Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #153--September 19, 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. CENSUS BUREAU: "National Intercensal Estimates (1990-2000)" (US Census Bureau, HTML, ASCII, and Comma Separated Value [CSV] delimited format, September 2002). Included are selected tables by age group and sex.


II. Reports and articles:

2. NCHS:

A. "Deaths: Leading Causes for 2000," by Richard N. Anderson (US National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 50, No. 16, September 2002, .pdf format, 86p.).

B. "Deaths: Final Data for 2000," by Arialdi M. Minino, Elizabeth Arias, Kenneth D. Kochanek, Sherry L. Murphy, and Betty L. Smith (US National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 50, No. 15, September 2002, .pdf format, 120p.).

An NCHS factsheet links to both reports:

3. URBAN INSTITUTE: "Stretching Federal Dollars: Policy Trade-Offs in Designing a Medicare Drug Benefit with Limited Resources," by Marilyn Moon and Matthew Storeygard (Urban Institute Policy Brief, August 2002, .pdf format, 8p.).


A prescription drug benefit has proven to be an elusive addition to the Medicare program. While policymakers are in nearly universal agreement on the need for drug coverage, Congress reached a stalemate during the summer of 2001 on what such a benefit should look like. The biggest area of controversy was, and continues to be, money: How much will the federal government contribute to such a benefit and what can beneficiaries be expected to pay? Budget constraints will inevitably clash with goals for establishing a desirable benefit package. This policy brief considers how to structure a drug benefit and what trade-offs will need to be made in the context of financial limitations. It discusses three potential approaches, each of which employs a different cost/payment structure and each of which benefits one group while neglecting another. Nonetheless, it suggests that it is possible to craft a drug benefit that would preserve universal coverage by protecting low-income beneficiaries and placing a cap on high costs.

4. COMMONWEALTH FUND REPORT: "Evaluation of the Wellspring Model for Improving Nursing Home Quality," by Robyn I. Stone, Susan C. Reinhard, Barbara Bowers, David Zimmerman, Charles D. Phillips, Catherine Hawes, Jean A. Fielding, and Nora Jacobson (Commonwealth Fund, August 2002, .pdf format, 41p.).

Full text:

Press release:


A. "Supplemental Security Income: Progress Made in Detecting and Recovering Overpayments, but Management Attention Should Continue" (US General Accounting Office, GAO-02-849, September 2002, .pdf format, 28p.).

B. "Answers to Key Questions About Private Pension Plans," (US General Accounting Office GAO-02-745SP, September 2002, .pdf format, 55p.).

Note: These are temporary addresses. GAO reports can always be found at:

Search on title or report number.

6. KFF REPORT: "Medicare+Choice in California: Lessons and Insights," by Marsha Gold and Timothy Lake (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, September 2002, .pdf format, 35p.).


Thirty-five percent of all California Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in a M+C plan, far in excess of the 14 percent rate nationwide. This report seeks to identify what lessons for the nation can be drawn from the California M+C experience, as Congress debates the implications of major withdrawals from the M+C program and potential policy changes aimed at reversing this trend. The report is based largely on analysis of M+C data on plan participation, withdrawals, and enrollment by county from year-end 1997 (when M+C was enacted) through 2001, including reported withdrawals in 2002.

Click on "Report" at the end of the abstract for full text.

7. ADEAR PERIODICAL: _Connections_ (Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, Vol. 10, Nos. 1 & 2, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, 16p.).

More information on ADEAR:


A. "Top Economist Heads $7.2 Million Aged Care Review (Sep. 16, 2002).

B. "$1.8 Million For New Dementia Respite Services" (Sep. 16, 2002).

9. WATSON WYATT WORLDWIDE REPORT SUMMARY: Note: The complete report will be available Oct. 1, 2002. The report can be ordered on line.

"Retiree Health Benefits: Time to Resuscitate?" (Watson Wyatt Worldwide, Sept. 2002, HTML format).

More information about Watson Wyatt Worldwide:


A. _FoodReview_ (US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Vol. 25, No. 2, September 2002, .pdf format, 45p.). This is a special issue: "The Graying of America," with six articles devoted to the topic.

