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. ICPSR: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research at the University of Michigan has recently released the following dataset, which 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:

Census of Population and Housing, 2000 [United States]: Public Use
Microdata Sample: 1-Percent Sample (#13511).


II. Reports and articles:


A. "OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, 2002" (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, September 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 163p.). "This annual publication focuses on the Social Security beneficiary population at the local level. It presents basic program data on the number and type of beneficiaries and the amount of benefits paid in each state and county. It also shows the numbers of men and women aged 65 or older receiving benefits. This report is a useful planning aid for Social Security Administration (SSA) field offices and for those providing information to federal, state, and local government agencies."

B. "SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2002" (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, September 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 111p.). "Since 1974, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has guaranteed a minimum level of income for needy aged, blind, or disabled individuals. Each year, we issue a report that presents data on the SSI program and the people who receive benefits from it. The report covers such topics as federal benefit rates and total annual payments, federally administered payments, state-administered supplementation, work incentives, applications, awards, denials, and suspension of benefits."

3. KFF MEDICARE REPORTS: "Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries: How the House and Senate Prescription Drug Bills Address Their Drug Needs" (Kaiser Family Foundation, September 2003, .pdf format with a 3 minute 29 second video [RealPlayer and Windows Media format]). Note: This site is a compilation of information about the US House and Senate versions of the Prescription Drug Bill. The new additions are: "A Prescription Drug Benefit in Medicare: Implications for Medicaid and Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries Issue Brief"; "Presentation Slides"; and "Background Paper: The Proposed Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: A Detailed Review of Implications for Dual Eligibles and Other Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries." "The House and Senate versions of a Medicare prescription drug bill treat the drug costs of those dually-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid and other low-income Medicare beneficiaries quite differently. The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured cosponsored a policy briefing on the key issues in the two bills that would impact low-income beneficiaries and released a brief and background report on the topic."

4. UBS REPORT: "Pensions Fund Indicators 2003: A long-term perspective on pension fund investment," (UBS, Sept. 2003, .pdf format, 69p.).

More information about UBS:


A. "Review Of Medicare Part B Payments To Emergency Medical Services System" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (A-09-03-00037), July 2003, .pdf format, 19p.).

B. "New Efforts Aimed at Stopping Abuse of the Power Wheelchair Benefit in the Medicare Program" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Inspector General, Sep. 9, 2003, .pdf format, 4p.).


A. "Prescription Drug Discount Cards: Savings Depend on Pharmacy and Type of Card Used" (US General Accounting Office GAO-03-912, September 2003, .pdf format, 19p.).

B. "Death Care Industry: Regulation Varies Across States and by Industry Segment (US General Accounting Office GAO-03-757, August 2003, .pdf format, 62p.).

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

7. FDA FACT SHEET: "Menopause and Hormones," (US Food and Drug Administration, Sept. 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

8. UK PENSIONS OMBUDSMAN REPORT: "The Annual Report of the Pensions Ombudsman 2002-2003," (UK Pensions Ombudsman, 2003, .pdf format, 64p.).

9. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Recreational Physical Activity and the Risk of Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women: The Women's Health Initiative Cohort Study," by Anne McTiernan, Charles Kooperberg, Emily White. Sara Wilcox. Ralph Coates, Lucile L. Adams-Campbell, Nancy Woods, and Judith Ockene (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 290, No. 10, Sep. 10, 2003, p. 1331-1336).

10. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Health, Life Expectancy, and Health Care Spending among the Elderly," by James Lubitz, Liming Cai, Ellen Kramarow, and Harold Lentzner (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 349, No. 11, Sep. 11, 2003, p. 1048-1055).

11. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Comparison of Change in Bone Resorption and Bone Mineral Density With Once-Weekly Alendronate and Daily Risedronate: A Randomised, Placebo-Controlled Study," by David Hosking, Silvano Adami, Dieter Felsenberg, Jorge Cannata Andia, Matti Valimaki, Laurent Benhamou, Jean-Yves Reginster, Carol Yacik, Andrea Rybak-Feglin, Richard A. Petruschke, Luna Zaru, and Arthur C. Santora (_Current Medical Research and Opinion_, Vol. 19, No. 5, 2003, p. 383-394 via Medscape).

12. MSNBC INTERACTIVE SLIDE SHOW: "Aging in America" (MSNBC, September 2003).


III. Working Papers:

13. NBER:

A. "Advance Directives and Medical Treatment at the End of Life," by Daniel Kessler, and Mark B. McClellan (National Bureau of Economic Research w9955, September 2003, .pdf format, 29p.).


