Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #107--October 25, 2001

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:


I. Data:

1. AOA: "Information on Aging from Census 2000: Single Year of Age by State, and Total 100+ Population by State (both sexes)," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, HTML and Microsoft Excel format).

Scroll to "Single Year of Age" and "Total 100+ Population by State."

2. SEER SOFTWARE UPDATE: For those using Seer*Stat software with the US National Cancer Institute, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Use Program's SEER 1973-1998 data, a new version of the extraction software is available (4.1.3). For more information and download instructions see:

Note: For users who processed their own standard populations with SEER*Prep, please contact SEERStat technical support. They'll need to walk you through some slight changes in order for those standard populations to function properly within SEER*Stat 4.1.3. SEER*Prep 1.8, which hasn't been released yet, is required to correctly process standard populations for SEER*Stat 4.1.3.

3. HRS: "Three Data Alerts Posted," (University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Health and Retirement Study, Oct. 18, 2001). Note: These data alerts provided corrections to documentation from HRS 1992, 1994, and 1996 and to data from HRS 1996.

4. MEPS: 1996 Nursing Home Component documentation files (.pdf format) have been released by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Health Care Research and Quality Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Note: "Data files from the MEPS Nursing Home Component include data from both the nursing home (NH) facilities and persons who used those facilities any time during 1996. Because of confidentiality concerns, the data files described below are only available through the CCFS Data Center."


There is a link to information about the CCFS Data Center at the above address.

II. Reports and articles:

5. DHHS: "Medicare Premium and Deductible Rates for 2002." On October 19, 2001 the Department of Health and Human Services announced "[the] legally mandated increases in the Medicare premium, deductible and coinsurance amounts to be paid by beneficiaries in 2002." For more information about the premium and deductible changes go to the DHHS press release at:

6. SSA: "2002 Cost-of-Living Adjustment." On October 19, 2001 the Social Security Administration announced a 2.6 percent increase in monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits. This increase will take effect on benefits issued for January 2002. For more details about the Cost-of-Living Adjustment go to the SSA press release at:

SSA has also included a fact sheet with the press release. The fact sheet can be found at:

7. SSA, OFFICE OF POLICY: "OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, December 2000," (Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, .pdf and HTML format, October 2001). "This annual publication focuses on the Social Security beneficiary population at the local level. It presents basic program data on the number and type of beneficiaries and the amount of benefits paid in each state and county. It also shows the numbers of men and women aged 65 or older receiving benefits. This report is a useful planning aid for Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices and for those providing information to federal, state, and local government agencies."

8. DHHS OIG OIE: "Medicare Home Health Care--Community Beneficiaries: 2001," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluation and Inspections, OEI-02-01-00070, .pdf format, October 2001, 24p.).


This inspection report looks at Medicare home health beneficiaries who begin receiving these services without having first been discharged from a hospital. These are known as 'community' home health beneficiaries. Prior to our study, not much was known about their needs and access to home health care, or how they have been affected by recent changes in the Medicare payment methodology. We found that about 40 percent of Medicare home health beneficiaries do not have a prior hospital or nursing home stay. There is some evidence that they have more chronic conditions than hospital-discharge patients. Their characteristics, including the most common diagnoses, have generally remained the same over the course of the last few years, during which the Medicare interim and prospective payment systems were implemented. Through reliance on their physicians, family, and the aging network, they appear to be getting access to Medicare home health care. However, some concerns emerged, such as barriers for Medicare patients with certain medical conditions, confusion regarding Medicare eligibility and coverage, and home health agency staffing shortages. In most instances, we found the reported experiences of 'community' beneficiaries to be similar to those discharged from the hospital into home health services.

9. NCHS:

A. "Healthy People 2000 Final Review," (National Center for Health Statistics, October 2001, .pdf format, 378p.)


.pdf designed for use with assistive technology:

B. "The Autopsy, Medicine, and Mortality Statistics," by D. Hoyert (National Center for Health Statistics, Vital and Health Statistics Reports Series 3, No. 32, October 2001, .pdf format, 52p.).

Click on "View/download PDF" for full text.

10. PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION TO STRENGTHEN SOCIAL SECURITY: Witness statements from the Commission's October 18, 2001 meeting are now available at the Commission's web site. The statements are in .pdf format, and can be accessed by clicking on the individual's name.

