Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #258--October 14, 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. Reports and articles:


A. "International Update, September 2004," (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.). "This monthly publication covers recent developments in foreign public and private pensions."

B. "OASDI Monthly Statistics, September 2004," (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, October 2004, HTML and .pdf format).

C. "SSI Monthly Statistics, September 2004," (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, October 2004, HTML and .pdf format).


A. "Medicare Physician Payments: Concerns about Spending Target System Prompt Interest in Considering Reforms," (US Government Accountability Office, GAO-05-85, October 8, 2004, .pdf format, 69p.).

B. "Medicare: Appropriate Dispensing Fee Needed for Suppliers of Inhalation Therapy Drugs," (US Government Accountability Office, GAO-05-72, October 12, 2004, .pdf format, 20p.).

Note: This is a temporary address. Selected GAO correspondence may be archived at:

3. CBO REPORT: "An Analysis of the Literature on Disease Management Programs," (Congressional Budget Office, October 13, 2004, .pdf format, 28p.).

4. US OFFICE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL REPORT: "Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Surgeon General's Report," (October 2004, .pdf format, 404p.).

5. NCHS COMPENDIUM: "Deaths: Final Data for 2002," by Kenneth D. Kochanek, Sherry L. Murphy, Robert N. Anderson, and Chester Scott (US National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 53, No. 5, October 2004, .pdf format, 116p.).


A. "2004 Red Book," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, October 2004, .pdf format, 70p.). Note: "The Red Book is a compendium of significant Office of Inspector General (OIG) cost-saving recommendations that have not been fully implemented. Full implementation of the recommendations in the 2004 edition of the Red Book could produce substantial savings to the Department. For each recommendation, we summarize the current law, the reason that action is needed, the estimated savings that would result from taking the recommended action, and the status of actions taken. In addition, the type of action needed (legislative, regulatory, or procedural) is indicated."

B. "Review of Providers' Responsiveness to Requests for Medical Records Under the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing Program," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, A-01-04-00517, September 2004, .pdf format, 20p.).

Executive Summary:

Our review, conducted in response to Congressional concerns, determined that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has made excellent progress in obtaining medical records by reducing the provider nonresponse rate to less than 1 percent of the number and dollar value of claims included in the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) FY 2004 sample. We do not believe that the remaining non-responses will have a significant effect on the reliability of CMS's estimate of the Fiscal Year 2004 Medicare fee-for-service paid claims error rate. Our report discusses reasons cited by providers for the non-responses.

7. CMS DECISION MEMORANDUM: "Decision Memo for Carotid Artery Stenting in Post-Approval Studies (CAG-00259N)," (October 12, 2004).

8. NIA PRESS RELEASE: "National Institute on Aging, Industry Launch Partnership, 60 Million Dollar Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative," (October 13, 2004).

9. DHHS PRESS RELEASE: "Statement by Tommy G. Thompson Secretary of Health and Human Services On the Formation of the National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care," (October 13, 2004).

10. PENSIONS COMMISSION [UK] REPORT: "Pensions: Challenges and Choices, The First Report of the Pensions Commission," (Pensions Commission, October 2004, .pdf format, 316p.). Note: "The Pensions Commission is reviewing the UK private pension system and long-term savings to assess its effectiveness and make recommendations for change."

Individual chapters:

Full Report:


A. "Aqueous urea solution destabilizes A-{beta} 16-22 oligomers," by D. K. Klimov, John E. Straub, and D. Thirumalai (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 41, October 12, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 14760-14765).

B. "Double-knockout mice for {alpha}- and {beta}-synucleins: Effect on synaptic functions ," by Sreeganga Chandra, Francesco Fornai, Hyung-Bae Kwon, Umar Yazdani, Deniz Atasoy, Xinran Liu, Robert E. Hammer, Giuseppe Battaglia, Dwight C. German, Pablo E. Castillo, and Thomas C. Südhof (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 41, October 12, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 14766-14771).


A. "Trends in Length of Stay, Living Setting, Functional Outcome, and Mortality Following Medical Rehabilitation," by Kenneth J. Ottenbacher, Pam M. Smith, Sandra B. Illig, Richard T. Linn, Glenn V. Ostir, and Carl V. Granger (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 292, No. 14, October 13, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1687-1695).

B. "Decision Making at a Time of Crisis Near the End of Life," by David E. Weissman (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 292, No. 14, October 13, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1738-1743).

C. "Inpatient Rehabilitation Outcome Trends: Implications for the Future," by Peter C. Esselman (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 292, No. 14, October 13, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1746-1748).

13. _BMJ_ PRIMARY CARE: "Effects of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor antagonists on mortality and renal outcomes in diabetic nephropathy: systematic review," by Giovanni F. M. Strippoli, Maria Craig, Jonathan J. Deeks, Francesco Paolo Schena, and Jonathan C. Craig (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 329, No. 7470, October 9, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 828-831).

14. AARP REPORT: "The Medicaid Matching Formula: Policy Considerations and Options for Modification," by Vic Miller and Andy Schneider (AARP Public Policy Institute Issue Paper 2004-09, September 2004, .pdf format, 55p.).

Click on "Download or view" at the bottom of the page for link to full text.


