Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #197--July 31, 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. ICPSR: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan has recently released the following studies that may be of interest to researchers in aging. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

A. Australian [Adelaide] Longitudinal Study of Aging, Wave 6: [1999-2000] (#3679)

B. Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS) in Taiwan, 2000 (#3792)


2. MEPS:

A. "MEPS Household Component - Insurance Component Linked Data for 1996-1999" (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, July 2003). Note: There are restrictions on this data. See the information page for each year's data.

B. "MEPS HC-053: 2002 P6R3/P7R1 Population" (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, July 2003, .zip and .exe compressed ASCII text and SAS Transport format, with documentation in HTML, .pdf and .asp format, SAS and SPSS programming statements supplied). "This public use data file is the seventh point in time data file to be released from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS HC)... 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 2002. The data consist of 2002 data obtained in Round 3 of Panel 6 and Round 1 of Panel 7 of the MEPS Household Component and contains variables pertaining to survey administration, demographics, employment, health status, and health insurance."


II. Reports and articles:


A. "State-level Poverty Data for the Medicare Population" (July 2003, .pdf format, 6p.).


Low-income assistance is a key feature of the Medicare prescription drug proposals passed by the House (H.R. 1) and the Senate (S.1). The attached tables present national and state-level data on the number of low-income elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries who may be eligible for additional assistance, based on the income eligibility thresholds specified in the House and Senate proposals (135%, 150%, and 160% of poverty).

B. "How Do Patterns of Prescription Drug Coverage and Use Differ for White, African American, and Latino Medicare Beneficiaries Under 65 and 65+" (July 2003, .pdf format, 19p.).


This chartpack provides a snapshot of racial/ethnic differences in Medicare beneficiaries prescription drug coverage, use, and spending. It examines patterns separately for beneficiaries under age 65 and 65+. The summary discusses the relevance of the key findings to the current policy debates about prescription drug coverage.

4. ADEAR REPORT: "2001-2002 Progress Report on Alzheimer's Disease" (Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, US National Institute on Aging, July 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 48p.).

Note: This is a companion publication to ADEAR's "Alzheimer's Disease: Unraveling the Mystery" (HTML and .pdf format, 60p.), covered in CAAR #171 (Jan. 30, 2003). See:

Item #6, for more information.

5. MEPS STATISTICAL BRIEF: "Trends in Outpatient Prescription Drug Utilization and Expenditures: 1997-2000," by Marie N. Stagnitti (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, July 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 8p.). "This Statistical Brief summarizes data concerning prescribed medicines utilization and expenditures for the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population for the years 1997-2000, as derived from the 1997-2000 Full Year Consolidated Data Files (HC-051, HC-038, HC-028, and HC-020). In MEPS, prescribed medicine utilization is defined as a prescription medicine purchase."


A. "Private Pensions: Participants Need Information on Risks They Face in Managing Pension Assets at and during Retirement" (US General Accounting Office GAO-03-810, July 2003, .pdf format, 66p.).

B. "Social Security Reform: Analysis of a Trust Fund Exhaustion Scenario" (US General Accounting Office GAO-03-907, July 2003, .pdf format, 46p.).

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


A. "Retiree Health Care Benefits: Data Collection Issues," by William J. Wiatrowski (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, _Compensation and Working Conditions_, July 2003).

B. "Percent of participants in defined benefit plans by types and periods of earnings, full-time employees, 1997-2000" (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, _Compensation and Working Conditions_, July 2003).

8. UK DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS REPORT: "Pensions 2002: Public attitudes to pensions and saving for retirement," by Victoria Mayhew (Research Report No. 193, July 2003, .pdf format, 148p.).

9. CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRY [CBI] ISSUE BRIEF: "Focus on Investment: The Impact of Pension Deficits," (July 2003, .pdf format, 3p.). The issue brief is linked to from a CBI news release: "CBI Says 160 Billion Pound Pensions Black Hole Will Harm UK Economy" (Jul. 28, 2003).

Click on PDF icons at the bottom of the news release for full text issue
brief and graphs.

10. LAING AND BUISSON PRESS RELEASE: Laing and Buisson has just released a report entitled "Care of Elderly People: Market Survey 2003." The report looks at the availability of beds and the closure of homes for the elderly in the UK. The report is not available online, but can be purchased from Laing and Buisson. For more information about the report, including an order form, see:

For more information about Laing and Buisson, see:

11. AUSTRALIAN SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON SUPERANNUATION REPORT: "Planning for retirement," (Australian Senate Select Committee on Superannuation, July 2003, .pdf format, 228p.). Note: The report is available as both a single file, and broken into separate segments.


A. "Residential Aged Care in Australia 2001-02: A Statistical Overview," (Aged Care Statistics Series No. 13, June 2003, .pdf format, 88p. with Microsoft Excel tables). "The report provides comprehensive statistical information on residential aged care services and their residents. The report contains information on the capacity of residential aged care services, their residents and resident characteristics, levels of dependency among residents, and admissions and separations."

