Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #244--July 1, 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. NCHS: "Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the 2003 National Health Interview Survey," (US National Center for Health Statistics, June 2004, .pdf format, 84p.). "In this release, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) updates estimates for 15 selected health measures based on data from the 2003 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and presents estimates from 1997 through 2002 for comparison. The 15 Early Release measures are being published prior to final data editing and final weighting to provide access to the most recent information from the NHIS. The estimates will be updated on a quarterly basis as each new quarter of the NHIS data becomes available."


A. "MEPS HC-063: 2002 Job Files," (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, June 2004, is in ASCII and SAS transport format (.zip or .exe format), with documentation (.pdf and HTML format), and SAS and SPSS programming statements). Note: "The file contains job-level information collected in Rounds 3-5 for the sixth Panel and Rounds 1-3 for the seventh Panel of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (i.e., the rounds for the MEPS panels covering calendar year 2002); it includes variables pertaining to household-reported jobs, including wages, hours, industry, and occupation."

B. "MEPS HC-062: 2002 Full Year Population Characteristics," (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, June 2004, is in ASCII and SAS transport format (.zip or .exe format), with documentation (.pdf and HTML format), and SAS and SPSS programming statements). Note: "This file consists of MEPS survey data obtained in Rounds 3, 4, and 5 of Panel 6 and Rounds 1, 2, and 3 of Panel 7 (i.e., the rounds for the MEPS panels covering calendar year 2002) and contains variables pertaining to survey administration, demographics, employment, health status, quality of care, patient satisfaction, health insurance and person-level medical care use counts."

C. "MEPS 02HC/NHIS Link File: 2002 MEPS/2001 & 2000 NHIS Link File," (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, June 2004, file is available upon request). Note: "[T]his file contains a cross-walk that will allow data users to merge the MEPS 2002 Full-Year Population Characteristics public use data file, HC-062, with the NHIS 2000/2001 person-level public use data files. In this linkage file, a record exists for each person in the HC-062 file or in the 2000 NHIS or 2001 NHIS respondent person sample." Confidentiality forms must be filled out and submitted to AHRQ before this file can be obtained. For instruction on ordering the file go to:


II. Reports and articles:

3. GAO REPORT: "Medicare Dialysis Facilities: Beneficiary Access Stable and Problems in Payment System Being Addressed," (US General Accounting Office, GAO-04-450, June 25, 2004, .pdf format, 40p.).

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

4. NIH PRESS RELEASE: "Under Using Medications Because of Cost May Lead to Adverse Health Outcomes," (June 25, 2004).

5. CMS DOCUMENT: "New Enrollee Rights, New Provider Responsibilities in Medicare Advantage Program," (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, June 2004, .pdf format, 3p.).

6. UK DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS PRESS RELEASE: "Insolvent Pension Wind-Ups - New research into numbers affected," (June 30, 2004).

7. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING PRESS RELEASE: "Caring for Tasmanias carers," (June 25, 2004).

8. AOA NEWSLETTER: "AoA e-News," (US Administration on Aging, June 2004, HTML format).

9. _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content. "Long-term donepezil treatment in 565 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD2000): randomised double-blind trial," by AD2000 Collaborative Group (_Lancet_, Vol. 363, No. 9427, June 26, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2105-2115).

10. _BMJ_ PAPER: "Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years' observations on male British doctors," by Richard Doll, Richard Peto, Jillian Boreham, Isabelle Sutherland (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 328, No. 7455, June 26, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1519-1523).


A. "Functional variants within the secreted frizzled-related protein 3 gene are associated with hip osteoarthritis in females," by John Loughlin, Barbara Dowling, Kay Chapman, Lucy Marcelline, Zehra Mustafa, Lorraine Southam, Athena Ferreira, Cathleen Ciesielski, Dennis A. Carson, and Maripat Corr (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 26, June 29, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 9757-9762).

