Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #222--January 29, 2004


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: 5-Percent Sample (#13568)


A. "OASDI Monthly Statistics, December 2003" (January 2004, HTML and .pdf format).

B. "SSI Monthly Statistics, December 2003" (January 2004, HTML and .pdf format).


II. Reports and articles:

3. FCA REPORT: "Caregiving and Retirement Planning: What Happens to Family Caregivers Who Leave the Work Force," by Laurie Young and Sandra Newman (Family Caregiver Alliance, National Center on Caregiving, December 2003, .pdf format, 8p.).


Highlights how retirement income can be affected by caregiving activities, with particular attention paid to the impact on women caregivers. Social Security, savings, pensions and unpaid leave are discussed. Policy recommendations for future action are included.

More information on FCA:

4. CBO LETTER: "Letter to the Honorable William H. Frist, M.D., regarding CBO's estimate of the effect of striking the "noninterference" provision as added by P.L. 108-173, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003" (US Congressional Budget Office, Jan. 23, 2004, .pdf and Corel WordPerfect Format, 2p.).

Click on PDF or WPD icon at top right hand side of page for full text.

5. CMS DECISION MEMORANDUM: "NCA Tracking Sheet for Ocular Photodynamic Therapy with Verteporfin for Macular Degeneration (CAG-00066R3) (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Jan. 28, 2004).

Click on "Decision Memo" at the bottom of the page for full text.

6. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF FAMILY STUDIES REPORT: "Measuring the value of unpaid household, caring and voluntary work of older Australians," by David de Vaus, Matthew Gray and David Stanton (Australian Institute of Family Studies Research Paper No. 34, October 2003, HTML and .pdf and format, 24p.).


As the populations in many countries age, the direct financial costs to governments are expected to rise due to the income support and health costs associated with an older population. A focus on these financial costs has led to an unduly negative, problem-oriented view of population ageing that neglects the contribution of older citizens to the social and economic wellbeing of the nation. This paper explores just one aspect of the contributions of older Australians and demonstrates that, as an age cohort, older people make valuable economic contributions to Australian society through the time they spend in voluntary work and in unpaid caring in their own household, to their family members in other households, and to non-family members in the wider community. It is estimated that Australians aged over 65 years contribute almost $39 billion per year in unpaid caring and voluntary work and, if the unpaid contribution of those aged 55 to 64 years is included, this contribution rises to $74.5 billion per annum.

7. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASE: "Extra Home and Community Care funding for Western Australia" (Jan. 23, 2004).

8. ADEAR NEWS RELEASE: "Low Free Testosterone Levels Linked to Alzheimer's Disease in Older Men" (US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, Jan. 26, 2004, HTML and .pdf format, 3p.).

9. PNAS ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Increased soluble amyloid-{Beta} peptide and memory deficits in amyloid model mice overexpressing the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein," by Celina V. Zerbinatti, David F. Wozniak, John Cirrito, Judy A. Cam, Hiroshi Osaka, Kelly R. Bales, Min Zhuo, Steven M. Paul, David M. Holtzman, and Guojun Bu (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 101, No. 4, Jan. 27, 2004, p. 1075-1080).

10. _JAMA ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Supporting Family Caregivers at the End of Life: 'They Don't Know What They Don't Know'," by Michael W. Rabow, Joshua M. Hauser, and Jocelia Adams (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 291, No. 4, Jan. 28, 2004, p. 483-491).


A. "The Effects of Strontium Ranelate on the Risk of Vertebral Fracture in Women with Postmenopausal Osteoporosis," by Pierre J. Meunier, Christian Roux, Ego Seeman, Sergio Ortolani, Janusz E. Badurski,Tim D. Spector, Jorge Cannata, Adam Balogh, Ernst-Martin Lemmel, Stig Pors-Nielsen, Ren Rizzoli, Harry K. Genant, and Jean-Yves Reginster (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 350, No. 5, Jan. 29, 2004, p. 459-468).

B. "Hypogonadism in Elderly Men--What to Do Until the Evidence Comes," by Peter J. Snyder (_New England Journal of Medicine_ Perspective, Vol. 350, No. 5, Jan. 29, 2004, p. 440-442).