A. "Click Here For Love," by Jeremy Caplan (_Time_, Vol. 164, No. 16, October 18, 2004).,9171,1101041018-713197,00.html

B. "Home Advantage," by Sally B. Stich (_Time_, Vol. 164, No. 16, October 18, 2004).,9171,1101041018-713206,00.html


II. Working Papers:

16. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH: "The Impact of Aging on Financial Markets and the Economy: A Survey," by Barry P. Bosworth, Ralph C. Bryant, and Gary Burtless (WP 2004-23, October 2004, .pdf format, 59p.).


All major industrial countries will experience significant population aging over the next several decades. In both academic circles and the business press it is widely believed that population aging will have important effects on financial markets because of its expected impact on saving rates and the demand for investment funds. This paper reviews the literature on the macroeconomic and asset market effects of population aging, focusing on four related issues: (a) The impact of population age structure on aggregate household saving; (b) The effect of population aging on investment demand; (c) Evidence on the influence of population age structure on financial market asset prices and returns; and (d) Effects of globalization on our interpretation of the impact of demographic change.

17. WHARTON SCHOOL (UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA) PENSION RESEARCH COUNCIL: "Post-employment Benefits, Economics and Accounting: Moral Hazard and Frail Benefit Designs," by Jeremy Gold (WP 2004-19, 2004, .pdf format, 39p.).


This paper uses economic principles to analyze alternative definitions for end-of-period liabilities under post-employment benefit plans; the candidates, using U.S. nomenclature, are the vested benefit obligation (VBO), the accumulated benefit obligation (ABO) and the projected benefit obligation (PBO). In competitive employment markets with rational contracting we are unable to justify projected costing (PBO-based) for typical pay-related defined benefit plans. Projected costing misrepresents the economic obligations incurred by shareholders and invites moral hazard. Employee exposure to moral hazard may be minimized by exit costing (VBO-based) which recognizes only those benefits to which an exiting employee is entitled under the explicit benefit contract. But exit costing may not fully inform shareholders about the obligations that they have incurred under implicit contracts that extend beyond the plan document. Accrued costing (represented in the U.S. by the ABO) may better measure shareholders' economic commitments. Small differences between the ABO and the VBO may measure a human capital asset incented by delayed vesting and benefit eligibility. Large differences are a marker for frail benefit design and potential moral hazard. Moral hazard options exercised by employers disappoint employees and may lead to unwelcome ex-post results-oriented repairs imposed by legislators, regulators and courts.

18. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF AN AGING POPULATION (SEDAP), MCMASTER UNIVERSITY [HAMILTON ONTARIO, CANADA]: "Pension Reform and Financial Investment in the United States and Canada," by Daniel Beland (Research Paper 120, September 2004, .pdf format, 37p.).


This paper explores the meshing of pension politics and financial investment in Canada and the U.S. during the 1990s. Drawing on the institutionalist literature, the paper focuses on the relationship between ideas, finance and institutional legacies in the debate over the reform of earnings-related pension schemes (Canada/Quebec Pension Plan and Social Security). In Canada, the existence of a public investment board in the province of Quebec facilitated the advent of state financial investment as part of the 1998 reform of the Canada Pension Plan. In the U.S., policy learning -- the process by which experts and state officials evaluate the performance of previously enacted policies -- involved mainly a comparison between public and private pension benefits, as the growth of 401(k) and other savings schemes combined with exceptional stock- market performances stimulated financial optimism and legitimized what is commonly known as pension privatization (diverting contributions to individual savings accounts). As opposed to the situation prevailing in Canada, the idea of investing Social Security surpluses in equity faced overwhelming opposition in the U.S., despite the efforts of President Clinton to promote it, notably in his 1999 State of the Union address. Although pension privatization appeared as the most debated policy alternative in that country, the conjunction of divided government, the lack of trust between the President and the Republican majority in Congress, and the absence of short term "fiscal crisis," prevented the enactment of such a reform.

19. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY): "Perspectives on the Early Retirement Decisions of Farming Couples," by Minna Väre, Almas Heshmati (Discussion Paper DP-1342, October 2004, .pdf format, 30p.).


In the past decade, the European agricultural sector has undergone rapid structural change. Part of that change is manifested in extended early retirement plans. As pensions play a crucial role in determining the characteristics the change, it is important to establish the factors determining the exit from farming among elderly farmers. This study analyses the choice of pension scheme of farmers. The focus is on the effects of farm and off-farm incomes and various offered economic incentives on farmers' retirement decisions. The results provide valuable information concerning evaluation of existing programmes and the design of future retirement systems and policies.


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

20. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 160, No. 8, October 15, 2004).

21. Journals of Gerontology (A): Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (Vols. 59A, Nos. 9, September 2004). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

22. Public Policy and Aging Report (Vol. 14, No. 3, 2004).


23. 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 October 13, 2004:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of October 13, 2004:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of October 13, 2004:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of October 13, 2004:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


IV. Funding Opportunities:

24. NIH: "Extension of Bioengineering Research Grant (BRG) Program Announcement (PA-02-011)," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with other agencies, NOT-EB-04-003, October 8, 2004).


V. Conferences:

25. CONFERENCELALERTS UPDATE: The gerontology section of has recently been updated.




Charlie Fiss
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