Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #260--October 28, 2004

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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. Data:

1. NLS DATA UPDATE: The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the latest NLS Newsletter (04-118, October 2004, .pdf format, 5p.). The newsletter announces a correction to "Mature Women Pension Data" which can be downloaded from the Ohio State University Center for Human Resources Research (CHRR) at:

http://www.chrr.ohio-state.edu/nls-info/ordering/display_db.php3

Click on "NLS Mature Women and Young Women" and then download "D-MW-89Pension -- Mature Women 1989 Pension File. The corrected file has the word "fixed" in it.

Note that for this file, users must also download the NLS Database Investigator extraction software at:

http://www.nlsinfo.org/dbgator/index.php3

NLS Newsletter:

http://www.bls.gov/nls/nls118.pdf
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2. HRS UPDATE: "2002 HRS Core (Final Release, Version 1.0): Cognition data modified; duplicate lines deleted from HO2E_MC and H02PR_MC," (October 25, 2004).

http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/meta/alerts/sho_alerts.php?hfyle=hpub001&xtyp=3
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3. PAHO TABLE GENERATOR: "Regional Core Health Data Initiative Table Generator System," (Pan American Health Organization). "The Regional Core Health Data Initiative includes 108 essential health indicators to quantitatively characterize the health situation of 48 countries and territories of the Region of the Americas for the period 1997-2004. With this Table Generator System, you can construct tables by any combination of indicator(s)/country(ies)/year(s)."

http://www.paho.org/English/SHA/coredata/tabulator/newTabulator.htm

Core Health Data System - Glossary

http://www.paho.org/English/SHA/glossary.htm

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II. Reports and articles:

4. SSA OP REPORT: "International Update, October 2004," (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.). "This monthly publication covers recent developments in foreign public and private pensions."

http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/progdesc/intl_update/2004-10/index.html
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5. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE PAPER: "CBO's Analysis of Regional Preferred Provider Organizations Under the Medicare Modernization Act," (CBO, October 2004, .pdf format, 25p.).

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=5997&type=1
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6. ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE EDUCATION AND REFERRAL CENTER [ADEAR] REPORT: "2003 Progress Report on Alzheimer's Disease," (ADEAR, October 2004, .pdf format, 72p.). Note: "This 72-page report offers a comprehensive, readable overview of recent advances in government-supported AD research, and is a must-read for anyone with an interest in AD."

http://www.alzheimers.org/pr03/index.asp

Follow the "View the PDF" link.
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7. WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES [DHFS] REPORT: "Wisconsin Nursing Homes and Residents, 2003: Annual Report," (DHFS, October 2004, .pdf format, 49p.).

http://dhfs.wisconsin.gov/provider/pdf/03nh&r.pdf

Related tables ("Health Counts in Wisconsin: Nursing Homes, 2003").

http://dhfs.wisconsin.gov/provider/pdf/03nhhc.pdf
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8. CDC NEWS RELEASE: "More than 3 Million Influenza Vaccine Doses Shipped This Week to Health Providers Serving High-Priority Groups," (US Centers for Disease Control, October 22, 2004).

http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r041022.htm
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9. DHSS NEWS RELEASE: "HHS Announces Additional Million Doses of Flu Vaccine," (October 22, 2004).

http://www.dhhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/20041021.html
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10. NIH PRESS RELEASE:

A. "Researchers Identify Brain Protein That Halts Progression Of Alzheimer's," (October 26, 2004).

http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/oct2004/niehs-26.htm

B. "Researchers Discover Gene Mutations for Parkinson's Disease," (October 22, 2004).

http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/oct2004/nia-22.htm

C. "Scientists Detect Two Decision-making Pathways in Human Brain," (US National Institutes of Health, Oct. 22, 2004). Note: See item 10 for an abstract of the _Science_ article referenced in the press release.

http://www.nia.nih.gov/NewsAndEvents/PressReleases/PR20041015Pathways.htm
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11. FACULTY OF ACTUARIES/INSTITUTE OF ACTUARIES [UK] REPORT: "Funding Defined Benefit Pension Schemes," by C. A. Cowling, T. J. Gordon and C. A. Speed (Institute of Actuaries, October 25, 2004, .pdf format, 35p.).