B. "Community Aged Care Packages in Australia 2001-02: A Statistical Overview," (Aged Care Statistics Series No. 13, June 2003, .pdf format, 52p.). "The report presents key statistics on the levels of service provision of the Commonwealth funded Community Aged Care Packages Program. Detailed statistics on the socio-demographic characteristics of package recipients and the patterns of the recipients' admissions and separations are also provided."

13. NIH NEWS RELEASE: "Anemia Elevates Risk of Physical Decline in Older People" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, Jul. 25, 2003).

14. NATIONAL COUNCIL ON AGING PRESS RELEASE: "Survey Shows Older Americans More Worried About Personal Well-Being Than About Terrorists," (NCOA, July 24, 2003).


A. "Endocrinology: Bone adaptation requires oestrogen receptor- alpha," by Karla Lee, Helen Jessop, Rosemary Suswillo, Gul Zaman, and Lance Lanyon (_Nature_ Brief Communication, Vol. 424, No. 6947, July 24, 2003, p. 389).

B. "Role of the prolyl isomerase Pin1 in protecting against age-dependent neurodegeneration," by Yih-Cherng Liou, Anyang Sun, Akihide Ryo, Xiao Zhen Zhou, Zhao-Xue Yu, Han-Kuei Huang, Takafumi Uchida, Roderick Bronson, Guoying Bing, Xiaojiang Li, Tony Hunter, and Kun Ping Lu (_Nature_ Letters to _Nature_, Vol. 474, No. 6948, Jul. 31, 2003, p. 556-561).

16. _BMJ_ SPECIAL ISSUE: _British Medical Journal_, Vol. 327, No. 7408 (Jul. 26, 2003) is a special theme issue: "What is a good death?" Articles, news, papers, etc, are available in HTML and .pdf format.

17. _NEJM_ BRIEF REPORT ABSTRACT: "Bisphosphonate-Induced Osteopetrosis," by Michael P. Whyte, Deborah Wenkert, Karen L. Clements, William H. McAlister, and Steven Mumm (_New England Journal of Medicine_ Brief Report, Vol. 349, No. 5, Jul. 31, 2003, p. 457-463).

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

A. "RAGE Mediates Amyloid-Beta Peptide Transport Across the Blood-Brain Barrier and Accumulation in Brain," by Rashid Deane, Shi Du Yan, Ram Kumar Submamaryan, Barbara LaRue, Suzana Jovanovic, Elizabeth Hogg, Deborah Welch, Lawrence Manness, Chang Lin, Jin Yu, Hong Zhu, Jorge Ghiso, Blas Frangione, Alan Stern, Ann Marie Schmidt, Don L. Armstrong, Bernd Arnold, Birgit Liliensiek, Peter Nawroth, Florence Hofman, Mark Kindy, David Stern, and Berislav Zlokovic (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 9, No. 7, 2003, p. 907-913, via Medscape).

B. "Effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine In Alzheimer's Disease Patients Unresponsive to Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors," by A. Bianchetti, R. Rozzini, and M. Trabucchi (_Current Medical Research and Opinion_ Short Communication, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2003, p. 350-353, via Medscape).

C. "Risk Factors for Hot Flashes in Midlife Women," by Maura K. Whiteman, Catherine A. Staropoli, Jamie C. Benedict, Christina Borgeest, and Jodi A. Flaws (_Journal of Women's Health_, Vol. 12, No. 5, 2003, p. 459-472, via Medscape).

D. "Highlights from the Meeting of the Glaucoma Society of the International Council of Ophthalmology," held May 28-Jun. 1, 2003 in Chantilly, France, via Medscape Opthamology, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2003).

19. AARP _PRIME TIME RADIO_: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, covering May 27, 2003 - Jul. 22, 2003, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

May 27, 2003: Seeking Sex After 60
Jul. 1, 2003: Murder, Sex and Mystery in Elderhostel
Jul. 22, 2003: Rationing Medicine


III. Working Papers:

20. NBER: "The Effects of Changes in State SSI Supplements on Pre-Retirement Labor Supply," by David Neumark and Elizabeth T. Powers (National Bureau of Economic Research w9851, July 2003, .pdf format, 35p.).


Because the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is means-tested, with both income limits and asset limits, those on the margin of eligibility for the elderly component of the program face incentives to reduce labor supply (or earnings) prior to becoming eligible. Our past research relying on cross-state variation in SSI benefits found evidence consistent with the predicted negative labor supply effects. However, a reliance on cross-state variation necessitated reliance on less-than-ideal control samples. In contrast, this paper uses CPS data covering a 22-year period, which permit identification of the effects of SSI from within-state, time-series variation in SSI benefits, using a better control sample. The evidence points consistently to negative effects of more generous SSI payments on the labor supply of likely SSI participants aged 62-64. The implied elasticities of labor supply with respect to benefits, for those with a high probability of SSI participation, are generally in the range of 0.2 to 0.3, looking at both employment and hours of work.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address at the bottom of the page for full text.


