Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #47--August 24, 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. IPUMS EXTRACTOR UPDATE: The University of Minnesota Department of History's IPUMS website has brought into production an enhanced extraction system that has been in beta testing for some time. "A key feature of the new system - one that is quickly apparent to users - is the ability to retrieve and modify previous extract requests." ... "Extract requests less than a month old - whether submitted through the old production system or the beta system - have been retained. Data, codebook and command files for these extracts are now available from a user-specific summary site and will remain available for a two-week transition period." ... "After September 1st, 2000, all extract request files will be retained so users can modify them for resubmission. However, the data, codebook and command files will revert to a one-week retention period." Note that users who were registered to use previous extract systems will not have to re-register. For more information on the transition see:

http://www.ipums.umn.edu/usa/newextract.html

IPUMS USA:

http://www.ipums.org/usa/

Click on "Get Data" or "Download Extracts" for extraction system.

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II. Reports and articles:

2. NBER CHAPTER IN FORTHCOMING BOOK: "The Effects of 401(k) Plans on Household Wealth, by Eric M. Engen and William G. Gale (June 2000, .pdf format, 55p., chapter in forthcoming NBER book: _Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar_, edited by Roger Gordon and Philippe Bacchetta (from a conference held May 22-24, 2000).

>From the Chapter Abstract:

This paper provides a new econometric specification and new evidence on the impact of 401(k) plans on household wealth. We allow the impact of 401(k)s to vary over both time and earnings groups. We also examine the impact of 401(k)s on wealth, wealth/earnings ratios, and the natural logs of these values. Our specification--motivated by a variety of theoretical considerations and data patterns--generalizes earlier work in the literature, and we show that the modeling constraints imposed by previous authors are rejected by the data. Using data from 1987 to 1991 from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, we obtain three central results: the impact of 401(k)s on household wealth varies significantly by earnings level; 401(k)s held by groups with low earnings or low saving in other forms are more likely to represent net wealth than 401(k)s held by high-earning or high-saving groups; and between 0 and 30 percent of 401(k) balances represent net additions to private saving.

http://www.nber.org/books/tapes500/effects.pdf
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3. HCFA QISMC YEAR 2000 DRAFT STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES: The US Health Care Financing Administration has issued updated Quality Improvement System for Managed Care (QISMC) Standards and Guidelines (HTML format) "as a draft document to reflect recent Medicare regulatory changes. Other changes are simply clarifications incorporating agency-approved responses to the many QISMC Questions and Answers (Qs+As) received from industry, advocacy groups, State regulators and HCFA regional office staff."

Information and Highlights:

http://www.hcfa.gov/quality/3a.htm

Updated Standards and Guidelines:

http://www.hcfa.gov/quality/3a1.htm
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4. URBAN INSTITUTE RETIREMENT PROJECT REPORT: "The Limits of Saving," by Pamela Perun (Urban Institute Retirement Project Occasional Paper #7, August 2000, HTML and .pdf formats, 22p.).

>From the Introduction:

When concerns over retirement income arise, we usually look to the private pension system for solutions. Recently, Congress has been considering a set of proposals that increase the amount people can save through the private pension system by raising limits on contributions to defined contribution plans. The current limits have not been raised in several years. In fact, in many respects, they are much lower than they were in the early 1980s. These reform proposals would largely restore previous limits, reversing a 20-year trend of restricting pension contributions in order to reduce federal budget deficits and distribute tax benefits more evenly. ... The paper argues that the reforms would do little to change the savings status quo in the private pension system. Any positive effect is found primarily among higher-income individuals and individuals who can afford extremely high savings rates under the raised limits. Some negative effects-perhaps due to model assumptions-are found among lower-income individuals who try to save at a high rate. Current contribution limits comfortably accommodate more plausible savings rates for all income levels.

http://www.urban.org/retirement/reports/7/retire_7.html

Click on "PDF format" for .pdf version.
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5. FAMILIES USA--REPORT: "Cost Overdose: Growth in Drug Spending for The Elderly 1992-2010" (July 2000, .pdf format, 26p.). Note: "Families USA is a national nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health and long-term care for all Americans. Working at the national, state and community levels, [it] has earned a national reputation as an effective voice for health care consumers for over 15 years."

