Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #189--June 5, 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. Reports and articles:

1. ILCUSA REPORT: "ILC Policy Report" (International Longevity Center, USA, May 2003, .pdf format, 6p.). The ILC Policy Report is "a monthly compilation of longevity news and trends in the U.S. and abroad."

2. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: "The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Program Design, Recent Performance and Implications for Medicare Reform," by Mark Merlis (May 2003, .pdf format, 17p.). Note: The report is accompanied by a 10 figure slide show (Microsoft PowerPoint format) by the same author.


This report provides a basic description of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Programs (FEHBP) structure, benefits, financing, and operations. The report also assesses FEHBP's recent performance in a variety of areas, including cost increases, benefit changes, access to providers, and risk selection. It concludes with a brief discussion of the implications of the FEHBP experience for Medicare reform proposals.

3. CMS REGULATION AND NOTICE: "Long Term Care Hospital PPS Final Rule" (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS-1472-F, May 30, 2003, .zip compressed Microsoft Word format, 294p.). "The final rule for the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Prospective Payment System (PPS) annual payment rate updates and policy changes [CMS-1472-F] went on display at the Office of the Federal Register on Friday, May 30, 2003. This final rule will be published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 6, 2003. This final rule discusses the change to the annual LTCH PPS rate update cycle to July 1st (from October 1st), and includes payment amounts and factors that are effective for July 1, 2003."

Click on "Microsoft Word" under the May 30, 2003 item. The document must be decompressed before it can be viewed/printed.

FIRSTGOV FOR SENIORS PRESS RELEASE: "Medicare Announces Updated Rates For Long Term Care Hospitals," (FirstGov for Seniors, June 3, 2003).

4. DHHS OIG COMPENDIUM: _Red Book_ (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, 2003, .pdf format, 77p.). "The Red Book is a compendium of significant Office of Inspector General (OIG) cost-saving recommendations that have not been fully implemented. Full implementation of the recommendations in the 2003 edition of the Red Book could produce substantial savings to the Department. For each recommendation, we summarize the current law, the reason that action is needed, the estimated savings that would result from taking the recommended action, and the status of actions taken. In addition, the type of action needed (legislative, regulatory, or procedural) is indicated."

Click on "Red Book PDF" at the bottom of the page for full text.

5. _MLR_ ARTICLE: "Distribution of retirement income benefits," by Allan P. Blostin (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, _Monthly Labor Review_, Vol. 126, No. 4, April 2003, .pdf format, p. 3-9).


Lump sums have become more popular as an alternative to annuity payments in defined benefit retirement plans and remain the prevalent distribution option in defined contribution plans.


A."More Extra Service in Aged Care Homes" (News release, May 29, 2003).

B. "2.2 Million Dollar Boost to Respite Services for Carers" (News release, Jun. 4, 2003).

C. "95 Million Dollars For Home and Community Care in South Australia" (News Release, Jun. 5, 2003).

D."Aged Care Enrolled Nurses Working Party - Final Report" (Australia Department of Health and Ageing, March 2003, .pdf format, 43p.).

Click on "Final Report of the Aged Care Enrolled Nurses" at the bottom of the page for full text.

Related ADHA news release: "Victoria Lags Behind With Key Aged Care Reforms" (Jun. 4, 2003).

7. _NATURE CELL BIOLOGY_ LETTER ABSTRACT: "Proliferative lifespan is conserved after nuclear transfer," by A. John Clark, Patricia Ferrier, Samena Aslam, Sarah Burl, Chris Denning, Diana Wylie, Arlene Ross, Paul de Sousa, Ian Wilmut and Wei Cui (_Nature Cell Biology_, Vol. 5, No. 6, May 2003, p. 535-538).


A. "Attenuation of levodopa-induced dyskinesia by normalizing dopamine D3 receptor function," by Erwan Bzard, Sandrine Ferry, Ulrich Mach, Holger Stark, Ludovic Leriche, Thomas Boraud1, Christian Gross, and Pierre Sokoloff (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 9, No. 6, June 2003, p. 762-767).

B. "Pigment epithelium derived factor regulates the vasculature and mass of the prostate and pancreas," by Jennifer A Doll, Veronica M. Stellmach, Nol P. Bouck, Anders R.J. Bergh, Chung Lee, Lisa P. Abramson, Mona L. Cornwell, Michael R. Pins, Jayme Borensztajn, and Susan E Crawford (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 9, No. 6, June 2003, p. 774-780).


A. "Effects of Rofecoxib or Naproxen vs Placebo on Alzheimer Disease Progression: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Paul S. Aisen, Kimberly A. Schafer, Michael Grundman, Eric Pfeiffer, Mary Sano, Kenneth L. Davis, Martin R. Farlow, Shelia Jin, Ronald G. Thomas, and Leon J. Thal (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 289, No. 21, Jun. 4, 2003, p. 2819-2826).

