Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #145--July 25, 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:


"MEPS HC-034: 2001 P5R3/P6R1 Population Characteristics," (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, July 24, 2002, data files are available in compressed ASCII and SAS transport format, documentation (codebooks in HTML or .pdf format), questionnaires, and SAS programming statements are also available). "This public use file provides information on data collected on a nationally representative sample of the civilian non-institutionalized population of the United States during the early part of 2001. The data consist of 2001 data obtained in Round 3 of Panel 5 and Round 1 of Panel 6 of the MEPS Household Component and contains variables pertaining to survey administration, demographics, employment, health status, and health insurance."

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

"Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S. Civilian Non-institutionalized Population, first half of 2001."

II. Reports and articles:

2. AOA: "2000 State Program Reports," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, .pdf format). Note: "Information provided by the State Program Reports (SPR) describes the services provided Title III and VII of the Older Americans Act."

3. GAO REPORTS: "Medicare Home Health Agencies: Weaknesses in Federal and State Oversight Mask Potential Quality Issues," (US General Accounting Office, GAO-02-382, July 19, 2002, .pdf format, 105p.).

Note: This address is temporary. GAO correspondence may or may not be archived at:

Search on title or report number.


A. "Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, July 2002). Note: "Updated tracking sheet announcing posting of transcript from June 12 MCAC meeting."

B. "Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) as a Bridge to Heart Transplantation CMS has discovered a discrepancy regarding two Coverage Issues Manual (CIM) instructions," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, July 2002). Note: "We are opening an NCD to correct the discrepancy in CIM 35-87 and make it consistent with CIM 65-15. We will not address changes to CIM 65-15 in this NCD."

C. "Home Blood Glucose Monitors," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, July 2002). Note: "CMS has discovered a discrepancy regarding a Coverage Issues Manual (CIM) instruction. We are opening an NCD to correct this discrepancy in CIM 60-11 to make it consistent with the statute.

D. "Electrostimulation for Wounds," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, July 2002). Note: "CMS posts decision memorandum announcing our intent to issue a limited positive national coverage determination."

E. "Levocarnitine for End Stage Renal Disease," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, July 2002). Note: "CMS posts the decision memorandum announcing its intent to issue a limited positive national coverage determination."

F. "Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) for Spinal Cord Injury," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, July 2002). Note: "CMS posts decision memorandum announcing our intent to issue a positive national coverage determination."

5. NLS HANDBOOK: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the 2002 version of the NLS Handbook (HTML and .pdf format, 142p.). "The NLS Handbook provides an introduction to and overall picture of the 6 cohorts that make up the National Longitudinal Surveys: NLSY97, NLSY79 and children, Mature Women, Young Women, Older Men, and Young Men. It is particularly useful for those who are unfamiliar with the surveys and their data. Each cohort-specific chapter of the Handbook is accompanied by detailed tables that provide users with information about many of the variables contained in each of the surveys over time."

6. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING PRESS RELEASE: "New Project to improve the lives of older people with chronic illness," (Australian Dept. of Health and Ageing, July 22, 2002).


A. "Long-term Persistence in Use of Statin Therapy in Elderly Patients," by Joshua S. Benner, Robert J. Glynn, Helen Mogun, Peter J. Neumann, Milton C. Weinstein, and Jerry Avorn (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 288, No. 4, July 24/31, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 455-461).

B. "Adherence With Statin Therapy in Elderly Patients With and Without Acute Coronary Syndromes," by Cynthia A. Jackevicius, Muhammad Mamdani, and Jack V. Tu (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 288, No. 4, July 24/31, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 462-467).

C. "Elderly Patients' Adherence to Statin Therapy," by William B. Applegate (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 288, No. 4, July 24/31, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 495-497).

D. "Measurement of Serum Estradiol Levels in Postmenopausal Women," by Frank Z. Stanczyk and Steven R. Cummings (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 288, No. 4, July 24/31, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 450-451).

E. "Accuracy of Tablet Splitting by Elderly Patients," by Brian T. Peek, Antoine Al-Achi, and Stephen J. Coombs (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 288, No. 4, July 24/31, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 451-452).


A. "Planning for death but not serious future illness: qualitative study of housebound elderly patients," by Joseph A. Carrese, Jamie L. Mullaney, Ruth R. Faden, and Thomas E. Finucane (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 325, No. 7356, July 20, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 125-127).

B. "Randomised factorial trial of falls prevention among older people living in their own homes," by Lesley Day, Brian Fildes, Ian Gordon, Michael Fitzharris, Harold Flamer, and Stephen Lord (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 325, No. 7356, July 20, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 128-130).

C. "Hormone replacement therapy," by John C. Stevenson and Malcolm I. Whitehead (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 325, No. 7356, July 20, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 113-114).

9. _LANCET_ RESEARCH LETTER: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content.

"Prevalence of dementia in institutional care," by Fiona E. Matthews and Tom Dening (_Lancet_, Vol. 360, No. 9328, July 20, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 225-226).

10. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "Osteoporosis 2002: Headline News," by Ronald C. Hamdy (_Southern Medical Journal via Medscape_, Vol. 95, No. 5, 2002).

B. "Reflections on the WHI Findings: Avoiding a Pill Scare and Taking Sensible Steps Forward," by Paul D. Blumenthal (_Contemporary Issues in Gynecology, Obstetrics and Women's Health via Medscape_, Vol. 7, No. 4, 2002).

11. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION UPDATED REPORT: "Prescription Drug Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Selected Proposals," by Health Policy Alternatives, Inc. (Kaiser Family Foundation, July 25, 2002, .pdf format, 50p.). Note: This report was updated on July 25, 2002.


"Medicare generally covers the costs of prescription drugs received in inpatient facilities and of drugs that beneficiaries cannot self-administer. With a few exceptions, Medicare does not cover the costs of outpatient prescription drugs. While many Medicare beneficiaries have some coverage for prescription drugs through Medicare+Choice (M+C) plans, Medicare supplemental insurance policies (Medigap), retiree health plans, or Medicaid, an estimated 38 percent of Medicare beneficiaries had no drug coverage in the Fall of 1999 and, among those with coverage, drug benefits are eroding.

This document provides a side-by-side comparison of the following four major federal proposals currently being advanced to provide outpatient prescription drug coverage to the Medicare

- House-Passed Plan (H.R. 4954, The Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002)
- Rangel Bill (H.R. 5019, The Medicare Rx Drug Benefit and Discount Act of 2002)
- Graham Bill (S. 2625, The Medicare Outpatient Prescription Drug Act of 2002, including modifications in the Graham Amendment to S. 812)
- Tripartisan Bill (S. 2729, The 21st Century Medicare Act)."

12. _SCIENCE_ REVIEW ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "The Amyloid Hypothesis of Alzheimer's Disease: Progress and Problems on the Road to Therapeutics," by John Hardy and Dennis J. Selkoe (_Science_, Vol. 297, No. 5580, July 19, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 353-356).

13. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE ISSUE BRIEF: "401(k)s and Company Stock: How Can We Encourage Diversification?" by Alicia H. Munnell and Annika Sundn (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Issue Brief #9, July 2002, .pdf format, 12p.).

From the Executive Summary:

"Over the past two decades, the private pension system in the United States has shifted from defined benefit to defined contribution plans, and the fastest growing defined contribution plans are 401(k)s. The defining characteristic of 401(k) plans is that employees, rather than employers, bear the investment risk. Currently, many employees hold a significant portion of their 401(k) funds in their companies stock, which increases the risk of their plans."

Follow the link to PDF format.

14. AARP PERIODICAL: Selected articles from the July/August 2002 _AARP Bulletin_ are available from the _AARP Bulletin_ website.

Note: this is a temporary address. When the next _AARP Bulletin_ becomes available, this one will be available from the "other issues" link

15. _THE NEW YORKER_ ARTICLE: "Hormones for Men," by Jerome Groopman (_The New Yorker_, July 23, 2002).

16. _TIME_ ARTICLE: "Everyone, Back in the Labor Pool," by Daniel Kadlec (_Time_, Vol. 160, No. 5, Jul. 29, 2002).


III. Working Papers:

17. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE: "Pension Reform in the Presence of Financial Market Risk," by Barry Bosworth and Gary Burtless (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College WP #2002-01, July 2002, .pdf format, 62p.).


As their populations grow older, the industrial countries face steep increases in public pension costs. If countries change their pension systems in advance of sharply higher pension costs, it is possible to prepare for the added retirement costs by funding a portion of the future liabilities through increased saving. By boosting capital formation and economic growth, higher saving has the potential to increase the incomes - and the welfare - of future workers and retirees.

This paper considers investment accumulation and pension adequacy in light of financial market risk. We examine two alternative reforms of the U.S. pension system that are aimed at pre-funding part of future pension liabilities and increasing national saving. The first policy expands the role of advance funding in the existing Social Security system by moving toward a policy of tax increases that are large enough to maintain close actuarial balance over a 75-year horizon. Under the alternative policy, the traditional Social Security program adopts pay-as-you-go financing after 2033 and a new system of individual investment accounts is adopted to supplement (reduced) pensions under the traditional system. Advance funding takes place in the new individual investment account system.

The findings reported in this paper show the implications of investing part of the pension fund accumulation in assets which are subject to significant financial market risk. A major conclusion is that the magnitude of financial risk is empirically quite large. Surprisingly, some of the risks connected with advance funding can be even greater when assets are accumulated within the traditional Social Security program rather than individual investment accounts. Although advance funding in Social Security holds out the promise of raising national saving and future output even more than fund accumulation in individual accounts, the variability of returns on Trust Fund investments can have more far-reaching effects on the aggregate economy, through its potential impact on national savings, returns on capital, and the average wages. For example, a sequence of unexpectedly high investment returns on Trust Fund reserves might induce policymakers to reduce the Social Security contribution rate, lessening the flow of net savings from Trust Fund accumulation. The reduced rate of saving would in turn slow the growth of the capital stock, possibly increasing the real return on capital and reducing still further the required contribution rate for Social Security.