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

A. "Strategies for Continued Successful Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease: Switching Cholinesterase Inhibitors," by Serge Gauthier, Murat Emre, Martin R. Farlow, Roger Bullock, George T. Grossberg, and Steven G. Potkin (_Current Medical Research and Opinion_, Vol. 19, No. 8, 2003, p. 707-714, via Medscape).

B. "Nutritional Formula Enhanced Immune Function and Reduced Days of Symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract Infection in Seniors," by Bobbi Langkamp-Henken, Bradley S. Bender, Elizabeth M. Gardner, Kelli A. Herrlinger-Garcia, Michael J. Kelley, Donna M. Murasko, Joseph P. Schaller, Joyce K. Stechmiller, Debra J. Thomas, and Steven M. Wood (_Journal of the American Geriatrics Society_, Vol. 52, No. 1, 2004, p. 3-12, via Medscape).


A. "Why We Pay So Much For Drugs," by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele (_TIME_, Vol. 163, No. 5, Feb. 2, 2004).

B. "If the VA Can Tame Prices ... ... why can't Medicare and other government programs follow suit?" by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele (_TIME_, Vol. 163, No. 5, Feb. 2, 2004).

C. "Hope for Alzheimer's," by Sanjay Gupta (__TIME_, Vol. 163, No. 5, Feb. 2, 2004).,9171,1101040202-582347,00.html

14. _US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT_ ARTICLE: "A view of dementia," by Nancy Shute (_US News and World Report_, Feb. 2, 2004).

15. _FORTUNE_ ARTICLE: "Older, Wiser, Job-Hunting: Surveys find that 82% of senior executives consider age bias a 'serious problem' in today's workplace," by Anne Fisher (_Fortune_, Vol. 149, No. 3, Feb. 9, 2004).,15114,580621,00.html

16. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, for Jan 13. - Jan. 27, 2004, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Jan. 27, 2004: Protecting Aging Parents from Fraud and Abuse
Jan. 20, 2004: Medicare -- Through the Lens of History


III. Working Papers:

17. PRINCETON OFFICE OF POPULATION RESEARCH: "Life Experiences, Strength of Emotional Response, and Sex-specific Mortality Risk Zones," by Lauren Hale (Working Paper 2004-01, 2004, .pdf format, 35p.).


In this paper, we introduce a new operationalization of the concept of allostatic load -- the cumulative biological burden exacted on the body through attempts to adapt to life's demands. We use a recursive partitioning (RP) methodology to specify categories of low, intermediate, and high risks of later-life mortality. The risk categories are defined in terms of either low or high ranges of values on the biomarkers, each of which has been implicated as an indicator of possible dysregulation in one or more biological systems. We find that the cumulation of positive life experiences is positively related to membership in a low mortality risk zone, thereby supporting our contention that our operationalization of allostatic load is interpretable as a biological signature of adaptation to life challenges. We also find sex differences in risk categories and their corresponding associations with emotional response profiles.


A. Medicare Gaps and Widow Poverty," by Kathleen McGarry and Robert F. Schoeni (PSC Research Report 03-547, December 2003, .pdf format, 36p.).


Several categories of medical expenditures are not covered by Medicare, including prescription drugs, most nursing home stays, and extended hospital visits. Out-of-pocket costs for these items can be substantial, and what's more, they are likely to be concentrated at the end of life. At the same time, it is well documented that poverty is 3-4 times more common among widows than among similarly aged married women. This study examines the potential link between these two phenomena, asking the question: to what extent do out-of-pocket health care costs of a dying spouse affect the financial position of the survivor? We find that out-of-pocket medical spending increases substantially just prior to death, and that these expenditures are large relative to income for a large share of elderly couples. Simulations investigate the extent to which expansions in insurance coverage to include nursing home care or prescription drug coverage could improve the financial well-being of the surviving spouse.

B. "Health Disparities among Older Immigrants in the United States," by Melonie Heron, Robert F. Schoeni, and Leo Morales (PSC Research Report 03-548, December 2003, .pdf format, 21 p.).


