Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #215--December 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. AHRQ MEPS: "MEPS HC-054: 1999 and 2000 MEPS HC Survey Data," (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, November 2003, data on the CD is in ASCII and SAS transport format, with documentation, and SAS programming statements). Note: "This CD-ROM contains the following MEPS Household Component (HC) public use files released by AHRQ for calendar years 1999 and 2000: Full-Year Consolidated Data Files (HC-038, HC-044, and HC-050); Event Files (HC-033a through HC-033i and HC-05la through HC-05li); Medical Conditions Files (HC-037 and HC-052); Jobs Files (HC-032 and HC-040); and Person-Round-Policyholder-Establishment Files (HC-047)." This data file is only available on CD-ROM. Follow the "Ordering Information" link to learn more about aquiring the data.


II. Reports and articles:


A. "Postal Pension Funding Reform: Issues Related to the Postal Service's Proposed Use of Pension Savings," (US General Accounting Office, GAO-04-238, November 2003, .pdf format, 38p.).

B. "Postal Pension Funding Reform: Review of Military Service Funding Proposals," (US General Accounting Office, GAO-04-281, November 2003, .pdf format, 48p.).

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


A. "Baby Boomers' Retirement Prospects: An Overview," (Congressional Budget Office, November 2003, .pdf, Word Perfect, and HTML formats, 38p.).

B. "Measuring Changes to Social Security Benefits," (Congressional Budget Office, Policy Brief No. 11, December 2003, .pdf, Word Perfect, and HTML formats, 4p.).

4. AHRQ CHARTBOOK: "Outpatient Prescription Drug Expenses, 1999," by Marie N. Stagnitti, G. Edward Miller, and John F. Moeller (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, October 2003, .pdf and HTML format, 36p.).


"This chartbook presents data from the 1999 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), which is sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), on spending for outpatient prescription medicines for the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. This chartbook is organized into three sections. Section 1 presents a summary of overall outpatient prescription medicine expenses and payments. Section 2 contains outpatient prescription medicine expenses and payments by various population groups. Section 3 contains expenses on outpatient prescription drugs by therapeutic class. See the Definitions of Terms section for information and definitions of the categories used throughout the Chartbook."

5. DHHS OIG INSPECTION REPORT: "Oversight and Evaluation of the Fiscal Year 2003 Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, A-03-03-00014, November 2003, .pdf format, 15p.).

From the Report Summary:

The objectives of this review were to determine whether (1) the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) contractor followed established CERT error rate review policies and procedures and (2) the CERT quality assurance program ensured the reliability of the CERT claims review process. Our review of 105 claims found that the CERT contractor generally followed established CERT error rate review policies and procedures for 99 claims. However, the medical records for six claims were never received, and letters requesting medical records were often sent late. In addition, our review of another 45 claims found that the CERT contractor had not fully implemented the quality assurance program in accordance with established procedures. For 73 of the 105 claims sampled, the initial request for medical records was sent to the provider 9 to 20 days later than required and followup requests for missing medical records were sent 1 to 204 days later than required. Also, quality assurance reviews were not performed for 22 of the 45 claims sampled, and the results of those reviews that were performed were not shared with medical review specialists.

6. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT: "The Future Supply of Informal Care 2003 to 2013: Alternative Scenarios," by Anne Jenkins, Frieda Rowland, Paula Angus, and Cathy Hales (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, November 2003, .pdf format, 64p.).


A. "Notch-Mediated Restoration of Regenerative Potential to Aged Muscle," by Irina M. Conboy, Michael J. Conboy, Gayle M. Smythe, and Thomas A. Rando (_Science_, Vol. 302, No. 5650, November 28, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1575-1577).

B. "Yeast Cells Provide Insight into Alpha-Synuclein Biology and Pathobiology," by Tiago Fleming Outeiro and Susan Lindquist (_Science_, Vol. 302, No. 5651, December 5, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1772-1775).


A. "Hospital bed utilisation in the NHS, Kaiser Permanente, and the US Medicare programme: analysis of routine data," by Chris Ham, Nick York, Steve Sutch, and Rob Shaw (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 327, No. 7426, November 29, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1257).

B. "Predictive accuracy of the Framingham coronary risk score in British men: prospective cohort study," by Peter Brindle, Jonathan Emberson, Fiona Lampe, Mary Walker, Peter Whincup, Tom Fahey, and Shah Ebrahim (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 327, NO. 7426, November 29, 2003, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1267).


A. "Lp(a) Lipoprotein, Vascular Disease, and Mortality in the Elderly," by Abraham A. Ariyo, Chau Thach, Russell Tracy, for the Cardiovascular Health Study Investigators (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 349, No. 22, November 27, 2003, p. 2108-2115).

B. "Surgeon Volume and Operative Mortality in the United States," by John D. Birkmeyer, Therese A. Stukel, Andrea E. Siewers, Philip P. Goodney,David E. Wennberg, and F. Lee Lucas (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 349, No. 22, November 27, 2003, p. 2117-2127).

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

A. "Treatment of Elderly and Other Adult Patients for Depression in Primary Care," (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 51, No. 11, 2003, p. 1554-1562, via Medscape).

B. "Vision and Driving Self-Restriction in Older Adults," (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 51, No. 10, 2003, p. 1348-1355, via Medscape).

C. "Neuropsychological Studies in Geriatric Psychiatry," (Current Opinion in Psychiatry, Vol. 16, No. 6, 2003, p. 643-648, via Medscape).

11. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: "Prescription Drug Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries: A Side-by-Side Comparison of S. 1 and H.R. 1 and the Conference Agreement H.R. 1," by Health Policy Alternatives, Inc. (Kaiser Family Foundation, November 2003, .pdf format, 19p.).

12. ADEAR NEWSLETTER: "Connections," (Vol. 11, No. 1/2, 2003).

13. _TIME_ ARTICLE: "Six Questions about the New Medicare Bill," by Douglas Waller (_Time_, Vol. 162, No. 23, December 8, 2003).,9171,1101031208-552133,00.html


III. Working Papers:

14. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "Gender Differences in Economic Support and Well-Being of Older Asians," by Mary Beth Ofstedal, Erin Reidy and John Knodel (PSC Research Report 03-540, November 2003, .pdf format, 27p.).


This report provides a comprehensive analysis of gender differences in economic support and well-being in eight countries in Southern and Eastern Asia (Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and Taiwan). We examine multiple economic indicators, including sources of income, receipt of financial and material support, income levels, ownership of assets, and subjective well-being. Results show substantial variation in gender differences across indicators and provide an important qualification to widely held views concerning the globally disadvantaged position of older women. Whereas men tend to report higher levels of income than women, there is generally little gender difference in housing characteristics, asset ownership, or reports of subjective economic well-being. Unmarried women are economically advantaged compared to unmarried men in some respects, in part because they are more likely to be embedded in multigenerational households and receive both direct and indirect forms of support from family members.

15. CENTER FOR ECONOMIC STUDIES/IFO INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH (CESIFO) [UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH]: "Will Social Security and Medicare Remain Viable as the U.S. Population is Aging? An Update," by Henning Bohn (WP-1062, October 2003, .pdf format, 40p.)


Yes, subject to concerns about Medicare inefficiencies and potentially self-confirming skepticism. The U.S. social security system-broadly defined to include Medicare-faces significant financial problems as the result of an aging population. But demographic change is also likely to raise savings, increase wages, and reduce interest rates, and up to a point, a growing GDP-share of medical spending is an efficient response to an aging population. Thus viability is more a political economy than an economic feasibility issue. To examine the political viability of social security, I focus on intertemporal cost-benefit tradeoffs in a median voter setting. For a variety of assumptions and policy alternatives, I find that social security should retain majority support.

Click on "Working Papers", then click on "2003" under "Browse Working Paper List". Then scroll to or "find in page" "1062".

16. ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT: "Coping with ageing: a dynamic approach to quantify the impact of alternative policy options on future labour supply in OECD countries," by Jean-Marc Burniaux, Romain Duval and Florence Jaumotte (OECD Economic Department Working Paper 371, November 2003, MSWord and .pdf format, 88p.).


In the face of the substantial ageing of population expected to occur in OECD countries over coming decades, policies that boost labour-force participation attract considerable interest. There remain large cross-country divergences in participation rates that are largely accounted for by differences in participation of specific groups, in particular prime-age women, older workers and also youth. This suggests that policies targeting these groups could have important effects. The aim of this paper is to examine whether the potential impact of several policy reforms is able to attenuate or to offset the adverse trend in aggregate participation rates that would otherwise occur because of ageing population. It uses a simple dynamic modelling framework that generates longer-term projections of participation rates and labour supplies in OECD countries and alternative scenarios of policy reforms. The main outcome of this analysis is that the combined effect of possible reforms targeting prime-age women, older workers and youth might suffice to stabilize the average participation rate in OECD countries over the next 25 years but will be insufficient to offset the additional reduction of participation likely to be caused by demographic changes beyond 2025.

17. TINBERGEN INSTITUTE: "Generational Accounting, Solidarity and Pension Losses," by Coen N. Teulings and Casper G. de Vries (Tinbergen Institute Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, the Universiteit van Amsterdam, and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, November 2003, .pdf format, 17p.)


The creeping stock market collapse eroded the wealth of funded pension systems. This led to political tensions between generations due to the fuzzy definition of property rights on the pension funds wealth. We argue that this problem can best be resolved by the introduction of generational accounts. Using modern portfolio and consumption planning theory we show that the younger generations should have the higher equity exposure due to their human capital. Capital losses should be distributed smoothly over lifetime consumption. When stock markets are depressed equity should be bought, savings and consumption should be scaled down equiproportionally, and retirement should be postponed. Portfolio investment restrictions are quite costly.

For more information about the Tinbergen Institute go to:


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

18. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 158, No. 12, December 15, 2003).

19. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 93, No. 12, December 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. 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.

International Psychogeriatrics (Vol. 15, No. 2, 2003).

Journal of the American Geriatics Society (Vol. 51, No. 12, 2003).

Population Studies (Vol. 57, No. 3, 2003).


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 December 3, 2003:

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

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

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

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunity:

22. NIH: "Supplements for Methodological Innovations in the Behavioral and Social Sciences," (US National Institutes on Health, RFA-RM-04-013, Dec. 1, 2003). For more information see:


VI. Conferences:

23. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LONGEVITY: "The Inaugural International Conference on Longevity is bringing together medical consultants and practitioners, allied health professionals, clinicians, scientists, policy makers, and the public for a global perspective on the issues confronting them in the areas of quality and length of life, and new research applicable to our ageing population." The conference will be held in Sydney, Australia March 5-7, 2004.




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