Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #210--October 30, 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. AARP INTERNATIONAL FORUM ON LONG TERM CARE REPORTS: "As the search for ways to enhance independence and meet the long-term care needs of aging populations around the world accelerates, so do concerns about the best ways to deliver such services to those who need them and how to pay for the provision of care. The following reports from AARP's Public Policy Institute were among the new research prepared for - and featured at - the AARP International Forum on Long-Term Care," held in Washington D.C., Oct. 22, 2003). The following publications are available:

"Consumer-Directed Home Care in the Netherlands, England and Germany," by Joshua M. Wiener, Jane Tilly and Alison Evans Cuellar (October 2003, .pdf format, 86p.).

"Consumer-Directed Personal Care Services for Older People in the U.S.," by Barbara Coleman (October 2003, .pdf format, 16p.).

"Long-Term Care in Developed Nations: A Brief Overview," by Mary Jo Gibson, Steven R. Gregory and Sheel M. Pandya (October 2003, .pdf format, 41p.).

In addition, the following brief publications are also available:

"In-Brief: Consumer-Directed Home Care in the Netherlands, England, and Germany," by Mary Jo Gibson (October 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

"In-Brief: Consumer-Directed Personal Care Services for Older People in the U.S.," by Barbara Coleman (October 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

2. ADEAR NEWS RELEASE: "Scientists Pinpoint Gene Influencing Age-at-Onset of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's," (US National Institute on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, Oct. 21, 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 3p., with a background brief: "National Institute on Aging Steps Up Major New Initiative on Alzheimer's Disease Genetics, October 2003, .pdf format, 4p.).

3. NINDS NEWS RELEASE: "Major New Finding on Genetics of Parkinson's Disease Zeroes In on Activity of Alpha Synuclein," (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, October 30, 2003).


A. "Medicare Appeals: Disparity between Requirements and Responsible Agencies' Capabilities," (US General Accounting Office GAO-03-841, September 2003, .pdf format, 45p.).

B. "Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation: Single-Employer Pension Insurance Program Faces Significant Long-Term Risks," (US General Accounting Office GAO-04-90, October 2003, .pdf format, 54p.).

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

5. WHO REPORT: "The Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions at the Start of the New Millennium," (World Health Organization, October 2003, .pdf format, 218p.). The report is linked to by a WHO press release:"Musculoskeletal conditions affect millions," (Oct. 27, 2003).


A. "More choice for residents in aged care homes," (Oct. 27, 2003).

B. "Aged care homes required to be more accountable for fire safety," (Oct. 27, 2003).

7. NATIONAL CONSUMER COUNCIL (UK) REPORT: "No nest egg: Research into attitudes of younger consumers to saving for retirement," by James King (National Consumer Council, October 2003, .pdf format, 12p.).

Press Release Extract:

This research aimed to understand the attitudes of younger consumers, on low and modest incomes, to saving for retirement. It found that income, life-stage and gender are the main factors shaping attitudes to personal finance, including saving. Few people regard putting money aside for retirement as a financial priority - saving a deposit for a home and repaying debt are more pressing concerns. Younger consumers are suspicious of solutions that involve their contributing more now, with no guarantee of a benefit in the future. Many are angry with government, and expect they will have to shoulder the burden at a later date. We recommend in the report that government: offers an adequate, secure and simple state pension; devises targeted and simple incentives to start saving; helps younger consumers to understand their financial needs and pension options; tackles growth in personal debt before expecting consumers to save in pensions; involves younger consumers in rebuilding the pension-saving partnership; and researchs consumer attitudes to saving for retirement.

For more information about the National Consumer Council:

8. UCLA CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY RESEARCH REPORT: "Health of Older Californians: County Data Book, Data from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey and 2000 Census" by Steven P. Wallace, Nadereh Pourat, Vilma Enriquez-Haass, and Alek Sripipatana (October 2003, .pdf format, 133p.).


This report provides detailed profiles of the health behavior, health status, preventive care, access to services, and demographics for Californians age 65 and over. It examines specific health behaviors such as smoking and drinking habits; health status in relation to heart disease, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, arthritis, skin cancer, difficulty in climbing stairs and emotional problems; preventive care such as cancer screening, bone density testing, hormone replacement therapy and influenza immunization; and access to medical, dental and prescription medication services. Using data culled from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) 2001 and the 2000 U.S. Census, information is presented for the state, regions, and counties for different racial/ethnic groups, women, those with low incomes, limited English proficiency, and Medi-Cal. The study is the first comprehensive evaluation of the health of California seniors that includes county-level information.


A. "The homodimer of prostate-specific membrane antigen is a functional target for cancer therapy," by Norbert Schlke, Olga A. Varlamova, Gerald P. Donovan, Dangshe Ma, Jason P Gardner, Donna M. Morrissey, Robert R. Arrigale, Cenchen Zhan, Amy J. Chodera, Kenneth G. Surowitz, Paul J. Maddon, Warren D.W. Heston and William C. Olson (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 100, No. 22, Oct. 28, 2003, p. 12590-12595).