A. "Before and After the 1999 Chi-Chi Earthquake: Traumatic Events and Depressive Symptoms in an Older Population," by Christopher L. Seplaki, Noreen Goldman, Maxine Weinstein, and Yu-Hsuan Lin (WP 2003-02, 2003, .pdf format, 31p.).


Natural disasters may have dramatic consequences for well-being. We investigate variability in resilience to depressive symptoms in the aftermath of a massive earthquake in Taiwan. Data come from a national, longitudinal survey with interviews before and after the 1999 earthquake. We estimate regression models testing complex relationships among depressive symptoms, earthquake experiences and socio-demographic characteristics. Persons of low SES, socially isolated individuals and women reported higher levels of depressive symptoms, as did persons who experienced damage to their homes. The effects of damage were strongest among those aged 54-70. The results suggest that people who experience damage to their home during a disaster are at risk of experiencing depressive symptoms, with the elderly being more resilient than the near-elderly.

B. "Sex Differentials in Biological Risk Factors for Chronic Disease: Estimates from Population-based Surveys," by Noreen Goldman, Maxine Weinstein, Jennifer Cornman, Burton Singer, Teresa Seeman, and Ming-cheng Chang (WP 2003-03, 2003, .pdf format, 25p.).


Background: In light of substantial sex differences in health outcomes, researchers need to focus on disentangling the underlying biological and social determinants. The objective of this study is to determine whether two populations that differ in many cultural and social dimensions--Taiwan and the US--also vary with regard to sex differentials in biological markers of chronic disease.

Methods: The analysis is based on three population-based surveys that include interviews, urine and blood specimens, and physical examinations: The Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study in Taiwan, the Wisconsin Longitudinal Survey, and the MacArthur studies of successful aging. The outcomes comprise six indicators of cardiovascular risk (total/HDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, glycosylated hemoglobin and waist-hip ratio) and four markers of SNS and HPA-axis functioning (epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol and DHEA-S).

Results: US males have significantly (p<0.05) higher risk than females for all indicators of cardiovascular risk except glycosylated hemoglobin. Sex differences are less consistent and smaller in Taiwan. Indicators of SNS and HPA-axis functioning reveal a significant female disadvantage in both countries.

Conclusions: The analysis identifies important sex differences between Taiwan and the US in biomarkers of cardiovascular risk that are consistent with cause-of-death data and may emanate from cultural and social differences between the two societies. The similarity of sex differences in SNS and HPA-axis functioning across studies may reflect either stable sex differences in biological aging of these axes or commonalities in the social construction of gender-based responses to life experiences.


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

22. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (Vol. 33, No. 2, Supp. 2, June 2003). Note: This supplement is devoted to the topic of HIV/AIDS and older adults.

Click on "Online Archive", then "June Supplement 2, 2003...".

23. Journal of Marriage and the Family (Vol. 65, No 3, 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.

24. 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.

American Economic Review (Vol. 93, No. 3, 2003). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

Educational Gerontology (Vol. 29, No. 6, 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.

25. 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 Jul. 29, 2003:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jul. 29, 2003:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jul. 29, 2003:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Jul. 29, 2003:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Conferences/Workshops:

26. MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER WORKSHOP: "The MRRC is hosting a workshop on the Economics of Social Insurance Policymaking: Theories, Models, and Methods, at the Maryland Population Research Center, Unviversity of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, September 11-12, 2003. For more information, including registration information, see:

27. AOA: "National Summit on Creating Caring Communities," a conference to be held Sep. 21-23, 2003 in Orlando, Florida (US Administration on Aging). For more information, including registration information, see:


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

28. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY, HEARING PUBLICATIONS: Note: Full video transcripts are available for selected hearings on the Special Committee web pages (RealPlayer format).

A. "Senior Depression: Life-Saving Mental Health Treatments for Older Americans," a hearing held Jul. 28, 2003.

Hearing testimony (.pdf format):

B. "Social Security: Whose Trust Will Be Broken?" a hearing held Jul. 29, 2003.

Hearing testimony (.pdf format):

C. "Global Aging: Opportunity or Threat for the U.S Economy," a hearing held Feb. 27, 2003 (US Senate Hearing No. 108-30 Serial No. 108-4, ASCII text and .pdf format, 168p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "108-4" (without the quotes).

D. "In Critical Condition: America's Ailing Health Care System," a hearing held Mar. 10, 2003 (US Senate Hearing No. 108-41, Serial No. 108-5, ASCII text and .pdf format, 94p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "108-41" (without the quotes).

E. "Fitness and Nutrition: The Prescription for Healthy Aging," a hearing held Mar. 10, 2003 (US Senate Hearing 108-42, Serial No. 108-6, ASCII text and .pdf format, 59p.).

Search 108th Congress Senate Hearings for "Fitness and Nutrition" (WITH the quotes).

29. US HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "Eliminating Barriers to Chronic Care Management in Medicare," a hearing held Feb. 25, 2003 (US House Serial Publication No. 108-6, ASCII text and .pdf format, 78p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "108-6" (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