B. _Rural America_ (US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Vol. 17, No. 2, September 2002, .pdf format, 60p.) contains two articles that may be of interest to researchers in aging: "Rural Health Issues for the Older Population," by Carolyn C. Rogers (p. 30-36); and"Implications of Medicare Restructuring for Rural Areas," by Carolyn C. Rogers (p. 37-43).

Scroll to or "find in page" article titles.

11. _BMJ_ ARTICLE: "Doctors' perceptions of palliative care for heart failure: focus group study," by Barbara Hanratty, Derek Hibbert, Frances Mair, Carl May, Christopher Ward, Simon Capewell, Andrea Litva, and Ged Corcoran (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 325, No. 7364, Sep. 14, 2002, HTML and .pdf format, p. 581-585).

12. _TIME_ ARTICLE: "Prostate Cancer: Cut or Wait? New evidence tips the balance toward surgical intervention. But you still may not live longer," by Christine Gorman (_Time_, Vol. 160, No. 13, Sep. 23, 2002).,9171,1101020923-351200,00.html

13. AARP _PRIME TIME RADIO_: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows (covering Aug. 6 through Sep. 3, 2002, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Aug. 6, 2002. Pioneering Change for Older People
Aug. 20, 2002. Abe Graber - Artist and Poet, Revisited
Aug. 20, 2002. Too Old to Write Scripts?
Aug. 27, 2002. Making Love Again
Sep. 3. 2002. Resurrecting Sex

Scroll to show title.


III. Working Papers:

14. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "Health Impacts of Co-residence with and Caregiving to Persons with HIV/AIDS on Older Parents in Thailand," by Jiraporn Kespichayawattana and Mark VanLandingham (PSC Research Report 02-527, September 2002, .pdf format, 22p.).


An emerging literature indicates that parents are main caregivers to persons with HIV and AIDS (PHAs) in Thailand, especially during the late stages of illness. Very little research has examined whether and to what extent this caregiving role affects the physical and psychological health of older persons who give such care, especially in Thailand and other developing countries, where most infections occur. This paper explores these potential health impacts of caregiving for 394 households having older parents who had a child die of AIDS versus 376 households with older persons who did not, based upon original survey data collected during 2000 in three provinces (from 3 sub-regions) in Thailand. We supplement these survey data with qualitative data resulting from 18 in-depth interviews of older persons who had lost an adult child to AIDS. We find that large proportions of older persons with PHA children provide a variety of time consuming and strenuous caregiving services to them. Mothers shoulder most of this burden. Mothers who have had a child die from AIDS reported lower levels of overall happiness than mothers who did not. Mothers and fathers of PHAs who died report lower levels of overall happiness now compared to 3 years ago (before the time of the death of their child) with respect to parents from households that did not experience an adult child death. Many AIDS parents experienced anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, muscle strain, and head and stomach aches during the time they cared for their ill children, and many experienced these problems often.


A. "Daily activities and survival at older ages," by Petra L. Klum and Heiner Maier (Working Paper 2002-041, August 2002, .pdf format, 28p.).


This study tested the hypothesis that time spent on regenerative (e.g., resting), productive (e.g., housework), and consumptive activities (e.g., meeting friends) is associated with survival in persons aged 70 and older. An observational study with semi-annual mortality follow-ups was carried out in the former West Berlin, Germany. The sample was stratified by age and sex and consisted of 473 persons aged 70 to 103 years. Study participants lived in the community as well as in institutions. Activity measures were assessed in 1990-1993 by structured interviews in the participants homes. Cox regression was used to model survival from time of interview. The main outcome measure was survival on 3 February 2000. Consumptive activities were related to survival (relative risk = 0.76, 95% confidence interval 0.58 to 1.00) after several confounding factors were controlled for. There were indications that the greatest survival benefit is achieved with a medium amount of time devoted to consumptive activities. Our results support the idea that daily activities are linked to survival via a psychosocial pathway, which might involve perceived quality of life. Consumptive activities (e.g., meeting friends, reading a novel) may contribute considerably to maintaining health and achieving longevity, because they are performed on a daily basis and their effects may accumulate over the life course.