B. "The role of iron and copper molecules in the neuronal vulnerability of locus coeruleus and substantia nigra during aging," by Luigi Zecca, Antonella Stroppolo, Alberto Gatti, Davide Tampellini, Marco Toscani, Mario Gallorini, Giuseppe Giaveri, Paolo Arosio, Paolo Santambrogio, Ruggero G. Fariello, Erdem Karatekin, Mark H. Kleinman, Nicholas Turro, Oleh Hornykiewicz, and Fabio A. Zucca (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 26, June 29, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 9843-9848).

12. _NATURE MEDICINE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Apolipoprotein E promotes astrocyte colocalization and degradation of deposited amyloid-{beta} peptides," by Milla Koistinaho, Suizhen Lin, Xin Wu, Michail Esterman, Deanna Koger, Jeffrey Hanson, Richard Higgs, Feng Liu, Seema Malkani, Kelly R. Bales and Steven M. Paul (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 10, No. 7, July 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 719-726).

13. _NATURE NEUROSCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Dopamine depletion impairs precursor cell proliferation in Parkinson disease," by Gunter U. Hoglinger, Pamela Rizk, Marie P. Muriel, Charles Duyckaerts, Wolfgang H. Oertel, Isabelle Caille and Etienne C. Hirsch (_Nature Neuroscience_, Vol. 7, No. 7, July 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 726-735).

14. _MILBANK QUARTERLY_ ARTICLE: "Driven to Tiers: Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities in the Quality of Nursing Home Care," by Vincent Mor, Jacqueline Zinn, Joseph Angelelli, Joan M. Teno, and Susan C. Miller (_Milbank Quarterly_, Vol. 82, No. 2, June 2004, HTML format). Note: The Milbank Quarterly is providing free access to this feature article.

15. NATSEM CONFERENCE PAPER: "The Australian Pharmaceuticals Benefit Scheme and Older Australians: Changes in Government Outlays and Consumer Costs from the 2002-03 Federal Budget Measures," by L. Brown, A. Abello, B. Phillips, and A. Harding, Paper presented at the International Microsimulation Conference on Population Ageing and Health, Canberra, Australia (CP 2003-18, .pdf format, 26p.).


Government outlays on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme have increased rapidly over the past ten years. Finding ways of curbing government expenditure on the PBS while maintaining social equity and access to essential medicines is at the centre of ongoing public debate. The PBS is highly progressive, with 80% of total PBS government outlays being directed at concessional patients, the majority of whom are elderly. Older Australians receive far greater PBS benefits than any other user group. An estimated 16 per cent of total PBS government outlays are directed towards persons aged 75 years and over. In the 2002-03 federal budget, the Government aimed to introduce an increase of close to 28 per cent in PBS co-payments and safety net thresholds. This paper, using PharmaSim, a microsimulation model of the PBS, examines the impact on the costs to government and patients of PBS listed medicines and estimates the distributional effects of this policy change, particularly for older Australians.


A. "The New Medicare Drug Benefit: Potential Effects of Pharmacy Management Tools on Access to Medications," by Haiden Huskamp and Nancy Keating (Kaiser Family Foundation, July 2004, .pdf format, 49p.). Note: [This brief] "describes the pharmacy benefit management tools that will be available to private plans administering the new Medicare drug benefit, including formularies, the definition of categories and classes, and cost sharing requirements. The authors observe that the new law gives plans substantial flexibility in designing management tools to control both utilization and spending, and conclude that these provisions could have significant implications for beneficiaries' access to needed medications and out-of-pocket spending."

Follow the "Issue BRIEF" link.

B. "The New Medicare Prescription Drug Law: Issues for Dual Eligibles with Disabilities and Serious Conditions," by Jeff Crowley (Kaiser Family Foundation, July 2004, .pdf format, 21p.). Note: [This paper] "discusses the challenges the new Medicare drug program faces in meeting the needs of dual eligible individuals with disabilities, who tend to have extensive, complex and varying needs. The brief examines four key questions about how the new benefit will serve dual eligibles with disabilities and profiles some individuals from this population for whom prescription drugs are vital."

Follow the "Issue Paper" link.

