Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #58--November 9, 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. NCHS: The US National Center for Health Statistics has released final data from the 1998 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Datasets, documentation, SPSS and SAS input statements, and ancillary questionnaire materials are electronically available.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm

Click on "1998 NHIS".

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II. Reports and articles:

2. CENSUS BUREAU REPORT: The Census Bureau has released "The U.S. Census Bureau's Recommendations Concerning the Census 2000 PUMS" (.pdf format, 19p.). The report is available at the University of Minnesota IPUMS site.

http://www.ipums.org/~census2000/
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3. GAO CORRESPONDENCE: "Medicare: HCFA to Strengthen Medicare Provider Enrollment Significantly, But Implementation Behind Schedule" (General Accounting Office Correspondence GAO-01-114R, November 2000, .pdf format, 12p.).

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d01114r.pdf

Note: GAO Internet addresses are valid for only a limited period of time. After that time, this correspondence may be available at:

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/newtitle.htm
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4. _PNAS_ PRE-PRINT ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Multiple quantum solid-state NMR indicates a parallel, not antiparallel, organization of beta -sheets in Alzheimer's beta -amyloid fibrils," by Oleg N. Antzutkin, John J. Balbach, Richard D. Leapman, Nancy W. Rizzo, Jennifer Reed, and Robert Tycko (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_ Pre-Print, .pdf and HTML format, November 7, 2000). Note: Electronic full-text (HTML and .pdf format) of this article may be available. Check your organization's library.

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/230315097v1
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5. _NATURE_ ARTICLES: _Nature_ (Vol. 408, No. 6809, Nov. 9, 2000) contains a series of articles on the scientific aspects of aging. It is unclear whether full text (HTML and .pdf format) of these articles is freely available. Links to the articles can be found at:

http://www.nature.com/nature/insights/6809.html
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6. _DRUG AND THERAPY PERSPECTIVES_ (VIA MEDSCAPE) ARTICLE: "Newer Antipsychotics Play an Important Role in the Management of Late-Onset Schizophrenia," (_Drug and Therapy Perspectives_, Vol. 16, No. 8, 2000, HTML format). Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

http://www.medscape.com/adis/DTP/2000/v16.n08/dtp1608.03/dtp1608.03-01.html
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7. _JAMA_ ARTICLES, EDITORIAL:

A. "Measuring Underuse of Necessary Care Among Elderly Medicare Beneficiaries Using Inpatient and Outpatient Claims," by Steven M. Asch, Elizabeth M. Sloss, Christopher Hogan, Robert H. Brook, and Richard L. Kravitz (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 18, Nov. 8, 2000, p. 2325-2333, HTML and .pdf format).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n18/rfull/joc00215.html

B. "The Continuing Quest for Measuring and Improving Access to Necessary Care," by Edward L. Hannan (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 18, Nov. 8, 2000, p. 2374-2376, HTML and .pdf format). Note: This is a _JAMA_ editorial.

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n18/ffull/jed00077.html

C. "The World in Medicine: Osteoporosis Goes Unnoticed," by Rebecca Voelker (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 18, Nov. 8, 2000, p. 2309, HTML and .pdf format).

http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n18/ffull/jwm00009-4.html
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8. _BMJ_ ARTICLE, EDUCATION AND DEBATE, NEWS ROUNDUP:

A. "Randomised, clinically controlled trial of intensive geriatric rehabilitation in patients with hip fracture: subgroup analysis of patients with dementia," by Tiina M Huusko, Pertti Karppi, Veikko Avikainen, Hannu Kautiainen, and Raimo Sulkava (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 321, No. 7269, Nov. 4, 2000, p. 1107-1111, HTML and .pdf format).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7269/1107

B. "A healthy old age: realistic or futile goal?" by Marion E.T. McMurdo (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 321, No. 7269, Nov. 4, 2000, .pdf and HMTL format, p. 1149-1151).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7269/1149