To assess the consequences of advance medical directives -- which explicitly specify a patient's preferences for one or more specific types of medical treatment in the event of a loss of competence we analyze the medical care of elderly Medicare beneficiaries who died between 1985-1995. We compare the care of patients from states that adopted laws enhancing incentives for compliance with advance directives and laws requiring the appointment of a health care surrogate in the absence of an advance directive to the care of patients from states that did not. We report three key findings. First, laws enhancing incentives for compliance significantly reduce the probability of dying in an acute care hospital. Second, laws requiring the appointment of a surrogate significantly increase the probability of receiving acute care in the last month of life, but decrease the probability of receiving nonacute care. Third, neither type of law leads to any savings in medical expenditures.

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

B. "Private Information and its Effect on Market Equilibrium: New Evidence from Long-Term Care Insurance," by Amy Finkelstein and Kathleen McGarry (National Bureau of Economic Research w9957, September 2003, .pdf format, 46p.).


This paper examines the standard test for asymmetric information in insurance markets: that its presence will result in a positive correlation between insurance coverage and risk occurrence. We show empirically that while there is no evidence of this positive correlation in the long-term care insurance market, asymmetric information still exists. We use individuals' subjective assessments of the chance they will enter a nursing home, together with the insurance companies' own assessment, to show that individuals do have private information about their risk type. Moreover, this private information is positively correlated with insurance coverage. We reconcile this direct evidence of asymmetric information with the lack of a positive correlation between insurance coverage and risk occurrence by demonstrating the existence of other unobserved characteristics that are positively related to coverage and negatively related to risk occurrence. Specifically, we find that more cautious individuals are both more likely to have long-term care insurance and less likely to enter a nursing home. Our results demonstrate that insurance markets may suffer from asymmetric information, and its negative efficiency consequences, even if those with more insurance are not higher risk. The results also suggest an alternative approach to testing for asymmetric information in insurance markets.

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


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

14. Age and Ageing (Vol. 32, No. 5, September 2003).

15. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 158, No. 6, Sep. 15, 2003).

16. European Journal of Palliative Care, (Vol. 10, No. 4, 2003).

17. 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.

Demography (Vol. 40, 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.

International Journal of Ageing and Human Development (Vol. 56, No. 1, 2003).

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 51, No. 9, 2003).

Omega: Journal of Death and Dying (Vol. 46, No. 3, 2003).

18. 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 Sep. 9, 2003:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Sep. 9, 2003:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Sep. 9, 2003:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Sep. 9, 2003:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

19. NIH:

A. "Aging Musculoskeletal and Skin Extracellular Matrix" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, PA-03-167, Sep. 4, 2003). For more information see:

B. "Basic and Translational Research in Emotion" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, PA-03-169, Sep. 4, 2003). For more information see:

VI. Conferences/Workshops:

20. AARP/STETSON UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW CONFERENCE: "First Annual International Conference on Law and Aging," a conference to be held Nov. 6-7, 2003, in Celebration, Florida. For more information, including registration information, see:

21. NIA/NRC WORKSHOP ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF AGING: "The National Research Council, with sponsorship from the National Institute on Aging, will hold a workshop on Social Psychology and Aging in Washington, DC, on Monday, September 29, 2003, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and Tuesday, September 30, 2003 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The workshop is being held as part of a consensus study that is helping the NIA to revamp its research program in social psychology, adult development, and personality psychology. Nationally recognized experts will present papers that focus on a number of practical questions that affect older adults. Panel sessions will review: how aging affects decision making abilities; stigmatization's effect on older adults; aging and the measurement of self-report data; maintaining a healthy mind for older individuals; and motivating older adults to make behavioral and other changes. Advocates, clinicians, researchers, and public policy specialists interested in older adults will present these papers. The workshop will be free and open to the public." For more information see:

22. RESDAC: "CMS 101: Introduction to the use of Medicare Data for Research: Basic Workshop in Medicare Administrative Data," a workshop to be held at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, by the University of Minnesota Research Data Assistance Center, Oct. 27-29, 2003, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For more information, including registration information see:

VII. Legislation Information Updates:

23. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Ensuring the integrity of Social Security Programs: Protecting Seniors from Representative Payee Fraud," a hearing held Sep. 9, 2003).

Hearing testimony (.pdf format):

Note: A video transcript (RealPlayer format) of the hearing may be available at the site.

24. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE HEARING PUBLICATION:"Strengthening Pension Security: Examining the Health and Future of Defined Benefit Pension Plans," a hearing held Jun. 14, 2003 (US House Publication Serial No. 108-18, ASCII text and .pdf format, 175p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "108-18" (without the quotes).

VIII. Websites of Interest:

25. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NATIONAL PALLIATIVE CARE PROGRAM: This website contains information about the state of the National Palliative Care Program in Australia. Of particular interest may be the two items under "publications" (.pdf format) which describe the program.

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