Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #161--November 14, 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:



1. NCHS DATA UPDATE: NCHS has added new tables, and updated existing data tables, in the Data Warehouse on Trends in Health and Aging. The data tables include:

"Visits to Office-Based Physicians: Distribution of Drug Mentions"
"Visits to Office-Based Physicians: Distribution by Physician Specialty"
"Limitation of Activity: Difficulty Performing Activities of Daily Living"
"Functional Limitations of Medicare Beneficiaries (Summary)"
"Home Health Care Discharges: Distribution of Discharges Receiving Help in Activities of Daily Living"
"Mental Health of Nursing Home Residents"

In order to view these tables you will need to download NCHS's Beyond 20/20 browser.

II. Reports and articles:


A. "Nursing Homes: Public Reporting of Quality Indicators Has Merit, but National Implementation Is Premature," (US General Accounting Office GAO-03-187, October 31, 2002, .pdf format, 46p.). Note: See item 26 in this report for more information about the DHHS nursing home rating service.

B. "Skilled Nursing Facilities: Available Data Show Average Nursing Staff Time Changed Little After Medicare Payment Increase," (US General Accounting Office GAO-03-176, November 13, 2002, .pdf format, 36p.).

Note: These are temporary addresses. GAO reports may be available later at:

Search on title or report number.

3. CDC MMWR: "Influenza and Pneumococcal Vaccination Levels Among Persons Aged 65 Years [and over]---United States, 2001," (US Centers for Disease Control, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Vol. 51, No. 45, November 15, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1019-1024).

4. NCHS COMPENDIUM UPDATE: The National Center for Health Statistics has updated several of the tables to its annual _Health United States, 2002_ compendium (.pdf format). Several of the updated tables may be of interest to researchers in aging.

5. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION HEALTH POLL REPORT: The Kaiser Family Foundation presents the first edition of this "bimonthly report designed to provide key tracking information on public opinion about health care topics to journalists, policymakers and the general public. Each Current Feature includes poll findings on a unique and timely topic, while the other sections track public opinion on some key broad questions over time." The first Health Poll Report covers the issue of prescription drug coverage for seniors.

For more information about the polling data go to:

6. UK DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSION REPORT: "Client Group Analysis of the population over state pension age: May 2002," (UK Department for Work and Pension, November 7, 2002, .pdf format, 33p.). Note: "This continues the series on the population over state pension age in Great Britain in receipt of key Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits. The series has been developed from existing data on individual benefits to give a more coherent picture for this client group."

7. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEATLH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASE: "Reference Group and Expert Panel for $7.2M aged Care Review," (Australian Department of Health and Ageing, November 13, 2002).

8. NIA NEWS RELEASE: "Training Improves Cognitive Abilities of Older Adults," (National Institute on Aging, November 12, 2002). Note: You can access the electronic full-text of the JAMA articled referred to in this press release. Go to item 9 in this report for a link to the JAMA table of contents.

9. _JAMA_ SPECIAL ISSUE ON AGING: This week's issue of JAMA is devoted entirely to aging. The issue features six research articles. You will be able to access the article abstracts, but access to the full-text of most of the articles will be limited (all content is available in both .pdf and HTML format). Check with your organization's library about the availability of full-text. To view the table of contents, go to:

10. _BMJ_ EDITORIAL: "Treatments for sleep problems in elderly people," by Paul Montgomery (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 325, No. 7372, November 9, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1049).


A. "Drusen proteome analysis: An approach to the etiology of age-related macular degeneration," by John W. Crabb, Masaru Miyagi, Xiaorong Gu, Karen Shadrach, Karen A. West, Hirokazu Sakaguchi, Motohiro Kamei, Azeem Hasan, Lin Yan, Mary E. Rayborn, Robert G. Salomon, and Joe G. Hollyfield (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 99, No. 23, November 12, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 14682-14687).

B. "Suppression of bone resorption by madindoline A, a novel nonpeptide antagonist to gp130," by Masahiko Hayashi, Mun-Chual Rho, Akiko Enomoto, Akiko Fukami, Yong-Pil Kim, Yuji Kikuchi, Toshiaki Sunazuka, Tomoyasu Hirose, Kanki Komiyama, and Satoshi Omura (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 99, No. 23, November 12, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 14728-14733).