C. "Head injury doubles the risk of Alzheimers disease," by Scott Gottlieb (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 321, No. 7269, HMTL format, Nov. 4, 2000, p. 1100).

http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7269/1100/d
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9. THE _LANCET_ ARTICLE: "Clinical outcomes, quality of life, and costs in the North Thames Dialysis Study of elderly people on dialysis: a prospective cohort study," by Donna L. Lamping, Niculae Constantinovici, Paul Roderick, Charles Normand, Lynne Henderson, Susan Harris, Edwina Brown, Reinhold Gruen, and Christina Victor. (The _Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9241, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1543-1550).

HTML:

http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol356/iss9241/full/llan.356.9241.original_research.14062.1

.pdf:

http://pdf.thelancet.com/pdfdownload?uid=llan.356.9241.original_research.14062.1&x=x.pdf
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10. _NEWSWEEK_ ARTICLE: "Who'll Care for Dad?" by Karen Springen (_Newsweek_, Nov. 6, 2000).

http://www.msnbc.com/news/482631.asp
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11. _FORTUNE_ ARTICLE: "Working Past 90," by Roy Hoffman and Meredith Heuer (_Fortune_, Vol. 142, No. 11, Oct. 30, 2000).

http://www.fortune.com/fortune/2000/11/13/wor.html

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III. Working Papers:

12. NBER PAPERS IN AGING:

A. "Asset Location for Retirement Savers," by James M. Poterba, John B. Shoven, and Clemens Sialm (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. W7991, November 2000, .pdf format, 48p.).

Abstract:

This paper uses data on actual returns on taxable bonds, tax-exempt bonds, and a small sample of equity mutual funds over the 1962-1998 period to compare two asset location strategies for retirement savers. The first strategy gives priority to holding equities, through equity mutual funds, in a saver's tax-deferred account, while the second strategy gives priority to holding fixed-income investments in the tax-deferred account. We consider high-income taxable individual investors who saved in each year and invested in one of actively-managed funds in our sample. Over the thirty-seven year span that we consider, such savers would have accumulated a larger stock of wealth if they had held their equity mutual fund in their tax-deferred account than if they had held the fund in a conventional taxable form. The explanation for this apparent contradiction of the often-stated bonds in the tax-deferred account' prescription has two parts. First, many equity mutual funds impose substantial tax burdens on their investors. This raises the effective tax rate on investing in equities through mutual funds rather than in a buy-and-hold personal portfolio. Second, taxable investors who wish to hold fixed income assets can do so by holding tax-exempt bonds as well as by holding taxable bonds. The interest rate differential between taxable and tax-exempt bonds suggests that the effective tax rate on fixed income investments may be lower than the statutory tax rate for high-income investors.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W7991

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

B. "Consumption and Risk Sharing Over the Life Cycle," by Kjetil Storesletten, Chris I. Telmer, and Amir Yaron (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. W7995, November 2000, .pdf format, 44p.).

Abstract:

A striking feature of U.S. data on income and consumption is that inequality increases with age. Using both panel data and an equilibrium life cycle model, we argue that this is informative for understanding the importance and the characteristics of idiosyncratic labor market risk. We find that uncertainty distributed throughout the working years accounts for 40 percent of life time uncertainty, with the remainder being realized prior to entering the labor market. We estimate that the shocks received over the life cycle contain a highly persistent component, with an autocorrelation coefficient between 0.98 and unity. The joint behavior of earnings and consumption inequality, interpreted using our model, adds to the body of evidence suggesting that labor market risks are imperfectly pooled and that a precautionary motive is an important aspect of U.S. savings behavior. The restrictions imposed by general equilibrium theory play an important role in arriving at each of these conclusions.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W7995

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

C. "Does the Internet Make Markets More Competitive?" by Jeffrey R. Brown and Austan Goolsbee (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. W7996, November 2000, .pdf format, 29p.).

