Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #202--September 4, 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. CENSUS BUREAU: The first data from the 2002 American Community Survey have been released by the Census Bureau. At present, data profiles for over 800 geographical areas are available. Microdata are forthcoming.

Follow link to "2002 Data Profiles".


II. Reports and articles:

2. GAO REPORT: "Medical Malpractice: Implications of Rising Premiums on Access to Health Care," (US General Accounting Office, GAO-03-836, August 8, 2003, .pdf format, 57p.).

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

3. CBO LETTER: "Analysis of Changes to the Hatch-Waxman Act," (Congressional Budget Office, August 27, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, 5p.).

4. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING PRESS RELEASE: "New $7.9 Million Aged Care Project for New South Wales," (Sept. 3, 2003).

5. _NATURE MEDICINE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "A peptide inhibitor of c-Jun N-terminal kinase protects against excitotoxicity and cerebral ischemia," by Tiziana Borsello, Peter G. H. Clarke, Lorenz Hirt, Alessandro Vercelli, Mariaelena Repici, Daniel F. Schorderet, Julien Bogousslavsky and Christophe Bonny (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 9, No. 9, September 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1180-1186).


A. "Estrogen deficiency induces bone loss by increasing T cell proliferation and lifespan through IFN-{gamma}-induced class II transactivator," by Simone Cenci, Gianluca Toraldo, M. Neale Weitzmann, Cristiana Roggia, Yuhao Gao, Wei Ping Qian, Oscar Sierra, and Roberto Pacifici (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Science_, Vol. 100, No. 18, September 2, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 10405-10410).

B. "Alzheimer's disease-affected brain: Presence of oligomeric A{beta} ligands (ADDLs) suggests a molecular basis for reversible memory loss," by Yuesong Gong, Lei Chang, Kirsten L. Viola, Pascale N. Lacor, Mary P. Lambert, Caleb E. Finch, Grant A. Krafft, and William L. Klein (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Science_, Vol. 100, No. 18, September 2, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 10417-10422).

7. _BMJ_ EDITORIAL: "The increasing number of older patients with renal disease," by R. J. A. Sims, M. J. D. Cassidy, and T. Masud (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 327, No. 7413, August 30, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 463-464).

8. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Effect of Ethics Consultations on Nonbeneficial Life-Sustaining Treatments in the Intensive Care Setting: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Lawrence J. Schneiderman, Todd Gilmer, Holly D. Teetzel, Daniel O. Dugan, Jeffrey Blustein, Ronald Cranford, Kathleen B. Briggs, Glen I. Komatsu, Paula Goodman-Crews, Felicia Cohn, and Ernl W. D. Young (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 290, No. 9, September 3, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1166-1172).

9. JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2000, Featuring the Uses of Surveillance Data for Cancer Prevention and Control," by Hannah K. Weir, Michael J. Thun, Benjamin F. Hankey, Lynn A. G. Ries, Holly L. Howe, Phyllis A. Wingo, Ahmedin Jemal, Elizabeth Ward, Robert N. Anderson, Brenda K. Edwards (_Journal of the National Cancer Institute_, Vol. 95, No. 17, September 3, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1276-1299).;95/17/1276

Press Release:

10. _MEDSCAPE_ ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

"Hormone Replacement Therapy In Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Associate With Lower Serum Levels of Soluble IL-6 Receptor and Higher Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1," by Helena Forsblad d'Elia Lars-ke Mattsson, Claes Ohlsson, Elisabeth Nordborg, and Hans Carlsten (Arthritis Research and Therapy_, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2003, p. R202-R209, via Medscape).

11. URBAN INSTITUTE REPORT: "Identifying and Addressing the Needs of Children in Grandparent Care," by Cynthia Andrews Scarcella, Jennifer Ehrle, and Rob Geen (New Federalism: National Survey of America's Families, B-55, August 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 7p.).

12. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION REPORT: "Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health Medicare Prescription Drug Survey," (Kaiser Family Foundation, September 2003, .pdf format). Note: "A new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health examines public opinion on the current Medicare prescription drug debate. The survey, a follow-up to a broader, more comprehensive survey released in June 2003 about the Medicare program and proposed changes, finds that a majority of seniors want Congress to pass Medicare prescription drug legislation this year, but most worry that they will still pay too much for drugs even if Congress acts."

13. AOA NEWSLETTER: "AoA e-News," (US Administration on Aging, September 2003, Microsoft Word and .pdf format, 7p.).

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


III. Working Papers:


A. "Employment, Social Security, and Future Retirement Outcomes for Single Mothers," by Richard W. Johnson, Melissa M. Favreault, and Joshua H. Goldwyn (CRR WP 2003-14, July 2003, .pdf format, 38p.).