Follow the link to PDF format of the paper.

18. BANK OF ENGLAND: "The Implications of an Ageing Population for the UK Economy," by Garry Young (Bank of England Working Paper No. 159, July 2002, .pdf format, 46p.).


In this paper the likely development of aggregate living standards in the United Kingdom over the course of this century are considered, and some of the risks to this outlook. It is argued that even under relatively cautious assumptions about technological progress and capital accumulation, aggregate living standards (as measured by GDP per head) are set to double over the next 50 years. While there are clear risks to this aggregate outlook, these would be present even without demographic change. The risks to the living standards of individuals and individual cohorts are also discussed. These risks have changed in three main ways as a result of demographic change. First, ageing has been a factor throughout the world in encouraging a shift from public to private provision for old age, increasing the proportion of retired people exposed to risks to market prices and rates of return. Second, the size of the group exposed to such risks is growing larger as a direct result of ageing. Third, any adverse effects of demographic change are most likely to be felt in old age; one of the effects of people living longer is that they have to spread their lifetime incomes over more years of life, implying a need for more saving when working. If this does not occur, then consumption has to be considerably lower in old age than would have been the case had proper provision been made for retirement.

19. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH: "Differences in suicide between the old and the oldest old," by Annette Erlansen, Unni Bille-Brahe, and Bernard Jeune (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, WP 2002-030, July 2002, .pdf format, 23p.).


Objectives: The purpose of our study was to examine the differences in trends of suicide mortality between the old aged 65-79 years and the oldest old aged 80 years or above.

Methods: All persons aged 50 or above who committed suicide in Denmark during 1972-1997 were included. Suicide rates were analysed by sex, age, civil status and methods. A Lexis diagram was applied to study age, period, and cohort effects.

Results. In all, 17,328 (10,220 men and 7,108 women) committed suicide. The highest suicide rate was found among the oldest old men, and since the mid-1990s, also for women. Marriage has a preventive effect on suicide, however this effect decreases with increasing age. With increasing age, more determined suicide methods are used.

Discussion: A distinct difference in the suicide mortality of the old and the oldest old was found. Suicides among the old have more in common with the suicide patterns of the middle-aged than with the oldest old. Oldest old committing suicide, have a high suicide intent.


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

20. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 156, No. 2, July 15, 2002). Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available at the site. Check your organization's library.

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 Sociological Review (Vol. 67, No. 3, 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.

Journal of Adult Development (Vol. 9, No. 3, 2002).

Journal of Applied Gerontology (Vol. 21, No. 2, 2002). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database and the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of these databases and this issue.

Medical Care Research and Review (Vol. 59, 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.

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 July 19, 2002:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of July 19, 2002 and July 23, 2002:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of July 19, 2002 and July 23, 2002:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

23. NIH: "Pathogenesis and Treatment of Dyskinesias in Parkinson's Disease," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, PAS-02-129, July 18, 2002).

24. CENTER FOR DEMOGRAPHY OF HEALTH AND AGING UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON: "Postdoctoral Position in Demography of Aging," fellowship available Sept. 1, 2002. For more information about the position go to:

25. ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION: "Health and Society Scholars Program," program application deadline is October 25, 2002.

"The Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars Program is a new two-year fellowship designed to build the nation's capacity for research, leadership and action to address the broad range of factors affecting health.

Each year the program will enable up to 18 outstanding individuals who have completed doctoral training to engage in an intensive two-year program at one of six nationally prominent universities. The first cohort of Health & Society Scholars will enter training in August 2003." For more information, including details on applying for the program, go to:

VI. Legislation Information Updates:

26. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE HEARING TRANSCRIPT: "Retirement Security for the American Worker: Opportunities and Challenges," a hearing held November 1, 2002 (Serial No. 107-37, ASCII and .pdf format, 142p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "107-37" (no quotes).

27. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING: "Identity Theft: The Nation's Fastest Growing Crime Wave Hits Seniors," a hearing held July 18, 2002.

Hearing Testimony (HTML and .pdf format).

Scroll down to "Identity Theft" and follow the link to view hearing testimony.

28. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH HEARING: "Medicare's Geographic Cost Adjustments," a hearing held July 23, 2002.

Hearing Testimony (HTML format).

29. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS SUBCOMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES HEARING: "Fraud and Abuse in the Supplemental Security Income Program," a hearing held July 25, 2002.

Hearing testimony (HTML format).

VII. Websites of Interest:

30. "The 8th International Conference on Alzheimers Disease and Related Disorders," a conference being held July 20-25, 2002 in Stockholm, Sweden. To access press releases and abstracts from presentations go to:




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