>From the Press Release:

America's seniors, struggling to keep up with the rapid rise in prescription drug costs, will face an even bigger problem in the next 10 years as their average drug bills are projected to more than double, according to a new report released ... by Families USA, the national organization for health care consumers. The report, "Cost Overdose: Growth in Drug Spending for the Elderly," is the first study to both analyze the increase in prescription drug spending for the elderly from 1992 to 2000 and to project further increases over the next 10 years. The report tracks the rise in prescription drug spending and other relevant measures of the problem from 1992 through 2000 and projects further increases through 2010."

Press Release:

http://www.familiesusa.org/press/prdrugod.htm

Full Text:

http://www.familiesusa.org/pubs/drugod.htm

Click on "report" on the first line of this page for .pdf full text.
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6. GAO REPORT: "Pension Plans: Characteristics of Persons in the Labor Force Without Pension Coverage" (US General Accounting Office Report GAO/HEHS-00-131, August 2000, .pdf format, 42p.).

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/he00131.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

Search by title or report number.
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7. PRB ARTICLE: "Social Security Looks Beyond 65th Birthday," by Bingham Kennedy, Jr. (Population Reference Bureau).

http://www.prb.org/wf/quickfacts/social_security_birthday.html
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8. _BMJ_ BOOK REVIEW: _The Ageing & Development Report 1999: Poverty, Independence & the World's Older People_, edited by Judith Randel, Tony German, and Deborah Ewing, reviewed by Shah Ebrahim (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 321, No. 7259, Aug. 19, 2000, p. 517, HTML and .pdf formats).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7259/517

Book purchasing information:

http://www.earthscan.co.uk/asp/bookdetails.asp?key=1557
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9. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS AND EDITORIAL: Note: Electronic full text of research articles is available to subscribers of the print edition of _NEJM_.

A. "Effects of Estrogen Replacement on the Progression of Coronary-Artery Atherosclerosis," by David M. Herrington, David M. Reboussin, K. Bridget Brosnihan, Penny C. Sharp, Sally A. Shumaker, Thomas E. Snyder, Curt D. Furberg, Glen J. Kowalchuk, Thomas D. Stuckey, William J. Rogers, David H. Givens, and David Waters (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 343, No. 8, Aug. 24, 2000).

http://www.nejm.org/content/2000/0343/0008/0522.asp

B. "Trends in the Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease and Changes in Diet and Lifestyle in Women," by Frank B. Hu, Meir J. Stampfer, JoAnn E. Manson, Francine Grodstein, Graham A. Colditz, Frank E. Speizer, Walter C. Willett (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 343, No. 8, Aug. 24, 2000).

http://www.nejm.org/content/2000/0343/0008/0530.asp

C. "Coronary Heart Disease in Women -- An Ounce of Prevention," by Elizabeth G. Nabel (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 343, No. 8, Aug. 24, 2000). Note: This is a _NEJM_ editorial.

http://www.nejm.org/content/2000/0343/0008/0572.asp
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10. _THE LANCET_ ARTICLE AND COMMENTARY ABSTRACTS: Note 1: Full electronic text of _Lancet_ articles is available only to subscribers. Note 2: _The Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content of any kind.

A. "Relation between age-related decline in intelligence and cerebral white-matter hyperintensities in healthy octogenarians: a longitudinal study," by Ellen Garde, Erik Lykke Mortensen, Katja Krabbe, Egill Rostrup, and Henrik B.W. Larsson (_The Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9230, Aug. 19, 2000, p. 628-634).

http://www.thelancet.com/newlancet/reg/issues/vol356no9230/body.article628.html

B. White matters: small vessels and slow thinking in old age, by J. van Gijn (_The Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9230, Aug. 19, 2000, p. 612-613). Note: This is a _Lancet_ commentary.

http://www.thelancet.com/newlancet/usr/issues/vol356no9230/commentary612.html

C. "Rate of heart failure and 1-year survival for older people receiving low-dose Beta-blocker therapy after myocardial infarction," by Paula A. Rochon, Jack V. Tu, Geoffrey M. Anderson, Jerry H. Gurwitz, Jocalyn P. Clark, Paula Lau, John Paul Szalai, Kathy Sykora, and C. David Naylor _The Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9230, Aug. 19, 2000, p. 639-644).

http://www.thelancet.com/newlancet/reg/issues/vol356no9230/body.early639.html
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11. _JAMA_ ARTICLE AND EDITORIAL:

A. "Low Bone Mineral Density and Risk of Fracture in White Female Nursing Home Residents," by Julie M. Chandler, Sheryl I. Zimmerman, Cynthia J. Girman, Allison R. Martin, William Hawkes, John R. Hebel, Philip D. Sloane, Larry Holder, and Jay Magaziner (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284 No. 8, Aug. 23/30, 2000, p. 972-977, HTML and .pdf formats).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n8/rfull/joc91402.html