Employment rates for single mothers with dependent children have risen steadily in recent years, due in part to welfare reform and expansions in the Earned Income Tax Credit. This paper examines this recent increase and analyzes the implications for future retirement security. The results show that increases in employment and earnings for single mothers during the late 1990s will translate into modestly higher Social Security benefits and better retirement outcomes when they reach later life, assuming these trends persist. Despite this improvement, however, most single mothers will continue to fare worse in retirement than other women, primarily because they generally earned low wages throughout their working lives and many lack financial support from spouses.

B. "The Outlook for Pension Contributions and Profits in the U.S." by Alicia H. Munnell and Mauricio Soto (CRR WP 2003-13, June 2003, .pdf format, 28p.).


This paper addresses the relationship between defined benefit pension plans and corporate profits and examines the outlook for defined benefit plans in the wake of the bear market. Due to a soaring stock market during the extended bull market of 1982-2000, together with federal regulations and legislation that shifted funding requirements forward, pension contributions virtually disappeared as a corporate expense for much of the previous two decades.

Our analysis suggests that in the absence of the stock market boom and the regulatory and legislative changes that reduced funding, the average firms contribution to its pension plan would have been 50 percent higher during the 1982-2001 period - 9.9 percent of payroll instead of 6.6 percent of payroll. The downturn in contributions had a significant impact on corporate profits. Lower pension contributions, all else equal, will produce a dollar- for-dollar increase in before-tax profits. Our analysis implies that corporate profits were roughly 5 percent higher than they would have been otherwise. Higher profits produce a feedback effect as they lead to further capital gains and further reductions in contributions.

Given the current bear market and an aging workforce, the feedback now goes in the opposite direction. Now that the stock market bubble has burst, our analysis suggests that contributions relative to wages would return to their pre-1982 levels of about 10 percent. This implies that on a permanent basis contributions would double from their current level of $40 billion to $80 billion. Assuming that investors view the increase as permanent, the feedback effect would lower the value of equities held by pension funds by $20 billion. In short, as the economy emerges from recession and the bear market draws to a close, firms and investors must be prepared to contend with a strong headwind from pension funding obligations that could slow the recovery.

C. "Social Security Reform and the Exchange of Bequests for Elder Care," by Meta Brown (CRR WP 2003-12, May 2003, .pdf format, 35p.).


The majority of elderly Americans who receive long-term care outside of institutions are cared for in part by their children. We have little evidence, however, on the financial and social mechanisms securing the supply of elder care. In recent data on older U.S. families, I find that children rarely receive direct payment for their help. Further, inter-vivos transfers from unmarried parents to their adult children do not favor caregivers. Given the lack of evidence of any spot market for family care, the central question of this study is whether end-of-life transfers act as compensation for caregiving children. An empirical study of parents division of bequests and life insurance among their children shows a positive association between childrens transfer shares and both current and predicted caregiver status. In order to investigate the dependence of family care outcomes on childrens time costs and parents wealth and care needs, I present a dynamic model of the asset choices of an elderly parent who wishes to elicit care from her children. Model estimates indicate that children respond to parents care needs and bequeathable wealth in the decision to provide care, and that children with greater time costs provide care only at higher levels of bequeathable wealth. Finally, a policy simulation based on model estimates predicts that a 5 to 6 percentage point increase in the rate at which unmarried elderly parents receive family care would result from reforms in which the expected present values of both public and private pensions were included in parents bequests. However, a more modest change in public retirement benefits, designed to mimic the broad-brush characteristics of an existing proposal for Social Security reform, is predicted to have a negligible effect on care rates.

D. "Annuities and Individual Welfare," by Thomas Davidoff, Jeffrey Brown, and Peter Diamond (CRR WP 2003-11, May 2003, .pdf format, 35p.).


This paper advances the theory of annuity demand. First, we derive sufficient conditions under which complete annuitization is optimal, showing that this well-known result holds true in a more general setting than in Yaari (1965). Specically, when markets are complete, sufficient conditions need not impose exponential discounting, intertemporal separability or the expected utility axioms; nor need annuities be actuarially fair, nor longevity risk be the only source of consumption uncertainty. All that is required is that consumers have no bequest motive and that annuities pay a rate of return for survivors greater than those of otherwise matching conventional assets, net of administrative costs. Second, we show that full annuitization may not be optimal when markets are incomplete. Some annuitization is optimal as long as conventional asset markets are complete. The incompleteness of markets can lead to zero annuitization but the conditions on both annuity and bond markets are stringent. Third, we extend the simulation literature that calculates the utility gains from annuitization by considering consumers whose utility depends both on present consumption and a "standard-of-living" to which they have become accustomed. The value of annuitization hinges critically on the size of the initial standard-of-living relative to wealth.