C. "Heme deficiency may be a factor in the mitochondrial and neuronal decay of aging," by Hani Atamna, David W. Killilea, Alison Nisbet Killilea, and Bruce N. Ames (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 99, No. 23, November 12, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 14807-14812).

D. "Transcriptional profiles associated with aging and middle age-onset caloric restriction in mouse hearts," by Cheol-Koo Lee, David B. Allison, Jaap Brand, Richard Weindruch, and Tomas A. Prolla (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 99, No. 23, November 12, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 14988-14993).

12. MEDSCAPE ARTICLES: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "Nutritional Factors That Influence Bone Health Throughout the Life Cycle," by Susan A. New (from Medscape coverage of the 24th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, held Sep. 20-24, 2002 in San Antonio Texas).

B. "Seeking Solutions for Long-term Care," by Melissa Knopper (_Clinician News_ via Medscape, Vol. 6, No. 8, November 2002, p. 22-24).

C. "Quality of Life and Menopause," by Lorraine Dennerstein (_Medscape Ob/Gyn and Women's Health_, Vol. 7, No. 2, November 2002).

D. "Prostate Cancer," by Philip W. Kantoff (_WebMD Scientific American Medicine_, November 2002).


A. "Health-related quality of life and mobility of patients awaiting elective total hip arthroplasty: a prospective study," by Jeffrey L. Mahon, Robert B. Bourne, Cecil H. Rorabeck, David H. Feeny, Larry Stitt, and Susan Webster-Bogaert (_Canadian Medical Association Journal_, Vol. 167, No. 10, November 12, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1115-1121).

B. "Initial patterns of use of COX-2 inhibitors by elderly patients in Ontario: findings and implications," by Muhammad Mamdani, Paula Rochon, Andreas Laupacis, and Geoffrey Anderson (_Canadian Medical Association Journal_, Vol. 167, No. 10, November 12, 2002, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1125-1126).

14. FORBES MAGAZINE: Note: _Forbes_ requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "Open Season on 401(k)s," by Brett Nelson (Forbes Magazine, November 18, 2002).

B. "Protect Your IRA," by Neil Weinberg and Matthew Swibel (Forbes Magazine, November 18, 2002).

15. US NEWS AND WORLD REPORTS: "Making Sense of Menopause," (US News and World Reports, November 18, 2002). Note: This week's issue contains a series of articles focusing on menopause.

16. ILCUSA PRESS RELEASE: "New study finds most Americans have been exposed to the claims of the 'Anti-aging' industry and a minority remains susceptible to its unproven promotions," (International Longevity Center USA, November 12, 2002, .pdf format).

III. Working Papers:

17. NBER:

A. "Health and Retirement: Do Changes in Health Affect Retirement Expectations?" by Kathleen McGarry (National Bureau of Economic Research w9317, November 2002, .pdf format, 34p.).


The choice of a retirement date is one of the most important decisions facing older workers. It is a decision that will affect their economic well-being for the remainder of their lives. One of the factors that undoubtedly impacts this choice is the worker's health. However, the many studies examining the relationship between health and retirement have failed to reach agreement on the relative importance of health in comparison to financial variables. Efforts to do so have been hampered by the difficulty of correctly measuring health status. Much of the concern centers on the fear that subjective reports of health are biased by individuals using poor health as a justification for early retirement. This paper takes advantage of a unique measure of labor force attachment, the subjective probability of continued work, to re-examine the role of health and changes in health status By focusing exclusively on workers I eliminate the concern about justification bias among retired individuals and find that subjective reports of health do have important effects on retirement, effects that are arguably stronger than those of the financial variables. The effects of subjective health remain large even when more objective measures of health, such as disease conditions, are included in the model. I also find that changes in retirement expectations are driven to a much greater degree by changes in health than by changes in income or wealth.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address for full text.

B. "Why Have Health Expenditures as a Share of GDP Risen So Much?" by Charles I. Jones (National Bureau of Economic Research w9325, November 2002, .pdf format, 34p.).