B. "Cardiomyocyte-restricted knockout of STAT3 results in higher sensitivity to inflammation, cardiac fibrosis, and heart failure with advanced age," by Jorg J. Jacoby, April Kalinowski, Mu-Gen Liu, Samuel S.-M. Zhang, Qian Gao, Gui-Xuan Chai, Lan Ji, Yoshiki Iwamoto, En Li, Michael Schneider, Kerry S. Russell, and Xin-Yuan Fu (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 100, No. 22, Oct. 28, 2003, p. 12929-12934).

C. "Interaction between the Alzheimer's survival peptide humanin and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 regulates cell survival and apoptosis," by Maaria Ikonen, Bingrong Liu, Yuichi Hashimoto, Liqun Ma, Kuk-Wha Lee, Takako Niikura, Ikuo Nishimoto and Pinchas Cohen (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 100, No. 22, Oct. 28, 2003, p. 13042-13047).


A. "Russian mortality trends for 1991-2001: analysis by cause and region," by Tamara Men, Paul Brennan, Paolo Boffetta, and David Zaridze (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 327, No. 7241, Oct. 24, 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 6p.).

B. "Should elderly patients be made to sit in chairs?" by Mary Bliss (_British Medical Journal_ Personal Views, Vol. 327, No. 7241, Oct. 24, 2003, p. 997.).

11. _MEDSCAPE_ ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Lipid-Lowering Drug Use and Breast Cancer in Older Women: A Prospective Study," by Jane A. Cauley, Joseph M. Zmuda, Li-Yung Lui, Teresa A. Hillier, Roberta B. Ness, Katie L. Stone, Steven R. Cummings, and Douglas C. Bauer (_Journal of Women's Health_, Vol. 12, No. 8, 2003, p. 749-756).

12. _DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH_ ARTICLE: Note: "_DR_ is a free, expedited, peer-reviewed journal of the population sciences published by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research." "Individual Aging and Cancer Risk: How are They Related?" by Svetlana Ukraintseva and Anatoli I. Yashin (Vol. 9, Article 8, .pdf format, p. 164-195).


When individuals get older, the risk of many chronic diseases increases. This increase is in agreement with common theories of aging, such as mutation accumulation, wear and tear, antagonistic pleiotropy, etc. Surprisingly, however, the risk of some chronic conditions (e.g. asthma, arterial hypertension) declines in the old. The cancer incidence rate also declines at old ages after a steep increase during adult life. It contrasts with the continuing increase in total mortality that is often referred to as the aging process. Which forces contribute to a decline in cancer risk in the old?

Click on "Enter".


II. Working Papers:

13. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH: "A new method for correcting the underestimation of disabled life expectancy inherent in conventional methods: Application to the oldest old in China," by Yi Zeng, Danan Gu, and Kenneth C. Land (WP-2003-033, September 2003, .pdf format, 47p.).


This article demonstrates that the widely used disabled life expectancies based on conventional methods are significantly underestimated due to assuming no functional status changes between age and death. We propose a new method to correct the bias and apply it to the longitudinal survey data of about 9,000 oldest old Chinese aged 80-105 collected in 1998 and 2000. In our application the age trajectories of ADL status-specific death rates and ADL state transition probabilities of the oldest old were investigated for the first time in a developing country. We have estimated the bias-corrected disabled and active life expectancies of Chinese oldest old, and demonstrate patterns of large differentials associated with initial status, gender and advances in ages. Employing combined information on ADL and length of having been bedridden before dying, we analyze gender and age patterns of the extent of morbidity before dying among the oldest old and the implications of the debating hypothesis of compression of morbidity.

14. POPULATION COUNCIL: "Estimating Mean Lifetime," by John Bongaarts and Griffith Feeney (WP 179, 2003, .pdf format, 21p.).


The life expectancy implied by current age-specific mortality rates is calculated with life table methods that are among the oldest and most fundamental tools of demography. We demonstrate that these conventional estimates of period life expectancy are affected by an undesirable 'tempo effect'. The tempo effect is positive when the mean age at death is rising and negative when the mean age is declining. Estimates of the effect for females in three countries with high and rising life expectancy range from 1.6 years in the United States and Sweden to 2.4 years in France for the period 1980-95.

15. NBER: National Bureau of Economic Research Bulletin on Aging and Health (Summer 2003, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.). "The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health summarizes selected Working Papers recently produced as part of the Bureau's program of research in aging and health economics.

16. WHARTON SCHOOL [UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA] PENSION RESEARCH COUNCIL:"Who's Afraid of a Poor Old Age? Risk Perception in Risk Management Decisions," by Elke U. Weber (WP 2003-8, 2003, .pdf format, 23p.).


Retirement planning and voluntary as well as mandated contributions to pension plans require a series of decisions under uncertainty. Those range from initial decisions about the magnitude of contributions and allocation across different investment options and choice of option providers, to periodic reviews of these decisions in light of possible changes in goals or circumstances. Behavioral decision research provides a series of lessons about how such decisions are made and thus for the optimal design of pension plans. This chapter will addresses the role of affect in perceptions of risk and subsequent decisions to take actions that reduce or manage perceived risks. I review evidence showing that individual and group differences in risk perception, much more than differences in risk attitude, are responsible for differences in the choices people make. If people fail to be alarmed about a risk or hazard, they fail to take precautions. Risk perception, on the other hand, is predictable from general characteristics of the hazard and from prior, personal history. The risks associated with inadequate retirement planning have all the characteristics associated with hazards that do not evoke strong visceral reactions.

