary earners. When families are arrayed according the total lifetime earnings, and spouse and survivor benefits are taken into account, the extent of redistribution from families with high lifetime earnings to families with low lifetime earnings is roughly halved. Much of the remaining redistribution is from families where both spouses spend much of their potential work lives in the labor market, to families where a spouse, often with high earnings potential, chooses to spend a significant number of years outside of the labor force. When families are arrayed by their earnings potential, that is earnings during years when both spouses are engaged in substantial work, there is very little redistribution from families with high to low earnings capacity. Accordingly, at least for families on the verge of retirement today, introducing a simple system of privatized or other individual accounts, i.e., a system that ignored issues of redistribution, would have no major effect on the distribution of social security benefits net of taxes among families with different earnings capacities. Moreover, although privatized or other individual accounts would reduce redistribution from two earner to one earner families, the extent of that redistribution is greatly exaggerated when one compares benefits among individuals arrayed according to lifetime earnings.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/w7597

Click on "PDF" for full text.
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19. FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF ATLANTA: "Explaining Changes in the Age Distribution of Displaced Workers," by Daniel Rodriguez and Madeline Zavodny (WP 2000-1, February 2000, .pdf format, 36p.).

>From the Abstract:

Using Displaced Worker Survey data, this paper examines changes in the age distribution of displaced workers during the 1983-87 and 1993-97 periods. Older workers comprised a significantly larger fraction of displaced workers during the later period. Potential explanations for this phenomenon include demographic shifts in the labor force, changes in technology, and industry and occupational shifts. Kernel density estimates indicate that the aging of the labor force accounts for the majority of the shift in the age distribution of displaced workers. Changes in technology also appear to have contributed to the shift in the age distribution of displaced workers by increasing the likelihood of displacement among older workers relative to younger workers. Differential changes across age groups between goods-producing and service-producing jobs and between blue-collar and white-collar jobs appear to have had little effect on the change in the age distribution of displaced workers.

http://www.frbatlanta.org/publica/work_papers/wp00/wp0001.htm

click on "Download the full text..." for full text.

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IV. Journal Tables of Contents (check your library for availability)

20. The Gerontologist (Vol. 40, No. 1, February 2000). Note: This journal is available in full text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and of this issue.

http://www.geron.org/journals/tgcontents.htm

click on "February 2000".

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21. CARL Uncover Journal Tables of Contents. Follow the instructions below to access tables of contents. CARL Uncover provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

http://uncweb.carl.org:80/

B. click on "Search Uncover"
C. click on "Search Uncover Now"
D. Type the Journal Name in the search box and click the radio button "Journal Title Browse"
E. click on the journal name
F. click on "journal issues"
G. click on the issues identified below

Canadian Journal on Aging (Vol. 18, No. 4, Winter 1999).

The International Journal of Aging and Human Development (Vol. 50, No. 1, 2000).

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V. Legislation Information Updates

22. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING: ELDER FRAUD AND ABUSE: NEW CHALLENGES IN A DIGITAL ECONOMY, a hearing held Mar. 15, 2000, Portland OR.

Hearing Testimony:

http://www.senate.gov/~aging/hr45.htm
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23. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE SUBCOMMITTEE ON LABOR, HEALTH, AND HUMAN SERVICES, EDUCATION AND RELATED AGENCIES HEARING ON ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: a hearing held Mar. 21, 2000.

http://www.senate.gov/~appropriations/labor/hrgtest.htm

scroll to "MARCH 21, 2000; ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE".
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24. SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE HEARING ON A MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT: PART I: a hearing held Mar. 22, 2000.

A. Hearing Testimony:

http://www.senate.gov/~finance/w3-22-0.htm

B. "Prescription Drug Benefits: Applying Private Sector Management Methods to Medicare, by William J. Scanlon, Director of Health Financing and Public Health Issues," testimony before the Senate Committee on Finance (General Accounting Office Testimony T/HEHS-00-84, March 2000, .pdf format, 13p.).

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/he00084t.pdf

Note: GAO Internet addresses are valid for only a limited period of time. After that time, documents can be found by searching the Government Printing Office:

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

and searching on title or report number.

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VI. Websites of Interest

25. IDB POPULATION PYRAMIDS: One of the highlights of the Census Bureau's International Database website (see above, No. 4) is the availability of interactive population pyramids. Users can select one of any of the countries in the world, ask for selected available years (between 1950 and 2050) or summary years (1997, 2025, 2050), and population pyramid charts are generated. The highlight of the site, however, is the production of "dynamic" population pyramids (one pyramid rapidly replaces the one before giving the appearance of a "movie.") Pyramids come in three user selected sizes.

http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idbpyr.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