17. BOSTON COLLEGE RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER JUST THE FACTS: "How Can the Actuarial Reduction for Social Security Early Retirement Be Right?" by Natalia A. Jivan (JTF #11, July 2004, .pdf format, 3p.). "Traditionally Social Security's Normal Retirement Age has been 65, but for the last 45 years both men and women have had the option to claim benefits at the Early Eligibility Age (EEA) of 62. In exchange for claiming early, individuals receive a smaller monthly benefit. The legislation that established the EEA reduced benefits by 5/9 for each month before age 65, so that a person claiming at age 62 would face a 20 percent [(5/9)*36] reduction. This publication explains the factor of 5/9 and why it has remained constant since the establishment of the EEA."

18. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO--The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, for June 8 - June 22, 2004, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Jun. 22, 2004: We're Still Family


III. Working Papers:

19. NEW ZEALAND TREASURY: "The Impact of Workplace and Personal Superannuation Schemes on Net Worth: Evidence from the Household Savings Survey," by Grant M Scobie and Trinh Le (New Zealand Treasury Working Paper 2004-08, June 2004, .pdf format, 26p.).

The central question addressed in this paper is: does having a workplace or personal superannuation scheme result in a higher level of accumulation for retirement? The paper presents a range of information about the participation and level of holdings in workplace and personal superannuation schemes based on data from the Household Saving Survey (HSS). While the proportion of people holding a scheme is small (around 10%), the value of a scheme for those enrolled represents about one third their total net worth. There is evidence that being enrolled in a workplace scheme is associated with higher levels of total net worth, yet this is not true of personal schemes, once several personal characteristics have been controlled for. Nevertheless, it is evident that those in either workplace schemes or personal have not fully substituted this form of saving for other vehicles. In fact in all cases there appears to be complementarity, whereby higher holdings in a scheme are associated with higher holdings in other forms of savings. Typically, an additional dollar invested in a workplace scheme is associated with higher total net worth of between one and two dollars, while for personal schemes the figure typically exceeds two dollars. Two possible explanations for this arise. The first is that by enrolling in a scheme an individual acquires heightened awareness of the importance of retirement saving and saves additional amounts in other vehicles. An alternative hypothesis is that there may be some self-selection bias; those who have enrolled might be more inclined to save than the population as a whole. There is no direct way to use the data to discriminate between these two possibilities. However holding constant a wide range of other factors (including age, income, ethnicity, residence, etc) it is reasonable to suppose that the more likely sources of selection bias may have been controlled for. If this is the case then the finding that more holdings of workplace superannuation are associated with greater total retirement wealth may well have arisen from an "awareness" or "recognition" effect of belonging to a scheme. In this event, policies which foster enrolment might lead to greater retirement accumulation by those in a scheme.


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

20. Age and Ageing (Vol. 33, No. 4, July 2004). Note: Full electronic text may be available at the site. Check your organization's library.

21. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 160, No. 1, July 1, 2004).

22. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 94, No. 7, July 2004).

23. 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 Geriatics Society (Vol. 52, No. 7, 2004).

Journal of Women and Aging (Vol. 16, Part 1/2, 2004).


24. 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 June 30, 2004:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of June 30, 2004:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of June 30, 2004:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of June 30, 2004:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

25. INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED SYSTEMS ANALYSIS (IIASA) [Laxenburg, Austria]: _The Economic Impacts of Population Ageing in Japan_ by F.L. MacKeller, T.Y. Ermolieva, D. Horlacher, and L.D. Mayhew (Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Glensanda House, Montpellier Parade, Chletenham, Glos GL50 1UA, UK,, June 2004, [ISBN 1 84376 360 5]). For more information see:


VI. Funding Opportunities:

26. NIH:

A. "Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R01)," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, PAR-04-116, June 22, 2004).

B. "Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy (R03)," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, PAR-04-117, June 22, 2004).

C. "Addendum to RFA-DK-03-022: Ancillary Studies to Obesity Related Clinical Trials," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with several other agencies, NOT-DK-04-007, June 24, 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