E. "Becoming Oldest-Old: Evidence from Historical U.S. Data," by Dora L. Costa and Joanna Lahey (CRR WP 2003-10, May 2003, .pdf format, 42p.).


We use historical data to show that such indicators of insults in early childhood and young adulthood as quarter of birth, residence, occupation, wealth, and the incidence of specific infectious diseases affected older age mortality. We find that the effect of quarter of birth on older age mortality has diminished over the twentieth century, implying improvements in early life environmental factors. We find that up to one-fifth of the increase between 1900 and 1999 in the probability of a 65 year old surviving to age 85 may be attributable to early life conditions.

16. NBER: "Changes in the Process of Aging During the Twentieth Century: Findings and Procedures of the Early Indicators Project," by Robert W. Fogel (NBER Working Paper No. w9941, September 2003, .pdf format, 49p.).


The program project Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease and Death investigates how socioeconomic and environmental factors in early life can shape health and work levels in later life. Project researchers have approached this problem by creating a life-cycle sample that permits a longitudinal study of the aging of Union Army veterans, the first cohort to reach age 65 during the twentieth century. Comparing Union Army data with data from NHANES and NHIS has shown that age-specific prevalence rates of specific chronic diseases and disabilities were much higher in the century before World War II among both young and old than today. Moreover, the number of comorbidities at each age has fallen sharply. Also, the average age at onset of chronic diseases was more than a decade later at the end of the twentieth century than at the beginning. The implications of these findings for several issues in health economics are discussed.

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

17. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR [IZA], UNIVERSITY OF BONN: "The Early Retirement Burden: Assessing the Costs of the Continued Prevalence of Early Retirement in OECD Countries," by Tryggvi Thor Herbertsson, Michael Orszag (IZA Discussion Paper No. 816, July 2003, .pdf format, 37p.)


Despite substantial increases in longevity, the age of retirement in the industrialized countries has steadily fallen throughout most of the 20th century. In France, for instance, the employment-population ratio of 55 -64 year-old males fell from 74% in 1970 to 38.5% in 2000. In most other OECD countries, labor force participation rates for those 65 and above have fallen significantly. The economic cost of low labor market participation, in terms of lost output, benefit payments, and lower tax base is substantial. However, part of the cost of low labor market participation is cyclical or structural and hence separate from the costs of early retirement. This paper develops a simple framework to assess the specific costs of early retirement and applies it using data from the OECD countries. More significantly, we find that the costs associated with early retirement are projected to rise considerably in the next ten years from 7.6% of output in 2003 to 9.1% of output in 2010. This projected rise in the costs of early retirement over the course of the rest of the decade is slightly larger than the percentage point rise in the costs of early retirement over the twenty year period from 1982 to 2003. The projected rise in costs over the course of the next decade is largely due to population ageing, whereas the rise in costs over the past twenty years was primarily due to lower labor force participation of older workers.


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

18. Aging and Mental Health (Vol. 7, No. 5, Sept. 2003).

Follow link to "Volume 7, No. 5".

19. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 93, No. 9, Sept. 1, 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.

20. American Journal of Sociology (Vol. 108, No. 5, March 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.

21. 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.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 51, No. 8, 2003).

Research on Aging (Vol. 25, No. 5, 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.


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 September 3, 2003:

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

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

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

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

23. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF HEALTH AND WELFARE MONOGRAPH: _Interface Between Hospital and Residential Aged Care: Feasibility Study on Linking Hospital Morbidity and Residential Aged Care Data_ (AIHW AGE 31, 2003, .pdf format, 108p.).


Knowledge of the interface between acute hospital care, community care and residential aged care is important in order to ensure that older people receive the most appropriate care. However, existing national data provide poor information on the movements of clients between the sectors. During 2001 and 2002 the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare explored the feasibility of linking - without using names - the currently available national hospital morbidity and residential aged care collections to produce a linked data set for examining key policy issues. This report presents the results of these investigations. The study was carried out under the auspices of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council Working Group on the Care of Older Australians.

More information about AIHW:


VI. Funding Opportunities:

24. NIH:

A. "Neuroprotective CNS Barriers in Neurological Disease," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, PAS-03-165, August 28, 2003).

B. "Reducing Stroke Disparities Through Risk Factor Self-Management," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, PAS-03-166, August 28, 2003).


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

25. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Overcoming Obstacles and Crafting Opportunity for Older Workers," a hearing held Sept. 3, 2003.

Hearing Testimony:


VIII. Conferences:

26. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN INSTITUTE ON AGING: The UW-Institute on Aging 30th Anniversary Celebration will be held October 23-24, 2003. The deadline for registration is October 7, 2003. For more information, including agenda and registration, go to:




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Rm. 4470A Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400