Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #140--June 20, 2002

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. MEPS: The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Medical Expenditure Panel Survey has released the following tabular data summaries (HTML and .pdf format).

A. "New Compendium of Tables from the MEPS Household Component--Health Insurance tables 1996-2000."

B. "New Compendium of Tables from the MEPS Household Component--Medical Event Expenditure tables 1996-1998."

Both sets of tables can be reached from:


II. Reports and articles:

2. USDA ERS REPORT: "Seniors' Views of the Food Stamp Program and Ways To Improve Participation--Focus Group Findings in Washington State: Final Report," by Vivian Gabor, Susan Schreiber Williams, Hilary Bellamy, and Brooke Layne Hardison (United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service Food Assistance & Nutrition Program, E-FAN-02-012, June 2002, .pdf format, 216p.).


This report explores factors that influence Food Stamp Program (FSP) participation among the elderly and identifies ways to improve their participation based on findings from focus groups of senior FSP participants and nonparticipants, community-based organizations, and staff from local food stamp offices. While many seniors felt the FSP provided a valuable benefit, many felt that the benefit levels were too low to make the effort of applying worthwhile. Two important barriers that seniors felt they faced when applying for food stamps were the stigma attached to receiving what they see as welfare and misinformation about food stamp rules. Many seniors also felt the application, eligibility, and certification processes were overly complicated and intrusive. Discussants suggested several options for improving access to the FSP that included simplifying the application process, extending the recertification process, and changing the delivery of food stamp benefits to make them more user-friendly.

The report can be downloaded chapter by chapter, or in its entirety, at the bottom of the abstract.

3. DHHS ASPE REPORT: "The Effects of Congressional Proposals on Prescription Drug Costs for Medicare Beneficiaries" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, June 2002).

4. NCHS REPORT: "2000 National Hospital Discharge Survey," by Margaret J. Hall and Maria F. Owings (US National Center for Health Statistics, Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics No. 329, June 2002, .pdf format, 20p.).

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

5. NIH NEWS RELEASE: "Eye Drops Delay Onset of Glaucoma in People at Higher Risk" (US National Institutes of Health, Jun. 13, 2002).


A. "Alzheimer's Disease Medications Fact Sheet" (US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, June 2002).

B. "Multi-Infarct Dementia" (US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, June 2002).

7. GAO REPORT: "Prescription Drugs: State Monitoring Programs Provide Useful Tool to Reduce Diversion" (US General Accounting Office GAO 02-634, May 2002, .pdf format, 24p.).

Note: This is a temporary addresses. GAO reports can always be found at:

Search on title or report number.

8. DHHS OIG OEI REPORT: "Medicare Payments for Nail Debridement Services" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluation and Inspection OEI-04-99-00460, June 2002, .pdf format, 17p.).


A. "Flexible Retirement: A Snapshot of Large Employers' Initiatives," (UK Department of Work and Pensions, June 2002, Microsoft Word format).

Summary of Research Findings:

An investigation into the experience of some UK employers who have introduced, or are thinking of introducing, flexible retirement policies. It outlines the benefits for employees and employers, and identifies some difficulties associated with introducing flexible retirement policies.

Click on "Download document" for full text.

B. "Government boost for carers," (UK Dept. of Work and Pensions, Jun. 19, 2002). Note: "Measures to extend the help available to carers have been passed by Parliament to be implemented in October 2002 and April 2003."

10. UK DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH REPORT: "Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community. Statistics for 1991 to 2002: England," (UK Department of Health, June 2002, .pdf format, 24p.). "This bulletin presents a summary of prescriptions dispensed in the community. The statistics cover all prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists, appliance contractors and dispensing doctors, as well as prescriptions for items personally administered. The bulletin highlights recent changes and the main trends between 1991 and 2001."

Click on "Full Document" to view the report.

11. _JAMA_ MEDICINE AND THE MEDIA ABSTRACT: "News Media Coverage of Screening Mammography for Women in Their 40s and Tamoxifen for Primary Prevention of Breast Cancer," by Lisa M. Schwartz and Steven Woloshin (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 287, No. 23, Jun. 19, 2002, p. 3136-3142).

12. _BMJ_ ARTICLE: "Quality of life measurement: bibliographic study of patient assessed health outcome measures," by Andrew Garratt, Louise Schmidt, Anne Mackintosh, and Ray Fitzpatrick (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 324, No. 7351, Jun. 15, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, 5p.).


A. "Dream Fields: Baseball fans hit the road for camaraderie and nostalgia," by Laura Koss-Feder (_Time_, Vol. 159, No. 25, Jun. 24, 2002).,9171,1101020624-263010,00.html

B. "Ticklish Times: With aging parents, midlife offspring must balance concern and control," by Francine Russo (_Time_, Vol. 159, No. 25, Jun. 24, 2002).,9171,1101020624-262999,00.html

14. _NEWSWEEK_ ARTICLE: "The Disappearing Mind," by Geoffrey Cowley (_Newsweek_, Jun. 24, 2002).


III. Working Papers:

15. CESifo: "Neutral and Equitable Taxation of Pensions as Capital Income, by Dirk Kiesewetter and Rainer Niemann (CESifo [Center for Economic Studies and the Ifo Institute, Munich, Germany] Working Paper No. 706(1), April 2002, .pdf format, 22p.).


We derive an ex post neutral comprehensive income tax on pension schemes equivalent to a Johansson-Samuelson tax that guarantees non-discriminatory treatment of lifetime-dependent and other investments. By separately taxing contributions and benefits, our concept does not require any assumptions on the return of a pension scheme and, therefore, is of special interest for taxing public PAYGO schemes. Assuming constant tax and interest rates, the system is characterized by constant fractions of deductible contributions and taxable pensions. The tax base from neutral pension taxation considerably exceeds the one under existing legislation, e.g. in Germany or in the U.S.