US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center (ADEAR) news release: "Certain NSAIDs Fail to Slow the Progression of Alzheimer's Disease" (Jun. 3, 2003).

B. "Paroxetine Controlled Release in the Treatment of Menopausal Hot Flashes: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Vered Stearns, Katherine L. Beebe, Malini Iyengar, and Eric Dube (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 289, No. 21, Jun. 4, 2003, p. 2827-2834).

C. "Length of Stay in Home Care Before and After the 1997 Balanced Budget Act," by Rachel L. Murkofsky, Russell S. Phillips, Ellen P. McCarthy, Roger B. Davis, and Mary Beth Hamel (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 289, No. 21, Jun. 4, 2003, p. 2841-2848).



A. "Drug company secretly briefed medical societies on HRT," by Ray Moynihan (_British Medical Journal_ News, Vol. 326, No. 7400, May 31, 2003, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1161).

B. "Schering uses German medical association to promote HRT," by Klaus Koch (_British Medical Journal_ News, Vol. 326, No. 7400, May 31, 2003, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1161).

C. "Only half of Dutch doctors report euthanasia, report says," by Tony Sheldon (_British Medical Journal_ News Roundup, Vol. 326, No. 7400, May 31, 2003, p. 1164).

D. "Pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and research outcome and quality: systematic review," by Joel Lexchin, Lisa A Bero, Benjamin Djulbegovic, and Otavio Clark (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 326, No. 7400, May 31, 2003, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1167-1170).

E. _Euthanasia, Ethics and Public Policy: An Argument Against Legalisation_, by John Keown, reviewed by Tony Sheldon (_British Medical Journal_ Book Review, Vol. 326, No. 7400, May 31, 2003, p. 1218).

11. MEDSCAPE NEWS RHYTHMS: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "CMS Draws Heat as Coverage of MADIT II ICD Decision Draws Near" (Medscape News Rhythms, May 28, 2003).

12. AARP PERIODICAL: _AARP: The Magazine_, July-August 2003. AARP has released selected articles from the latest edition of this periodical.


A. "Beyond Hormones: Not only do the drugs not help the heart, but they may also be bad for the brain. What's a woman to do?" by Christine Gorman (_Time_, Vol. 161, No. 23, Jun. 9, 2003).,9171,1101030609-455792,00.html

B."The Art Of Dementia," by David J. Bjerklie (_Time_, Vol. 161, No. 23, Jun. 9, 2003).,9171,1101030609-455822,00.html

14. _NEWSWEEK ARTICLE: "Bad Medicine for Medicare," by Jane Bryant Quinn (_Newsweek_, Jun. 9, 2003).


A. "Next stop, Medicare?" by Michael Barone (_US News and World Report_, Jun. 9, 2003).

B. "Health on the border: Elderly Americans head north and south to find drugs they can afford," by Susan Brink (_US News and World Report_, Jun. 9, 2003).

C. "Bad news hormones: Add dementia to heart disease and cancer risk," by Amanda Spake (_US News and World Report_, Jun. 9, 2003).


II. Working Papers:


A. "The Politics of Public Pension Reform," by R. Kent Weaver (WP 2003-06, May 2003, .pdf format, 41p.).


Public old-age pension programs are the largest single item of public expenditures in most advanced industrial countries. These pension systems have been buffeted by a number of pressures for change in recent years, however, notably an aging population, slower revenue growth, and competitive pressures to limit payroll taxes. Thus it is hardly surprising that pensions have received much attention from policymakers, and caused enormous political conflict, both in the United States and abroad. Policymakers have three very broad sets of options for responding to the increased funding demands of their pension systems: they can cut back on the generosity of specific provisions of their pension programs through retrenchment, refinance their pension programs, or restructure their pension programs. This paper attempts to understand cross-national patterns of pension policymaking as well as distinctive patterns in the United States.

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.

B. "Whose Money is it Anyhow?: Governance and Social Investment in Collective Investment Funds," by R. Kent Weaver (WP 2003-07, May 2003, .pdf format, 40p.).


Over the past two decades, an aging population and budgetary stress have led to substantial changes in public pension systems throughout the world. Many countries initially responded to pension funding crises with incremental reforms. A number of countries have also engaged in a more fundamental restructuring of their pension systems. Several other countries have also made changes in their defined benefit pensions. Finally, some countries have changed the governance of tax-privileged pension savings to provide increased incentives for private retirement savings, despite very mixed evidence about whether such incentives are effective in increasing overall savings rates. These seemingly disparate responses to the pension funding crisis in fact raise a common set of issues about the public/private divide in governance of such funds. Should their purpose be solely to maximize returns for their (individual or collective) beneficiaries, or should they serve "public" ends as well? This paper examines how several OECD countries have addressed the"public/private divide" in collective investment "buffer" funds, drawing on the experience of Canada, New Zealand and Sweden, as well as the Swedish experience with a "default fund" (for those who do not make an active fund choice) in the individual account defined contribution tier of its public system.