B. "Decomposing change in life expectancy: a bouquet of formulas in honour of Nathan Keyfitz's 90th birthday," by James W. Vaupel, and Vladimir Canudas Romo (Working Paper 2002-042, September 2002, .pdf format, 22p.).


This article extends Nathan Keyfitz's research on continuous change in life expectancy over time. A new formula for decomposing such change is presented and proved. The formula separates change in life expectancy over time into two terms. The first term captures the general effect of reduction in death rates at all ages. The second term captures the effect of heterogeneity in the pace of improvement in mortality at dfferent ages. The formula is extended to decompose change in life expectancy into age-specific and cause-specific components. The methods are applied to analyze changes in life expectancy in Sweden and Japan.

C. "Post-Darwinian Longevity, by James W. Vaupel (Working Paper 2002-043, September 2002, .pdf format, 16p.).

16. CESifo: "Does the Balance of Power Within a Family Matter? The Case of the Retirement Equity Act," by Saku Aura (CESifo [Center for Economic Studies and the Ifo Institute, Munich, Germany] Working Paper No. 734, May 2002, .pdf format, 37p.).


This paper studies within-family decision making regarding investment in income protection for surviving spouses. A change in US pension law (the Retirement Equity Act of 1984) is used as an instrument to derive predictions both from a simple Nash-bargaining model of the household and from the classical single-utility-function model of the household. This law change gave spouses of married pension-plan participants the right to survivor benefits unless they explicitly waived this right. The predictions of the classical model are rejected in favor of the predictions of the Nash-bargaining model in the data.

More on CESifo:


A. "Projecting Poverty Rates in 2020 for the 62 and Older Population: What Changes Can We Expect and Why?" by Barbara A. Butrica, Karen Smith, and Eric Toder (WP 2002-03, September 2002, .pdf format, 45p.).

Links to an extensive abstract and full text:

B. "Health Insurance Coverage and the Disability Insurance Application Decision," by Jonathan Gruber and Jeffrey Kubik (WP 2002-04, September 2002, .pdf format, 41p.).

Links to an extensive abstract and full text:


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

18. Journals of Gerontology (A): Biological and Medical Sciences (Vols. 57A, Nos. 10, October 2002). Note 1: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available at the site. Check your organization's library. Note 2: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and these issues.

19. 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.

International Journal of Aging and Human Development (Vol. 54, No. 4, 2002).

Research on Aging (Vol. 24, No. 5, 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 the availability of these databases and this issue.

20. 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 Sep. 17, 2002:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Sep. 17, 2002:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Sep. 17, 2002:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

21. ACADEMY HEALTH/NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS: Academy Health (formerly known as the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy) and the US National Center for Health Statistics have issued a call for applications for a Health Policy Fellowship. "The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy seek applications for the second cycle of the NCHS/ Academy Health Policy Fellowship. This program brings visiting scholars in health services research-related disciplines to NCHS to collaborate on studies of interest to policymakers and the health services research community using NCHS data systems." Deadline for proposal submissions is Jan. 10, 2003. For more information, including application information see:


VI. Conferences/Seminars:

22. DATA WAREHOUSE ON TRENDS IN HEALTH AND AGING/NHIS/MEPS/: Seminars in the use of the the US National Center for Health Statistics Data Warehouse on Trends in Health and Aging and National Health Interview Survey; and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Medical Expenditure Panel Survey are being held at the Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy in Washington DC, Nov. 4-6, 2002. For more information, including registration information, see:

VII. Legislation Information Updates:

23. US SENATE VETERANS AFFAIRS HEARING PUBLICATION: "Prescription Drug Issues in the Department of Veterans Affairs," a hearing held Jul. 24, 2001 (US Senate Hearing Publication 107-631, ASCII text and .pdf format. Note: At the time this report was sent, the .pdf version of this publication was not available.

Scroll to or "find in page" "107-631" (without the quotes).

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