More on CESifo:

16. POPULATION COUNCIL: "The elderly and AIDS: Coping strategies and health consequences in rural Tanzania," by Julia Dayton and Martha Ainsworth (Working Paper No. 160, 2002, .pdf format, 25p.).


The elderly are often especially likely to be adversely affected by the death from AIDS of prime-aged adults. The authors use a longitudinal survey of households from northwestern Tanzania in 1991-94 to compare the activities and wellbeing of the elderly in households before and after the death of a prime-aged adult with those of the elderly in households that did not experience the death of an adult. A significant proportion of adults suffering from AIDS return to their parents home shortly before death. Time spent by the elderly performing household chores rises following an adults death, and their participation in wage employment falls; no evidence is found of increased participation in farm work among the elderly. Evidence shows that the physical well-being of the elderly as measured by body mass index is reduced before the death of an adult relative but recovers thereafter. These results suggest that interventions to prevent a decline in well-being should be focused on the elderly in households with an AIDS patient during the period of illness. Finally, the physical well-being of the elderly in poor and better-off households prior to an adult's death is compared with that of the elderly in the poorest households that did not experience the death of an adult. The comparison indicates clearly that the poor have the lowest body mass index. Thus, deaths of adults from AIDS are likely to have the largest adverse impacts on the elderly in poor households. A broader group of elderly poor people with pervasive low health status should also be the focus of public policy designed to improve the welfare of the elderly.

Click on "Download the full Working Paper in PDF format" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

17. SIPP:

A. "The Assessment of Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Benefit Data Using Longitudinal Administrative Records," by Minh Huynh, Kalman Rupp, and James Sears (US Census Bureau Survey of Income and Program Participation Working Paper No. 238, 2002, .pdf format, 11p.).


Using Social Security Administration administrative records matched to the 1993 and 1996 SIPP panels, we assess discrepancies in reports of benefit receipt and benefit amounts for four sample months. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) "payment" records are excellent sources of "true" Federally administered SSI payments. The Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) "payment eligibility" records used in this analysis are imperfect proxies for "true" OASDI payments, but we provide evidence suggesting that over half of the observed absolute error is attributable to the SIPP, and the true SIPP error may even be larger than the discrepancy we observe. We present evidence of confusion between the OASDI and SSI as sources of payments, and we observe a higher incidence of reporting errors for SSI than for OASDI. After wave 1 of the 1993 SIPP, survey responses tend to reflect OASDI benefits net of the Medicare Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) premium. While this is consistent with revised questionnaire wording, the use of survey data without adjusting for the SMI premium could substantially bias SIPP-based estimates of total income and poverty status. We find that reporting errors for both SSI and OASDI differ dramatically by imputation status and provide evidence that errors may be systematically related to sample attrition and interview status (self, proxy, and refusal). Finally, we provide a brief assessment of the effect of the lack of social security numbers in a nontrivial fraction of cases and find clear evidence of selectivity.

B. "Type of OASDI Benefit and Year of Death based on an Exact Match to Social Security Administration Benefit Records, 1990 and 1991 Panels of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP): Description of the Development of the Data for Public Release and a Preliminary Evaluation of Data Quality," by Dennis R. Vaughn (US Census Bureau Survey of Income and Program Participation Working Paper No. 239, 2002, .pdf format, 83p.).

18. STOCKHOLM (SWEDEN) SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: "Cost-Effectiveness of Alendronate in the Treatment of Osteoporosis in Denmark - An Economic Evaluation Based on the Fracture Intervention," by Linus Jonsson, Fredrik Borgstrom, and Niklas Zethraeus (SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance No. 501, 2002, .pdf format, 29p.).


Treating a 71-year old (the mean age in the vertebral arm of FIT) osteoporotic woman with one prior vertebral fracture with alendronate was found to be associated with a cost of DKK 52,311 per QALY gained. The cost-effectiveness of ratio when treating a 69-year old woman with low bone mass and without previous vertebral fractures was higher (DKK 205,816) but still within the limits of what can be considered good value for the money. The results of this study indicate that treatment with alendronate in Denmark is cost-effective, provided the treatment is targeted towards high-risk patient groups in the FIT study.


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

19. Experimental Aging Research (Vol. 28, Nos. 2,3, April, July 2002). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite database. Check your library for availability of this database and these issues.

20. 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.

Demography (Vol. 39, No. 2, 2002). 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.

21. 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 Jun. 18, 2002:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jun. 18, 2002:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jun. 18, 2002:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

22. NRC: "Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America," edited by Richard J. Bonnie and Robert B. Wallace, Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect, [US] National Research Council, National Academy Press, 2002, OpenBook format, approx 219p.). Note: OpenBook format only allows reading/printing one page at a time. Ordering information is available at the site.

Click on "READ" or "Read it Online - Free!" for full text.

VI. Funding Opportunities:

23. AOA: "Performance Outcome Measures Project (Eligibility is limited to State Agencies on Aging) (US Administration on Aging). Note: Closing date: Jul. 29, 2002.

Federal Register Announcement:

Instructions for preparing AOA grant application (HTML):

Instructions for preparing AOA grant application (.pdf):


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

24. US HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH HEARING TRANSCRIPT: "Physician Payments," a hearing held Feb. 28, 2002 (US House Serial Publication 107-70, Feb. 28, 2002).

25. US HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE HEARING TESTIMONY: "Social Security: The Long-Term Budget Implications," a hearing held Jun. 19, 2002.

Hearing Testimony (HTML and .pdf format).

Scroll to "Social Security: The Long-Term Budget Implications"

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