11. FIRSTGOV FOR SENIORS ARTICLE: "Protecting Medicare Beneficiaries When Their Medicare+Choice Organization Withdraws," (FirstGov for Seniors, October 2001).

More information about FirstGov for Seniors:

12. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT AND EDITORIAL: Note: Electronic full-text (HTML and .pdf) may be available. Check with your organization's library.

A. "Process of Care and Outcomes for Elderly Patients Hospitalized With Peptic Ulcer Disease: Results From a Quality Improvement Project," by Jane Brock, Angela Sauaia, Dennis Ahnen, William Marine, William Schluter, Beth R. Stevens, Jeanne D. Scinto, Herbert Karp, and Dale Bratzler (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 286, No. 16, October 24/31, 2001, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1985-1993).

B. "Improving Care for Elderly Patients With Peptic Ulcer Disease: Should the Focus Be on Drugs or Bugs?" by Javed Butler, Reid Ness, and Theodore Speroff (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 286, No. 16, .pdf and HTML format, October 24/31, 2001, p. 2023-2024).


A. "Blood Transfusion in Elderly Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction," by Wen-Chih Wu, Saif S. Rathore, Yongfei Wang, Martha J. Radford, and Harlan M. Krumholz (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 345, No. 17, .pdf and HTML format, October 25, 2001, p. 1230-1236).

B. "A Clinical Trial of Estrogen-Replacement Therapy after Ischemic Stroke," by Catherine M. Viscoli, Lawrence M. Brass, Walter N. Kernan, Philip M. Sarrel, Samy Suissa, and Ralph I. Horwitz (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 345, No. 17, .pdf and HTML format, October 25, 2001, p. 1243-1249).

14. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: Electronic full-text (HTML and .pdf) may be available. Check with your organization's library.

"Functional magnetic resonance imaging of reorganization in rat brain after stroke," by Rick M. Dijkhuizen, JingMei Ren, Joseph B. Mandeville, Ona Wu, Fatih M. Ozdag, Michael A. Moskowitz, Bruce R. Rosen, and Seth P. Finklestein (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 98, No. 22, .pdf and HTML formats, October 23, 2001, p. 12766-12771).

15. AARP NEWS RELEASE: "AARP Passes The 35 Million Member Mark" (AARP, Oct. 18, 2001).

III. Working Papers:


"The Widow(er)'s Limit Provision of Social Security," by David A. Weaver (Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics Working Paper No. 92, HTML and .pdf formats, June 2001, 37p.).

The widow(er)s limit provision of Social Security establishes caps on the benefit amounts of widow(er)s whose deceased spouse filed for early retirement benefits. Currently, 33 percent of Social Security's 8.1 million widow(er) beneficiaries have lower benefits because of that provision. This paper describes the widow(er)s limit provision and evaluates proposed changes to it. The proposals considered range from the modest (allowing widow(er)s to receive adjustments to the capped amounts by delaying receipt of benefits) to the substantial (abolishing the widow(er)s limit).

PDF format:

HTML format:

17. NBER: Note: Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract, or submit your email address, for full text.

A. "The Mismatch Between Life Insurance Holdings and Financial Vulnerabilities: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," by B. Douglas Bernheim, Katherine Grace Carman, Jagadeesh Gokhale, Laurence J. Kotlikoff (National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 8544, .pdf format, October 2001, 48p.).

Using the 1995 Survey of Consumer Finances and an elaborate life-cycle model, we quantify the potential financial impact of each individual's death on his or her survivors, and we measure the degree to which life insurance moderates these consequences. Life insurance is essentially uncorrelated with financial vulnerability at every stage of the life cycle. As a result, the impact of insurance among at-risk households is modest, and substantial uninsured vulnerabilities are widespread, particularly among younger couples. Roughly two-thirds of poverty among surviving women and more than one-third of poverty among surviving men results from a failure to insure survivors against an undiminished living standard. We also identify a systematic gender bias: for any given level of financial vulnerability, couples provide significantly more protection for wives than for husbands.

B. "Aging and International Capital Flows," by Axel Boersch-Supan, Alexander Ludwig, and Joachim Winter (National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 8553, .pdf format, October 2001, 31p.).