Abstract:

The Internet has the potential to significantly reduce search costs by allowing consumers to engage in low-cost price comparisons online. This paper provides empirical evidence on the impact that the rise of Internet comparison shopping sites has had for the prices of life insurance in the 1990s. Using micro data on individual life insurance policies, the results indicate that, controlling for individual and policy characteristics, a 10 percent increase in the share of individuals in a group using the Internet reduces average insurance prices for the group by as much as 5 percent. Further evidence indicates that prices did not fall with rising Internet usage for insurance types that were not covered by the comparison websites, nor did they in the period before the insurance sites came online. The results suggest that growth of the Internet has reduced term life prices by 8 to 15 percent and increased consumer surplus by $115-215 million per year and perhaps more. The results also show that the initial introduction of the Internet search sites is initially associated with an increase in price dispersion within demographic groups, but as the share of people using the technology rises further, dispersion falls.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W7996

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

D. "Understanding Mid-Life and Older Age Mortality Declines: Evidence from Union Army Veterans," by Dora L. Costa (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. W8000, November 2000, .pdf format, 27p.).

Abstract:

During the twentieth century the 17 year survival rate of 50-64 year old men rose by 24 percentage points. I examine waiting time until death from all natural causes and from all chronic, all acute, respiratory, stomach, infectious, all heart, ischemic, and myocarditis disease among Union Army veterans first observed in 1900. The effect of such specific early life infections as stomach ailments, rheumatic fever, syphilis, measles, respiratory infections, malaria, diarrhea, and tuberculosis on older age mortality depended upon the cause of death that was being investigated but all of these infections reduced cause-specific longevity. Men who grew up in a large city faced an elevated mortality risk from all causes of death controlling for later residence. The immediate effect of reduced infectious disease rates and reduced mortality from acute disease accounts for 62 percent of the twentieth century increase in survival rates and the long-run effect of reduced early life infectious disease rates accounts for 12 percent of the increase. The findings imply that although the current effects of improved public health and medical care are larger than the cohort effects, cost-benefit analyses and forecasts of future mortality still need to account for long-run effects; that mortality in populations in which infectious, respiratory, and parasitic deaths are common is best described by a competing risks model; and, that the urbanization that accompanied early industrialization was extremely costly.

http://papers.nber.org/papers/W8000
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13. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "Forewarning of Spouse's Death and Psychological Adjustment to Widowhood among Older Adults," by Deborah Carr, James S. House, Randolph Nesse, and Camille Wortman, (PSC Research Report 00-462, November 2000, .pdf format, 27p.).

Abstract:

This study examined: (1) whether psychological adjustment to widowhood is affected by the amount of forewarning prior to spouse's death; (2) whether the effect of forewarning differs for men and women; and (3) the extent to which the effect of forewarning is mediated or suppressed by death context characteristics (i.e., pre-death care giving, nursing home usage, spouse age at death and couple communication about the impending death). Analyses are based on data from The Changing Lives of Older Couples (CLOC) study, a probability sample of 1,532 married individuals age 65 and older for whom baseline information was collected in 1987-88, with widows reinterviewed 6, 18, and 48 months after spousal loss. Overall, the effects of death forewarning (and sudden death) were quite limited; forewarning did not significantly affect depression, anger, shock, or overall grief six or 18 months after the loss. Prolonged forewarning (i.e., more than six months warning) was associated with elevated levels of anxiety both six and 18 months after the death. Sudden death was a positive and significant predictor of intrusive thoughts at the six-month follow up only. Warning time had significantly different effects on men's and women's yearning. At both six and 18 months after the loss, sudden death was associated with slightly higher levels of yearning among women, but with significantly lower yearning among men. The findings call into question the widespread belief that grief is more severe if the death was sudden. Understanding how death forewarning affects diverse aspects of older widowed persons' well-being is critically important today, as chronic diseases account for the majority of older adults' deaths. Dataset(s) used: Changing Lives of Older Couples (CLOC) Study: United States, 1987-1994.

http://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/pubs/papers/rr00-462.pdf
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14. IMF: "Population Aging and Global Capital Flows in a Parallel Universe," by Robin Brooks (International Monetary Fund Working Paper WP/00/151, August 2000, .pdf format, 30p.).

