Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #175--February 27, 2003


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. AHRQ MEPS: "Projected MEPS Data and Related Documentation" (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2003). "These newly released files on the MEPS Web site provide projected health expenditures for each year between 2000 and 2008 by type of service and payment source for the civilian, noninstitutionalized household population and subgroups therein defined by selected demographic characteristics. The data have been projected from the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data by reweighting the population using Vital Statistics data on demographic, mortality and fertility changes in the U.S. Population and Census predictions for changes into the future. Projected household health expenditures have been aligned to adjusted national health expenditures for each year from the National Health Accounts provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services." Data is available in .zip and .exe compressed ASCII and SAS transport format. Documentation is in HTML and .pdf format, with SAS programming statements in ASCII format.

Data links are located at the bottom of the page.

2. HRS: "Researcher Contribution: Imputations for Pension Related Variables" (University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, Health and Retirement Study). For more information see:

Click on "Data" to find out more about how to acquire these data.


II. Reports and articles:

3. UN POPULATION DIVISION REPORT: "2002 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections" (United Nations Population Division, February 2003, .pdf format). Although the full report is not at present available electronically, extensive summary highlights, as well as 23 annex tables (both in .pdf format), are. There are several annex tables that might be of interest to researchers in aging.

Press Release:

Report Highlights:


4. CMS ANNOUNCEMENT: "Announcement About Medicare Participation for 2003" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Feb. 26, 2003, .pdf format, 50p. ("2003 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule" [CMS-1204-F2], and 2p. ("Q & A Document"). "We have great news to share with physicians and other practitioners throughout the country. As you know, CMS was scheduled to implement a negative 4.4% update effective March 1, 2003. CMS has worked with Congress for many months in an effort to correct a defect in the formula generated in part by unanticipated changes in economic conditions. We are pleased to announce that Congress has acted - this flaw will be corrected and, instead of a negative 4.4% update, we are now preparing to implement a positive 1.6% update effective March 1, 2003. Medicare remains a lifeline to millions of seniors and disabled Americans and your commitment and participation in the Medicare program makes this lifeline possible. We hope that you will keep this in mind as you make your decision regarding your participation in 2003. All physicians and practitioners now have until April 14, 2003, to make their 2003 Medicare participation decision."

Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule:

Q & A Document:

CMS Announcement:

5. ADEAR NEWS RELEASE: "Findings Reported in February Archives of _Neurology_ Provide New Insights on Alzheimer's Disease" (US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Education and Research Center, Feb. 17, 2003).


A. "Senior Executive Service: Enhanced Agency Efforts Needed to Improve Diversity as the Senior Corps Turns Over" (US General Accounting Office, GAO-03-34, January 2003, .pdf format, 121p.).

B. "Older Workers: Policies of Other Nations to Increase Labor Force Participation" (US General Accounting Office, GAO-03-307, February 2003, .pdf format, 53p.).

C. "Private Pensions: Process Needed to Monitor the Mandated Interest Rate for Pension Calculations" (US General Accounting Office, GAO-03-313, February 2003, .pdf format, 41p.).

D. "Retiree Health Benefits at Selected Government Contractors" (US General Accounting Office Correspondence with US Representative Carolyn McCarthy, Feb. 27, 2003).

Note: These are temporary addresses. GAO reports will always be available at:

7. KFF FACTSHEET UPDATES: The Kaiser Family Foundation has updated three Medicare factsheets: "Medicare and Prescription Drugs," "Medicare+Choice," and "Medicare At a Glance," (each .pdf format, 2p.).

8. DHHS OIG REPORT: "Nursing Home Medical Directors Survey" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, OEI-06-99-00300, February 2003, .pdf format, 30p.).


The OIG has issued the results of a survey in which 119 medical directors in sampled facilities across 7 states reported functions required of them by the nursing homes, their expenditure of time in meeting those functions, and their self-reported credential status. Medical directors report being required by nursing homes to perform numerous functions in four categories- quality improvement, patient services, residents' rights, and administration. Quality improvement and patient services functions are most frequently required of them and most strongly seen as important by the medical directors. Medical directors less often reported that nursing homes require, or that they perceived as important, functions of both residents' rights and administration. Beyond the few functions within each of the four categories, for which 80 to 94 percent of the responding medical directors report are expected by the nursing homes, there are many more functions less frequently reported by medical directors. Thus, much of what medical directors are expected to do by the nursing homes begins to vary markedly. Finally, regulations require medical directors to be physicians; 92 percent report they are currently licensed, and all say they are professionally trained. This survey suggests that CMS continue to work directly with representatives of the nursing home industry, patient advocacy organizations, and physician-related associations in establishing, clarifying, and enhancing the medical director's role.