Aggregate health expenditures as a share of GDP have risen in the United States from about 5 percent in 1960 to nearly 14 percent in recent years. Why? This paper explores a simple explanation based on technological progress. Medical advances allow diseases to be cured today, at a cost, that could not be cured at any price in the past. When this technological progress is combined with a Medicare- like transfer program to pay the health expenses of the elderly, the model is able to reproduce the basic facts of recent U.S. experience, including the large increase in the health expenditure share, a rise in life expectancy, and an increase in the size of health-related transfer payments as a share of GDP.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address for full text.

18. DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS, JOHANNES KEPLER UNIVERSITY OF LINZ: "Tax incentives for private life annuities and the social security reform: Effects on consumption and on adverse selection," by Susanne Pech (Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Department of Economics Working Paper 2002-09, August 2002, .pdf format, 27p.).


In this paper we analyse several measures which are typically included in a social security reform: a cut in the social security benefits, an increase in the social security tax and tax incentives for the purchase of private life annuities, which have recently become quite popular at the political level. In a two-period model with uncertainty about life-expectancy, it is shown that for a given annuity price tax incentives for life annuities increases consumption expenditures in old-age, while the opposite occurs by a cut in the social security benefits and by an increase of the social security tax. The main result is that a tax incentive for life annuities and a cut in the social security benefits alleviate adverse selection in the private annuity market, while an increase in the social security tax exacerbates adverse selection.

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

19. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 156, No. 10, November 15, 2002).

20. Journals of Gerontology: Psychological and Social Sciences (B) (Vols. 57B, Nos. 6, November 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.

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.

Population and Development Review (Vol. 28, No. 3, September 2002).


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 November 12, 2002:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of November 12, 2002:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of November 12, 2002:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

23. NIH:

A. "Brain Disorders in the Developing World: Research Across the Lifespan," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, RFA-TW-03-007, November 7, 2002). For more information see:

B. "Global Health Research Initiative Program for New Foreign Investigators," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, RFA-TW-03-006, November 4, 2002). For more information see:

24. RAND CORPORATION FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM: "RAND Fellows in Population Studies and the Study of Aging." "The RAND Fellows in Population Studies and the Study of Aging program enables outstanding junior scholars in demographic and aging research to sharpen their analytic skills, learn to communicate research results effectively, and advance their research agenda. Housed within the Labor and Population Program, the program blends formal and informal training and extensive collaboration with distinguished researchers in a variety of disciplines. In a typical year, the program will accept one fellow per year in Population Studies and one fellow per year in the Study of Aging." Applications will be reviewed beginning February 1, 2003. Applications may be accepted later if positions are not all filled. For more information, including application materials, go to:

25. AMERICAN GERIATRIC SOCIETY: Applications are now being accepted for the "2003 Geriatrics Education for Specialty Residents" program. "The American Geriatrics Society (AGS), through a program funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation entitled Increasing Expertise in Geriatrics for Surgical and Related Medical Specialties, seeks proposals for specialty-specific initiatives from academic training centers to develop, initiate and evaluate programs designed to increase education for residents in the geriatrics aspect of their disciplines." The deadline for applications is March 31, 2003. For more information about the program, including application materials, go to:

VI. Legislation Information Updates:

26. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING COMMITTEE PRINT: "Long-Term Care Report: Findings from Committee Hearings of the 107th Congress," (US Senate Print No. 107-74, 2002, ASCII and .pdf format, 29p.).

27. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS HEARING REPORT: "Employee and Employer Views on Retirement Security," a hearing held March 5, 2002 (US House Serial Publication No. 107-52, ASCII text and .pdf format, 129p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "107-52" (without the quotes).

VII. Websites of Interest:

28. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (DHHS): "Nursing Home Compare". Information about this site first appeared in CAAR Report #132 (April 25, 2002). At that time, DHHS provided access to nursing home data from six states (Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Washington). The site has been updated to include data from all Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes in the country. The site provides information about quality of care measures (ex. percent of residents with pressure sores, percent of residents under physical restraint, etc.), information from home inspections, and data about staffing of each home. For more information go to:

A DHHS press release about the new services can be found at:




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
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