Abstract:

This paper puts the case for the Actuarial Profession revising and tightening its standards on actuarial funding advice in relation to United Kingdom occupational pension schemes. We critique current actuarial practice and advocate principles for measuring solvency and providing funding advice. In particular, we advocate that funding targets should be clearly and unambiguously related to scheme solvency. The paper also covers optimal investment strategy, treatment of the `company covenant' when giving funding advice and governance issues relating to pension schemes.

http://www.actuaries.org.uk/files/pdf/sessional/sm20041025.pdf
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12. UK DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS REPORT: "Consultation on the Moral Hazard Clauses in the Pensions Bill: Report for Grand Committee," (DWP, October 2004, .pdf format, 65p.).

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/dwp/2004/pensions_bill/moral_hazards_oct04.pdf
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13. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT:

A. "Carers in Australia: Assisting frail older people and people with a disability," (AIHW Aged Care Series No. 8, October 2004, .pdf format, 93p.).

http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/index.cfm/title/10064

B. "Linking Hospital Morbidity and Residential Aged Care Data," by Rosemary Karmel (AIHW Cat. No. AGE-40, October 29, 2004, .pdf format, 52p.).

http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/index.cfm/title/10065
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14. KFF GUIDE: "Talking About Medicare and Health Coverage," (Kaiser Family Foundation, October 25, 2004). Note: "'Talking About Medicare' helps to answer basic questions about Medicare eligibility and coverage. It also includes a chapter devoted to the new Medicare prescription drug law and its implications for consumers, including an overview of the Medicare-approved discount drug card program and the full Medicare prescription drug benefit, which will go into effect in 2006. The guide also explains supplemental insurance options, the Medicare Advantage program, and long-term care issues, and includes a state-by-state list of key agencies that can answer specific questions about Medicare, Medicaid, supplemental coverage, and long-term care."

http://www.kff.org/medicare/7067/?CFID=14134657&CFTOKEN=83405686
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15. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT:

A. "Separate Neural Systems Value Immediate and Delayed Monetary Rewards," by Samuel M. McClure, David I. Laibson, George Loewenstein, and Jonathan D. Cohen (_Science_, Vol. 306, No. 5695, October 15, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 503-507).

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/306/5695/503

B. "Harnessing Chaperones to Generate Small-Molecule Inhibitors of Amyloid [beta] Aggregation," by Jason E. Gestwicki, Gerald R. Crabtree, and Isabella A. Graef (_Science_, Vol. 306, No. 5697, October 29, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 865-869).

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/306/5697/865
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16. _NATURE NEUROSCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Fibrillar amyloid deposition leads to local synaptic abnormalities and breakage of neuronal branches," by Julia Tsai, Jaime Grutzendler, Karen Duff and Wen-Biao Gan (_Nature Neuroscience_, Vol. 7, No. 11, November 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1181-1183).

http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/neuro/journal/v7/n11/abs/nn1335.html
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17. _NATURE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Effect of extrinsic mortality on the evolution of senescence in guppies," by David N. Reznick, Michael J. Bryant, Derek Roff, Cameron K. Ghalambor & Dionna E. Ghalambor (_Nature_, Vol. 431, No. 7012, October 28, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1095-1099).

http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v431/n7012/abs/nature02936_fs.html
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18. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Promotion and Prescribing of Hormone Therapy After Report of Harm by the Women's Health Initiative," by Sumit R. Majumdar, Elizabeth A. Almasi, and Randall S. Stafford (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 292, No. 16, October 27, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1983-1988).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/292/16/1983
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19. _BMJ_ NEWS ROUNDUP: "Doctors favour legalising assisted suicide for dying patients," by Zosia Kmietowicz (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 329, No. 7472, October 22, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 939).

http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/329/7472/939-b
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20. U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORTS ARTICLE: "Bones, beautiful bones," by Bernadine Healy (U.S. News & World Reports, November 1, 2004).

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/041101/opinion/1bones.htm
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21. _AARP BULLETIN_ (October 2004). Selected articles from this edition have been made electronically available.

http://www.aarp.org/bulletin/toc/Articles/tableofcontents.html

Note: This is a temporary address. Back issues are available by clicking on the arrow next to the drop-down menu under "Use the drop-down menu below to access other AARP Bulletin tables of contents".
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22. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ show, for Sep. 21, - Oct. 19 2004, is now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Oct. 12, 2004--Drug Companies and Drug Costs
Oct. 19, 2004--Doctors and Drug Companies

http://www.aarp.org/leisure/radio/pt/

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III. Working Papers:

23. NBER:

A. "The Measurement and Evolution of Health Inequality: Evidence from the U.S. Medicare Population," by Jonathan Skinner and Weiping Zhou (National Bureau of Economic Research w10842, October 2004, .pdf format, 36p.).