9. DHHS NEWS RELEASE: "HHS to Launch Medicare Demonstrations to Improve Health Care Through Capitated Disease Management Demonstrations" (US Department of Health and and Human Services, Feb. 27, 2003).

10. AUSTRALIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING MEDIA RELEASE: "$4.5 million for palliative care programs" (Feb. 21, 2003).

11. _NATURE NEUROSCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Mapping cortical change across the human life span," by Elizabeth R. Sowell, Bradley S. Peterson, Paul M. Thompson, Suzanne E. Welcome, Amy L. Henkenius and Arthur W. Toga (_Nature Neuroscience_, Vol. 6, No. 3, March 2003, HTML and .pdf format, p. 309-315).


A. "ACE inhibitors are better first choice than diuretics for elderly patients, study says," by Scott Gottlieb (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 326, No. 7386, Feb. 22, 2003, HTML and .pdf format, p. 415).

B. "Society should accept that euthanasia is a 'personal decision', report says," by Roger Dobson (_British Medical Journal_ News Extra, Vol. 326, No. 7386, Feb. 22, 2003, p. 416).

C. "Relation between hormone replacement therapy and ischaemic heart disease in women: prospective observational study," by E. Lokkegaard, A.T. Pedersen, A.T. Pedersen, Z. Jovanovic, N. Keiding, Y.A. Hundrup, E.B. Obel, and B. Ottesen (_British Medical Journal_ Primary Care, Vol. 326, No. 7386, Feb. 22, 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 5p.).

13. _NEJM_ ARTICLE: "Can Growth Hormone Prevent Aging?" by Mary Lee Vance (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 348, No. 9, Feb. 27, 2003, (HTML and .pdf format p. 779-780).

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

A. "Chemotherapy for Older Patients With Newly Diagnosed, Advanced-Stage, Aggressive-Histology Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Systematic Review," by C.T. Kouroukis, G.P. Browman, R. Esmail, and R.M. Meyer (_Annals of Internal Medicine_, Vol. 136, 2002, p. 136-143, from _Abstracts in Hematology & Oncology_, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2003, p. 9-12, via Medscape).

B. "Business Planning for Palliative Care," by Kate Ford Roberts (_Oncology Issues_, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2003, p. 40-41, via Medscape).


A. The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, covering Feb. 4, 2003 - Feb. 18, 2003, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Feb. 18, 2003: Rock, Aging, Laughing, Working and Country Music

B. Selected articles from the February 2003 _AARP Bulletin_ are available from the _AARP Bulletin_ website.

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


III. Working Papers:


A. "Risk Management for Global Aging: Perspectives on the Challenges Facing Industrialized Countries," by the Pension Research Council (WP 2003-01, 2003, .pdf format, 38p.).

B. "Understanding Individual Account Guarantees," by Marie-Eve Lachance and Olivia S. Mitchell (WP 2003-02, 2003, .pdf format, 34p.).

Demographic aging renders workers vulnerable to the inherent uncertainty of unfunded social security systems. This realization has set off a global wave of social security reforms, and numerous countries have now set up Individual Accounts (IA) plans in response. Strengths of IAs are that participants gain ownership in their accounts, and they also may diversify their pension investments; additionally, they produce a capitalized, funded system that enhances old-age economic security. While IAs reduce the risk participants face due to unfunded social security systems, participants holding capital market investments in IAs are exposed to fluctuations in the value of their pension assets. Concern over market volatility has prompted some to emphasize the need for guarantees of pension accumulations. This paper offers a way to think about guarantees in the context of a social security reform that includes Individual Accounts. When a pension guarantee has economic value to participants, it will have economic costs. We illustrate how these costs can be important and vary significantly with time horizon, investment mix, and guarantee design. Our findings indicate that plan designers and budget analysts would do well to recognize such costs and identify how they can be financed.

17. UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA [AUSTRALIA] NATSEM [NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC MODELLING]: "Income and Assets of New South Wales Baby Boomers in 2020," by Simon Kelly (Conference Paper CP-2003-02, February 2003, .pdf format, 18p.).