17. LABOR AND DEMOGRAPHY: ECONOMICS WORKING PAPER ARCHIVE AT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY-ST. LOUIS: "When Will the Gender Gap in Retirement Income Narrow?" by William E. Even (Miami University) and David A. Macpherson (Florida State University) (August 2003, .pdf format, 35p.).


Among recent retirees, women receive substantially less retirement income from Social Security and private pensions than men. Increases in women's labor market attachment and earnings relative to men over the past 50 years provide some optimism for an improvement in female retirement income, particularly for married women. This study shows that women's income from Social Security and private pensions has improved only slightly relative to men over the past 25 years. Using data on people approaching retirement age over the next 20 years, prospects for future improvement are investigated. One of the main conclusions is that pension income among women (particularly married women) will rise sharply relative to men's over the next few decades, but a substantial gap could remain even if women close the gap in experience and salaries.

18. PROGRAM FOR RESEARCH ON SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS FOR AN AGING POPULATION (SEDAP), MCMASTER UNIVERSITY [Hamilton, Ontario, Canada]:"Social Transfers and Income Inequality in Old-age: A Multi-national Perspective," by Robert L. Brown and Steven G. Prus (SEDAP Research Paper No. 109, September 2003, .pdf format, 10p.).


This paper examines variation in old-age income inequality between industrialized nations with modern welfare systems. The analysis of income inequality across countries with different retirement income systems provides a perspective on public pension policy choices and designs and their distributional implications. Because of the progressive nature of public pension programs, we hypothesize that there is an inverse relationship between the quality of public pension benefits and old-age income inequality -- that is, countries with comprehensive, universal, and generous public pension systems will exhibit more equal distributions of income in old age. Luxembourg Income Study data indeed show that cross-national variation in old-age income inequality is partly explained by differences in the percentage of seniors total income derived from public pension transfers. Sweden, for example, has the highest the level of government transfers and the lowest level of old-age income inequality, while Israel and the U.S. have the lowest levels of dependency on government transfers and the highest levels of income inequality. A notable exception is Canada where public transfers represent only a moderate portion of elderly income, yet old-age income inequality is relatively low. This suggests that other factors besides quality of public pension benefits play a role in differences in old-age income inequality across countries.

19. STOCKHOLM [SWEDEN] SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND CENTRE FOR ECONOMIC POLICY RESEARCH (CEPR) [ROME]: "Population Aging and International Capital Flows," by David Domeij and Martin Floden (SSE/EFI Working Paper in Economics and Finance No. 539, October 20003, .pdf format, 19p.).


We use the neoclassical growth framework to model international capital flows in an economy with exogenous demographic change. We compare model implications and actual current account data and find that the model explains a small but significant fraction of capital flows between OECD countries, in particular after 1985.

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

20. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 158, No. 9, Nov. 1, 2003).

21. Journal of Pension Economics and Finance (Vol. 2, No. 3, 2003).

22. 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 Aging and Physical Activity (Vol. 11, No. 4, 2003).


IV. Funding Opportunities:

23. NIH: "Ancillary Studies to Obesity-Related Clinical Trials" (National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, RFA-DK-03-022, Oct. 22, 2003).


V. Conferences:

24. GERONTOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: "Improving Primary Care Physicians Care for Persons with Dementia: Effective Strategies," a pre-conference the annual Gerontological Society of America Conference, to be held Nov. 21, 2003 in San Diego, California. For more information, including registration information, see:

Information on 2003 GSA meeting, Nov. 21-23, 2003, San Diego, California:


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

25. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND THE WORKFORCE HEARING TESTIMONY: "The Pension Underfunding Crisis: How Effective Have Reforms Been?" a hearing held Oct. 29, 2003.

Hearing testimony (HTML or .pdf format).

26. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING PUBLICATION: "Baby Boomers at the Gate: Enhancing Independence Through Innovation and Technology," a hearing held May 20, 2003 (US Senate Serial Publication 108-11, ASCII text and .pdf format, 115p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "S. Hrg. 108-108" (without the quotes). Note that the hearing number is different from the Serial Publication number.

27. US SENATE COMMITTEE APPROPRIATIONS HEARING: "Alzheimer's Disease, 2003, Special Hearing," a hearing held Apr. 1, 2003 (Senate Hearing 108-130, ASCII text and .pdf format, 42p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "S. Hrg. 108-130" (without the quotes).

28. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR AND PENSIONS, SUB-COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Hearing on Financial Abuse and Exploitation," a hearing held October 30, 2003.

Hearing testimony (HTML):


VII. Websites of Interest:

29. NIH: " makes aging-related health information easily accessible for adults 60 and older. It is also a useful tool for family members and friends who are seeking online health information for their older relatives. This site was developed by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Library of Medicine (NLM), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)."




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
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