Abstract:

Has U.S. health care for the elderly become more equitable during the past several decades? When inequality is measured by Medicare expenditures, the answer is yes. During 1987-2001, low income households experienced an increase of 78 percent ($2624) in per capita expenditures, double the increase of 34 percent ($1214) in the highest income group. When inequality is measured by life expectancy, the answer is no. Survival for the lowest income decile grew by 0.2 years during the 1990s compared to 0.8 years in the highest income group. That the two measures deliver such discordant messages may reflect their intrinsic shortcomings; expenditures depend on preferences, health status, and prices, while outcomes are strongly affected by health behavior and past illness. We suggest a new approach to measuring inequality: the use of quality-based effective care measures. For these measures, efficacy is well proven and nearly all of the relevant population should be receiving it, regardless of health status or preferences. Using Medicare claims data matched to zip code income, we find greater use of mammography screening, diabetic eye exams, and the use of beta blockers and reperfusion following heart attacks among higher income households, and these differences appear to be stable or growing slowly over time. In sum, the rapid relative growth in health care expenditures among low income elderly people has not translated into relative improvement either in survival or rates of effective care.

http://www.nber.org/papers/W10842

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

B. "The Impact of Population Aging on Financial Markets," by James Poterba (National Bureau of Economic Research w10842, October 2004, .pdf format, 48p.).

Abstract:

A number of financial market analysts have argued that the aging of the "Baby Boom" cohort contributed to the rise U.S. asset values during the 1990s, and that asset prices will decline when this group reaches retirement age and begins to draw down its wealth. This paper explores the importance of changing demographic structure for asset returns, asset prices, and the composition of household balance sheets in the United States. Standard models suggest that equilibrium returns on financial assets will vary in response to changes in population age structure. While the direction of the effect of demographic changes is not controversial, the quantitative importance of such changes for financial markets is open to debate. The paper presents several strands of empirical evidence that bear on this issue. First, it describes current age-specific patterns of asset holding in the United States, and finds that asset holdings rise sharply when households are in their 30s and 40s. Aside from the automatic decline in the value of defined benefit pension assets as households age, however, other financial assets decline only gradually during retirement. When these data are used to project asset demands in light of the future age structure of the U.S. population, they do not show a sharp decline in asset demand between 2020 and 2050. This finding calls into question the "asset market meltdown" view. Second, the paper considers the historical association between population age structure and real returns on Treasury bills, long-term government bonds, and corporate stock. The evidence suggests only modest effects, if any, of a changing demographic mix. Statistical tests based on the few effective degrees of freedom in the historical record of age structure and asset returns have limited power to detect such effects. There is a stronger historical correlation between asset levels, as measured for example by the price-dividend ratio, and summary measures of the population age structure. Once again, however, the results are sensitive to choices about econometric specification. These empirical findings provide modest support, at best, for the view that asset prices could decline as the share of households over the age of 65 increases.

http://www.nber.org/papers/W10851

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

C. "Life-Cycle Asset Accumulation and Allocation in Canada," by Kevin Milligan (National Bureau of Economic Research w10860, October 2004, .pdf format, 37p.).

Abstract:

This paper documents the life-cycle patterns of household portfolios in Canada, and investigates several hypotheses about asset accumulation and allocation. Inferences are drawn from the 1999 Survey of Financial Security, with some comparisons to earlier wealth surveys from 1977 and 1984. I find cross-sectional evidence for asset decumulation at older ages when annuitized assets like pension wealth are included in the analysis. I also find that the portfolio share of financial assets increases sharply with age, while indicators of risk tolerance appear to decrease. This is consistent with families desiring more liquid and less risky assets as they age.

http://www.nber.org/papers/W10860

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address for full text.
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24. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA WHARTON SCHOOL PENSION RESEARCH COUNCIL: "The Case Against Stock in Public Pension Funds," by Lawrence N. Bader and Jeremy Gold (WP 2004-20, 2004, .pdf format, 18p.). Note: No abstract is available for this paper.

http://prc.wharton.upenn.edu/prc/PRC/WP/WP%202004-20.pdf
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25. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY): "Shifting Perspectives in Pensions," by Marek Góra and Edward Palmer (Discussion Paper No. 1369, October 2004, .pdf format, 19p.).