The prospect of the baby boomers reaching retirement in the near future is an economic concern for most OECD countries. The future costs of their pension schemes and the escalating health care costs are coming on top of already stretched budgets. In Australia, a three-pillar system (the three pillars being the Age Pension, compulsory and voluntary private savings) was introduced to alleviate some of this pressure on the pension scheme. The main component of this approach was the introduction of compulsory private savings through the Superannuation Guarantee introduced in 1992. But the SG may have been introduced too late for a very large proportion of the population--the baby boomers. This paper examines the current and future financial circumstances of baby boomers in New South Wales and finds there may be a gap between expectation and reality, especially for those living in Sydney.

Click on "Download as PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.


A. "Population Aging, Productivity, and Growth in Living Standards," by William Scarth (Research Paper 90, January 2003, .pdf format, 22p).


Population aging creates both a problem (higher taxes on a small group of workers to finance higher public pension and health care costs) and automatic adjustments that help to address that problem. The prospect of longer retirement involves an increased incentive to invest in physical capital, and labour scarcity leads to higher pre-tax wages and an increased incentive to invest in human capital. Thus, productivity growth can be favourably affected by aging. The likely empirical magnitude of this beneficial effect is assessed in this paper.

B. "A Life-course Perspective on the Relationship between Socio-economic Status and Health: Testing the Divergence Hypothesis," by Steven G. Prus (Research Paper 91, February 2003, .pdf format, 31p).


While adults from all socio-economic status (SES) levels generally encounter a decline in health as they grow older, research shows that health status is tied to SES at all stages of life. The dynamics of the relationship between SES and health over the life course of adult Canadians, however, remain largely unexplored. This paper tests the divergence hypothesis, which postulates that the SES- based gap in health widens with age, using a representative sample of Canadians aged 25 to 79 from the 1994/1995 National Population Health Survey. Multiple linear regression analyses show support for this assumption; that is, the relationship between SES (measured by years of education and annual household income) and health (measured by self-rated and functional health indexes) strengthens with age. The results of this study provide insight and answers about healthy aging among Canadians.


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

19. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 93, No. 3, March 2003). 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 this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite database. Check your organization's library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

20. American Journal of Sociology (Vol. 108, No. 2, September 2002). Note 1: Full electronic text (.pdf and PostScript format) may be available at the site. Check your organization's library. Note 2: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your organization's library for the availability of this database and this issue.

21. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Vol. 36. No. 2, 2003).

22. Journal of Health Economics (Vol. 22, No. 2, March 2003).

Click on "ScienceDirect Abstracts & Full Text" and then "Volume 22, Issue 2".

23. The Gerontologist (Vol. 43, No. 1, 2003). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your organization's library for the availability of this database and this issue.

24. Journal of Pension Economics and Finance (Vol. 2, No. 1, 2003).

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

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "browse by publication"
C. Type the Journal Name in the "by words in the title" search box and click "search".
D. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Journal of Aging and Health, (Vol. 15, No. 1, 2003). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your organization's library for the availability of this database and this issue.

26. 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 Feb. 25, 2003:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Feb. 25, 2003:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Feb. 25, 2003:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Conferences:

27. OECD: "Second Conference on Private Pensions in Asia," a conference to be held March 13-14, 2003, in New Delhi, India (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development). For more information, see:,,EN-document-84-nodirectorate-no-20-38037-26,00.html

VI. Legislation Information Updates:

28. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Global Aging: Opportunity or Threat for the US Economy?" a hearing held Feb. 27, 2003).

Hearing testimony:


A. "Challenges Facing the New Commissioner of Social Security," a hearing held May 2, 2002 (US House Serial Publication No. 107-83, ASCII text and .pdf format, 146p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "107-83" (without the quotes).

B. "Eliminating Barriers to Chronic Care Management in Medicare," a hearing held Feb 25, 2003).

Hearing testimony:


A. "Disease Management and Coordinating Care: What Role Can They Plan in Improving the Quality of Life for Medicare's Most Vulnerable?" a hearing held Sep. 19, 2002 (US Senate Hearing 107-818, Serial Publication No. 107-36, ASCII text and .pdf format, 94p.).

Scroll to or "find in page "107-818" (without the quotes).

B. "Faces of Aging: Personal Struggles to Confront the Long-Term Care Crisis," a hearing held Sep. 26, 2002 (US Senate Hearing 107-824, Serial Publication No. 107-37, ASCII text and .pdf format, 90p.).

Scroll to or "find in page "107-824" (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