B. "Bone Health in Nursing Home Residents," by Robert B. Wallace (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284 No. 8, Aug. 23/30, 2000, p. 972-977, HTML and .pdf formats, p. 1018-1019). Note: This is a _JAMA_ editorial.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n8/ffull/jed00059.html
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12. MEDSCAPE WOMEN'S HEALTH ARTICLES:

A. "Risk Factors for Osteoporosis: A Review," by Janet R. Guthrie, Lorraine Dennerstein, and John D. Wark (_Medscape Women's Health_, Vol. 5, No. 4, July/August 2000, HTML format). Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

http://womenshealth.medscape.com/Medscape/WomensHealth/journal/2000/v05.n04/wh7276.guth/wh7276.guth-01.html

B. "Postmenopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy and Breast Cancer," by Howard S. Jacobs (_Medscape Women's Health_, Vol. 5, No. 4, July/August 2000, HTML format). Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

http://www.medscape.com/25905.rhtml

or

http://womenshealth.medscape.com/Medscape/WomensHealth/journal/2000/v05.n04/wh7271.jaco/wh7271.jaco-01.html

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III. Working Papers:

13. NBER WORKING PAPERS IN AGING: "Accumulated Pension Collars: A Market Approach to Reducing the Risk of Investment-Based Social Security Reform," by Martin Feldstein, and Elena Ranguelova (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 7861, August 2000, .pdf format, 22p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper shows how a new type of derivative product that could be provided by private financial markets could in principle be used to guarantee that an investment-based Social Security reform provides at least the level of real retirement income that is projected in current Social Security rules. In effect, future retirees could purchase a put option that guarantees that the future retirement benefit will not fall below the level projected in current Social Security law or some other chosen level. To pay for this guarantee, they would agree to give up the part of the annuity payments which exceeds a given level, effectively selling a call option on the stream of payments. This market-based approach could be completely voluntary, leaving each individual to decide what level of guarantee he wants. The higher the minimum guarantee that the individual chooses, the more of the potentially higher returns he must give up. The financial market can thus tailor each individual's product to his own risk preferences. Alternatively, the government might require that any product that is sold as part of the investment-based Social Security reform must include at least some such market-based guarantee. Our analysis calculates some of the tradeoffs that could be provided in today's financial markets. We show that it is feasible to protect future benefits equal to those projected in current law with a combination of the current payroll tax rate and Personal Retirement Account savings equal to 2.5 percent of covered earnings. Raising the savings rate to 3.0 percent increases substantially the amount of the return that the individual can keep, raising it to 145 percent of the currently projected level of benefits. Reducing the guarantee level to 90 percent of the projected future benefits would increase this upside potential to 150 percent of the currently projected level of benefits with a 2.5 percent saving rate and 195 percent of the currently projected benefits with a 3.0 percent saving rate.

http://papers-nber9.nber.org/papers/W7861

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

14. Journal of Gerontology (A): Biological Sciences (Vol. 55A, No. 9, September 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.geron.org/journals/biocontents.html

15. Journal of Gerontology (A): Medical Sciences (Vol. 55A, No. 9, September 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.geron.org/journals/medcontents.html

16. Journal of Gerontology (B): Psychological Sciences (Vol. 55B, No. 4 and 5, July and September 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

http://www.geron.org/journals/psycontents.html

17. Journal of Gerontology (B): Social Sciences: (Vol. 55B, No 5, September 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

http://www.geron.org/journals/soccontents.html
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18. 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

American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 152, No. 3, Aug. 1, 2000).

American Journal of Sociology (Vol. 105, No. 6, May 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

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V. Websites of Interest:

19. PRB AGING: The well known Population Reference Bureau maintains a section of its website devoted to issues in aging. Here interested users can find a selection of literature (full text and excerpted) relevant to the topic culled from various PRB sources over the last five years.

http://www.prb.org/topics/aging.htm
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20. NCHS DISCUSSION LIST: The National Center for Health Statistics has opened a "discussion group for commenting on the application of NCHS statistical information in teaching and learning. This forum is intended for educators interested in sharing, developing, and implementing instructional activities using NCHS data."

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/otheract/Educators/unieducators.htm

Scroll to "Educator Information Exchange" at the bottom of the page.


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