In light of increased immigration to the U.S., our objective is to examine the unique patterns of health status among immigrants aged 55 and over across a wide array of racial and ethnic groups. We explore health disparities within the immigrant population and between immigrants and natives of the same racial/ethnic group. Logistic regression is used to analyze data from the 1992-1995 National Health Interview Survey. Immigrants are less likely than natives to report an activity limitation or to be obese, but more likely than natives to report themselves in poor or fair general health. There are significant differences among immigrants arriving from different countries and between immigrants and natives who are of the same race/ethnicity. For some groups and health measures, a large share of the differences are explained by disparities in socioeconomic status. Older immigrants are not a large enough share of the population, nor do they have distinct enough health status, to substantially alter the aggregate prevalence of health conditions in the total population. However, the diversity in health status within the immigrant population is enormous. These estimates can be used to target populations with especially high rates of obesity and limitations.

19. RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR QUANTITATIVE STUDIES IN ECONOMICS AND POPULATION (QSEP) [McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada]:"Socioeconomic Influence on the Health of Older People: Estimates Based on Two Longitudinal Surveys," by Neil J. Buckley, Frank T. Denton, A. Leslie Robb, and Byron G. Spencer (Research Report 387, December 2003, .pdf format, 32p.).


There is a strong positive relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and health, but identifying the direction of causation is difficult. This study exploits the longitudinal nature of two Canadian surveys, the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics and the National Population Health Survey, to study the link from SES to health. For people aged 50 and older who are initially in good health we examine whether changes in health status over the next two to four years are related to prior SES, as represented by income and education. Although the two surveys were designed for quite different purposes the evidence they yield with respect to the probability of remaining in good health is strikingly similar. Both suggest that SES does play a role, that the differences across SES groups are quantitatively significant, that the differences increase with age, and that they are much same for men and women.


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

20. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 159, No. 3, Feb. 1, 2004).

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.

American Economic Review (Vol. 93, 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.

Canadian Journal on Aging (Vol. 22, No. 4, 2003).

Journal of Adult Development (Vol. 11, No. 1, January 2004).

Journal of Aging and Social Policy (Vol. 15, No. 4, 2003).

Journal of Women and Aging (Vol. 15, No. 4, 2003).

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 Jan. 27, 2004:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jan. 27, 2004:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jan. 27, 2004:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Jan. 27, 2004:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

23. BLACKWELL PUBLISHING: _The Economics of an Aging Society_, by Robert L. Clark, Richard Burkhauser, Marilyn Moon, Joseph F. Quinn, and Timothy M. Smeeding (2003/2004, 376p.). For more information, including ordering information, see:


VI. Funding Opportunities:

24. NASI STUDENT INTERNSHIPS: The National Academy of Social Insurance has released information regarding three paid internships (19 total placements): Washington Internship on Social Insurance; Somers Aging and Long-Term Care Research Internship; and Nathan J. Stark Internship for Non-Profit Development. Application deadline for all three is Mar. 15, 2004. For more information see:

More information about NASI:


VII. Workshops:

25. BOSTON UNIVERSITY ELDERCARE AND TECHNOLOGY MATTERS ONLINE WORKSHOPS: This BU "project is interested in helping caregivers do their work. We study how to provide improved supports for all caregivers using newer communication technologies (wireless and online systems). We focus currently on providing continuing professional educational workshops online for professional caregivers from many disciplines." For more information see:


VIII. Legislation Information Updates:

26. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS' AFFAIRS HEARING TRANSCRIPT: "Hearing on Department of Veterans Affairs long-term care policies" (Jan. 28, 2004, HTML and .pdf format).


A. "Retirement Planning: Do We Have A Crisis In America?" (a hearing held Jan. 27, 2004). Note: In addition to the print testimony available below, a video of the entire hearing is available at the site (RealPlayer format, running time: 1 hour, 17 minutes, 34 seconds).

Hearing testimony (.pdf format):

B. "Debate on Medicare Reform," a forum held Jun. 23, 2003 (ASCII text and .pdf format, 17p.).

Hearing publication:

Scroll to or "find in page" "108-228" (without the quotes).

C. " Enhancing Medicare for the 21st Century: A Prescription Benefit for Seniors," a hearing held Aug. 27, 2003 (ASCII text and .pdf format, 44p.).

Hearing publication:

Scroll to or "find in page" "108-229" (without the quotes).

28. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR, AND PENSIONS HEARING PUBLICATION: "Elder Justice and Protection: Stopping the Abuse," a hearing held Aug. 19, 2003 (ASCII text and .pdf format, 41p.).

Hearing publication:

Scroll to or "find in page" "108-210" (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