Abstract:

This paper explores the global impact of population aging, using a calibrated overlapping generations model of eight world regions to simulate the effects of historical and projected demographic trends on international capital flows. The simulations show that there will be a turning point in regional savings - investment balances between 2010 and 2030 when the European Union and North America will experience a substantial decline in savings relative to investment as their populations age rapidly. This shift will be financed by capital flows from less developed regions which are projected to become capital exporters.

http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/cat/longres.cfm?sk&sk=3772.0

Click on "Full Text in PDF format" for full text.
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15. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH:

A. "Does the Social Security Earnings Test Affect Labor Supply and Benefits Receipt?" by Jonathan Gruber and Peter Orszag (WP # 2000-7, November 2000, .pdf format, 43p.).

Summary Excerpt:

On April 7, 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000, which eliminated the unpopular earnings test that applied to those over the Social Security normal age of retirement (currently age 65). The earnings test, a version of which still applies to those ages 62-64, reduces immediate payments to beneficiaries whose labor income exceeds a given threshold. ... The purpose of our paper is to update and extend the previous literature on the earnings test by examining the impact of changes in the earnings test on the decision to work, aggregate hours supplied, and claiming behavior for both men and women. Over the past three decades, the structure of the earnings test has changed significantly. To examine the impact of these changes on labor supply and benefits receipt, we use data from twenty-five years of the March Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provide large samples of observations on the elderly. We first present simple graphical analysis, in order to illustrate the relationship between program parameter changes and labor supply/claiming decisions. We then examine regression models that combine the information across years in a simple reduced form framework to estimate earnings test impacts.

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/csom/executive/crr/wp_2000-07.shtml

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.

B. "The Diversity Of Risk Among Age-62 Retired Worker Beneficiaries," by Eric R. Kingson and Yvonne Arsenault (WP # 2000-8, November 2000, .pdf format, 37p.).

Abstract:

This article focuses on age-62 retired-worker beneficiaries, a group whose well-being may be affected by changes in Social Security retirement ages. The analysis: 1) develops different measures of risk of a poor retirement; 2) applies these measures to developing a range of estimates of the risk for age-62 beneficiaries at the threshold of retirement; and 3) assesses how the circumstances of and risks experienced by these beneficiaries vary by such factors as race, gender, health status and marital status. The findings point to great diversity of circumstances among these early retirees and suggest that narrow conceptions of risk may fall short of fully identifying the distributive consequences of retirement age changes, especially for African Americans, Hispanics, low-income, unmarried individuals and unhealthy early retirees.

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/csom/executive/crr/wp_2000-08.shtml

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.

C. "Do Spouses Coordinate Their Investment Decisions In Order To Share Risks?" by Cori E. Uccello (WP # 2000-9, November 2000, .pdf format, 17p.).

Abstract:

This paper uses the 1995 and 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances to examine 401(k) asset allocation behavior by individual and household characteristics, including spousal asset allocation behavior. The results provide evidence that, among married households in which each spouse has a 401(k) plan, spouses tend to invest their 401(k)s similarly rather than diversifying their holdings across spouses to share risks. The findings also point to the lack of diversification between 401(k) asset allocations and other household holdings. However, the results suggest that households can diversify in other ways, such as through a spouses earnings or through having an underlying defined benefit plan.

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/csom/executive/crr/wp_2000-09.shtml

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.

D. "Social Security Privatization: Lessons From The United Kingdom," by John B. Williamson (WP # 2000-10, November 2000, .pdf format, 35p.).