Throughout the world, population aging is a major challenge that will continue well into the 21st century. While the patterns of the demographic transition are similar in most countries, timing differs substantially, in particular between industrialized and less developed countries. To the extent that capital is internationally mobile, population aging will therefore induce capital flows between countries. In order to quantify these international capital flows, we employ a multi-country overlapping generations model and combine it with long-term demographic projections for several world regions over a 50 year horizon. Our simulations suggest that capital flows from fast-aging industrial countries (such as Germany and Italy) to the rest of the world will be substantial. Closed-economy models of pension reform are likely to miss quantitatively important effects of international capital mobility.

C. "Changes in the Age Distribution of Mortality Over the 20th Century," by David Cutler and Ellen Meara (National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 8556, .pdf format, October 2001, 45p.).


Mortality has declined continuously in the United States over the course of the 20th century, and at relatively constant rates. But the constancy of mortality reductions masks significant heterogeneity by age, cause, and source. Using historical data on death by age and cause, this paper describes the characteristics of mortality decline over the 20th century. Early in the 20th century, mortality declines resulted from public health and economic measures that improved peoples' ability to withstand disease. Because nutrition and public health were more important for the young than the old, mortality reductions were concentrated at younger ages. By mid-century, medical care became more significant and other factors less so. Penicillin and sulfa drugs brought the first mortality reductions at older ages, which were coupled with continuing improvements in health at younger ages. The pattern of mortality reduction was relatively equal by age. In the latter part of the 20th century, death became increasingly medicalized. Cardiovascular disease mortality was prevented in significant part through medical intervention. Most of the additional years added to life in the last few decades of the 20th century were at older ages.

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

18. Journal of Aging Studies (Vol. 15, No. 4, Dec. 2001). Note: Electronic full-text may be available. Check with your organization's library.

19. Journals of Gerontology (A) Biological Sciences and (A) Medical Sciences (Vols. 56A, Nos. 11, November 2001). . Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and this issue.

20. Journal of Health Economics (Vol. 20, No. 6, November 2001). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is also available in EbscoHost. Check your library for availability of this database and this issue.

21. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "Search Options"
C. Type the Journal Name in the "Publication title" search box and click the radio button "Words in Title"
D. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

American Economic Review (Vol. 91, No. 4, Sep. 2001). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is also available in the ProQuest Research Library or EbscoHost databases. Check your library for availability of these databases and this issue.

Educational Geronotology (Vol. 27, No. 7, 2001). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is also available in EbscoHost. Check your library for availability of this database and this issue.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 49, No. 9, 2001).

22. 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. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of October 23, 2001:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of October 23, 2001:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of October 23, 2001:

AMADEO Literature Guide:

V. Conferences:

23. HRS/BLS: "Survey Research on Household Expectations and Preferences, A Conference Sponsored by the Health and Retirement Study and the Bureau of Labor Statistics," Nov. 2-3, 2001, in Ann Arbor Michigan. For more information see:

VI. Legislation Information Updates:


"Defrauding Medicare: How Easy is it and what Can We do to Stop it?" a hearing held July 25, 2000 (Hearing Publication Serial Number 106-250, .pdf and HTML format, 150p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "106-250" (without the quotation).


A. "Administration's Principles to Strengthen and Modernize Medicare," a hearing held July 19, 2001 (Hearing Publication Serial No. 107-39, HTML and .pdf format, p. 72).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "107-39" (without the quotation).

B. "Rural Health Care in Medicare," a hearing held July 12, 2001 (Hearing Publication Serial No. 107-33, HTML and .pdf format, p. 69).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "107-33" (without the quotation).

C. "Third in Series on Medicare Reform: Laying the Groundwork for a Rx Drug Benefit," a hearing held March 27, 2001 (Hearing Publication Serial No. 107-07, HTML and .pdf format, p. 96).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "107-07" (without the quotation).

VII. Websites of Interest:

26. AOA: "Because We Care: A Guide for People Who Care," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, .pdf and HTML formats, October 2001, 67p.). AOA provides this document as "[a]n online resource guide for the growing number of Americans who are caring for an older family member, adult child with disabilities, or older friend."

To get to the .pdf file click on "PDF version".

27. MEDSCAPE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

"Medscape Women's Health Journal Scan -- Menopause," (Medscape Women's Health Journal Scan, Vol. 4, No. 24, last updated October 17, 2001).





Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology
Rm. 4470A Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400