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.

C. "Health Shocks and Couples' Labor Supply Decisions," by Courtney Coile (WP 2003-08, May 2003, .pdf format 36p.).


This paper explores the effect of negative health shocks, such as heart attacks or new diagnoses of chronic illnesses, on the labor supply of both the affected spouse and his or her partner. In so doing, the paper links two important strands of the retirement literature, the large literature on health and retirement and the small but growing literature modeling retirement in a family context. This paper may also be viewed as an extension of the literature on spousal labor supply as insurance against negative events, which measures whether there is an "added worker effect" when one spouse becomes sick and whether it is crowded out by public insurance programs. This work uses the first five waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a recent, nationally representative survey of the young elderly with extensive information on health, labor force status, and demographics.

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.

D. "The Evolution of Social Security Disabled Widow(er)s' Benefits," by Eric R. Kingson, Margaret Morse, and Gary Calhoun (WP 2003-09, May 2003, .pdf format, 26p.).


On May 14, 2002, the House of Representatives passed unanimously (418-0)"The Social Security Benefits Enhancements for Women Act of 2002 (H.R. 4069)." Initially advanced under the leadership of Congressman Clay Shaw, Chair of the House Ways and Means Sub-Committee on Social Security, H.R. 4069 included three modest provisions, primarily of benefit to women. One of these provisions would have marginally liberalized eligibility for disabled widow(er)s benefits by repealing the seven- year deadline for a surviving spouse to qualify for benefits on the basis of disability, a change estimated by the Congressional Budget Office as affecting 25,000 people in 2005 (March 12, 2002). Although the H.R. 4069 provisions failed to be enacted when the Senate was unable to fast-track the passage of the bill under "unanimous consent" rules, it is the proposed liberalization of eligibility for disabled widow(er)s benefits (and these other provisions in H.R. 4069) that are very likely to be taken up in the next legislative year. Initially enacted in 1967 the disabled widow(er)s benefit now provides a permanently reduced cash benefit equal to 71 1/2 percent of the deceased spouses primary insurance amount (PIA) to survivors ages 50 through 64 who do not have dependent children under age 16 and who meet Social Security eligibility criteria. These persons are eligible for Medicare benefits after a 24-month waiting period. In December, 2000 approximately 195,000 disabled widows and 5,000 disabled widowers received a Disabled Widows Benefit with an average monthly benefit of $519.66 (Social Security Bulletin, 2001). Among the most economically at risk Social Security beneficiaries, an estimated 37 percent of Disabled Widow(er)s have below-poverty incomes after benefit receipt (Walker, 1997). Indeed, one of the concerns related to this benefit is that a vulnerable population of women is currently receiving a permanently reduced benefit with long-term implications for their well being in advanced middle and old age.

Click on "For full paper in PDF format, click here" for full text.

17. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN CENTER FOR DEMOGRAPHY AND ECOLOGY: "A Re-Examination of the Hispanic Mortality Paradox," by Alberto Palloni and Elizabeth Arias (WP 2003-01, May 30, 2003, .pdf format, 62p.).


We test three competing explanations of the adult "Hispanic mortality paradox:" data artifact, migration, and cultural or social buffering effects. Based on a series of parametric hazard models estimated on 9 years of mortality follow-up data, our results suggest that the "Hispanic" mortality advantage is a feature found only among foreign-born Mexicans and foreign-born Hispanics other than Cubans or Puerto Ricans. Although data are not available to appropriately test the hypotheses, our analysis suggests that the foreign-born Mexican advantage can be attributed to return migration. However, we were unable to account for the mortality advantage observed among foreign-born Other Hispanics.


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

18. Jounal of Aging Studies (Vol. 17, No. 3, August 2003). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Click on "Table of Contents and Abstracts" on the left side of the page.

19. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 157, No. 11, Jun. 1, 2003).

20. 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. Click the "fax/ariel" radio button, 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.

Educational Gerontology (Vol. 29, No. 4, 2003). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Health and Social Work (Vol. 28, No. 2, 2003). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Omega: Journal of Death and Dying (Vol. 46, No 1, 2002).

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. 3, 2003:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jun. 3, 2003:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jun. 3, 2003:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Jun. 3, 2003:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


IV. Conferences:

22. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY AT ST. LOUIS/ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE RESEARCH CENTER SYMPOSIUM: "4th Leonard Berg Symposium: Early Detection of Alzheimer's Disease: Structural, Functional and Molecular Neuroimaging," to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, Sep. 19-20, 2003). For more information, including registration information, see:


V. Legislation Information Updates:

23. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING PUBLICATION: "Guardianship over the Elderly: Security Provided or Freedoms Denied?" a hearing held Feb. 11, 2003 (US Senate Hearing Serial Publication 108-3, ASCII text and .pdf format, 163p.).

Click on 108th Congress Senate hearings. Search for "Guardianship over the Elderly" (WITH 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