Abstract:

This study draws lessons for the debate about the proposed partial privatization of Social Security in the United States based on evidence from the United Kingdom. The British case suggests that privatization may lead to a reduction in the pension burden on the national budget if combined with substantial cuts in benefits. Such reforms may have positive effects on the economy, but any such benefits would come at the cost of increased inequality and lower pension benefits for many low-wage workers, particularly women. Because Social Security is a path dependent process, policy history differences make it less likely that Americans will easily accept the level of privatization found in Britain.

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/csom/executive/crr/wp_2000-10.shtml

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.

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

16. Age and Ageing (Vol. 29, No. 5, September 2000). Click on "Abstract" of any title for abstracts. Note: Full electronic text (.pdf format) may be available to your organization. Check your organization's library.

http://ageing.oupjournals.org/content/vol29/issue5/index.shtml

17. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 48, No. 11, November 2000).

http://www.amgeriatrics.com/

Click on "Contents" in the left frame and then "Issue 11" under Volume 48 (2000). Abstracts are available.
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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

Journal of Aging and Physical Activity (Vol. 8, No. 4, October 2000).

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V. Employment Opportunities:

19. NIA: The US National Institute on Aging has announced that it is recruiting for three scientific positions in the Behavioral and Social Research Program (BSR): a Deputy Associate Director and 2 Health Scientist Administrators (vacancy # NIA-00-943 for the Deputy position and vacancy # NIA-00-951 for the Health Scientist Administrator positions). BSR, one of four NIA extramural research programs, supports training and basic social and behavioral research on aging processes and older people in society. BSR is being reorganized into two branches, one focusing on Individual Behavioral Processes, and one on Population and Social Processes. Major areas of emphasis include the Aging Mind; Health Disparities; Genetics, Behavior and the Social Environment; Increasing Health Expectancy; Health, Work and Retirement; and Interventions and Behavior Change. For qualifications required, evaluation criteria, and application instructions for both positions, view the vacancy announcements at:

http://careerhere.nih.gov/

Click on "Current Vacancies" in the top left corner and search Announcement No: "NIA-00-943" or "NIA-00-951" (without the quotes).

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VI. Conferences:

20. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH CONFERENCE PAPERS: Six papers from the Workshop "Demographic-Macreoeconomic Modelling," held at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research Oct. 11-13, 2000, have been made electronically available (.pdf format). Of those the following may be of interest to researchers in aging: "Ageing, Optimal National Saving and Future Living Standards in Australia, by Ross S. Guest and Ian M. McDonald; "A model of longevity, fertility and growth," by Keith Blackburn and Giam Pietro Cipriani; and "Age Distributions and the Current Account A Changing Relation?" by Thomas Lindh and Bo Malmberg.

http://www.demogr.mpg.de/Papers/workshops/ws001011.htm

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VII. Websites of Interest:

21. MEDSCAPE RESOURCE CENTER: ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: "The National Institute on Aging estimates that up to 50% of Americans aged 85 years or older may have Alzheimer's disease. As the baby boom generation ages, Alzheimer's disease is likely to become an even greater public health issue over the next 20 years. Medscape Neurology's editors have gathered the latest information on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, including news of therapies currently in development, to guide diagnosis and treatment decisions." This resource page contains constantly updated links to news, articles, conference summaries, journal scans, practice guidelines, and treatment updates, among other features.

http://www.medscape.com/29499.rhtml?srcmp=ms-110300

or

http://www.medscape.com/Medscape/features/ResourceCenter/Alzheimers/public/RC-index-Alzheimers.html
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22. EXTENDED LIFE/ETERNAL LIFE SYMPOSIUM: This website is highlighted by audio/video presentations (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required) from a joint John Templeton Foundation/University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics Symposium held Mar. 5-6, 2000. The presentations can be found under "Presenters." Note that the sight is very browser intensive and not particularly intuitive in its navigation.

http://www.extended-eternallife.org/

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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