Abstract:

This paper addresses the questions of what is an economically efficient pension system, what are the externalities and what are the risks of the four alternative pension systems: financial defined contribution (FDC), notional or non-financial defined contribution (NDC), financial defined benefit (FDB) and non-financial defined benefit (NDB). A main contribution of the paper is the development of the concept of NDC, itself a new construction in pension economics. An important conclusion is that NDC is neutral in terms of externalities. It manages the risks and eliminates the negative externalities associated with traditional public NDB schemes, and in a manner similar to FDC schemes.

ftp://ftp.iza.org/dps/dp1369.pdf

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

26. Age and Ageing (Vol. 33, No. 6, November 2004). Note: Full electronic text may be available at the site. Check your organization's library.

http://ageing.oupjournals.org/content/vol33/issue6/?etoc

27. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 160, No. 9, November 1, 2004).

http://aje.oupjournals.org/content/vol160/issue9/
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28. 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 October 27, 2004:

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

B. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of October 27, 2004:

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

C. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of October 27, 2004:

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

AMADEO Literature Guide:

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

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V. Conferences:

29. NIH: "Summer Institute on Design and Conduct of Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions," an institute to be held from Jul. 24 -Aug. 5, 2005 in Airlie, Virginia (US National Institutes of Health). For more information see:

http://obssr.od.nih.gov/Conf_Wkshp/rct/RCT_Info.htm
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30. CDHA: "Statistical Disclosure Control for Data Confidentiality." Because of the urgent need to maximize returns to survey projects and other data collection activities supported by the National Institute on Aging and other federal agencies, the Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) will host a 3-day training workshop in the theory and practice of statistical disclosure control. The workshop will take place from November 10-12, 2004, at the Pyle Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Funding for the conference is provided by the National Institute on Aging (NIA).Three specialists from Statistics Netherlands, Anco Johannes Hundepool, Eric Schulte Nordholt, and Peter Paul de Wolf, will conduct the training, which will provide participants with an understanding of the mathematical aspects of statistical disclosure control and the application of these methods using the ARGUS software. Workshop materials and presentations will be most accessible to those with graduate training in statistical methods (e.g., econometrics, demographic methods) and researchers experienced in the quantitative analysis of panel or longitudinal survey data. A portion of the last day of the conference will be devoted to a discussion of participants' work and to the ways in which SDC methods and the ARGUS software might be used to estimate disclosure risk and protect data confidentiality. There is no registration fee, but participants are asked to pay for their own travel, for their lodging, and for evening meals (lunch and a light breakfast will be provided). For more information or to register: Contact Janet Eisenhauer Smith, the CDHA Data Archivist (email: jeisenha@ssc.wisc.edu; phone: 608-265-3937) or Mark Schmidt, Assistant to the Director at CDHA (email: mschmidt@ssc.wisc.edu; phone: 608-262-4715).

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VI. Legislation Information Updates:

31. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH HEARING PUBLICATION: "Physician Fee Schedule: A Review of the Current Medicare Payment System," a hearing held May 5, 2004 (Serial No. 108-95, .pdf and ASCII text format, 66p.).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/house/house05ch108.html

Scroll down to or "find in page" "108-95" (without the quotes).
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32. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE HEARING PRINT: "Description of the John Breaux Elder Justice Act," (S. Prt. 108-53, .pdf format, 43p.).

http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/leg/093004legcommprt.pdf
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33. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING PUBLICATION: "Health Savings Accounts and the New Medicare Law: The Face of Health Care's Future?" a hearing held May 19, 2004 (Serial No. 108-608, .pdf and ASCII text format, 100p.).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate22sh108.html

Scroll down to or "find in page" "108-608" (without the quotes).
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34. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS HEARING PUBLICATION: "Does CMS have the Right Prescription? Implementing the Medicare Prescription Drug Program," a hearing held April 8, 2004 (Serial No. 108-615, .pdf and ASCII text format, 100p.).

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/senate12sh108.html

Scroll down to or "find in page" "108-615" (without the quotes).

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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