Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #268--December 23, 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. MEPS:

A. "HC-067I: Appendix to MEPS 2002 Event Files," (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Study, December 2004, data in .zip or .exe compressed ASCII and SAS transport format, documentation in HTML, .pdf, and asp format, with SAS and SPSS programming statements in ASCII format).

B. "HC-069: 2002 Medical Conditions File," (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Study, December 2004, data in .zip or .exe compressed ASCII and SAS transport format, documentation in HTML, .pdf, and asp format, with SAS and SPSS programming statements in ASCII format).


II. Reports and articles:

2. CENSUS REPORT: "We the People: Aging in the United States," (Census Bureau, CENSR-19, December 2004, .pdf format, 12p.).


A. "Medicaid's Reimbursement to Pharmacies for Prescription Drugs," (Congressional Budget Office, December 2004, .pdf format, 13p.).

B. "Long-Term Analysis of the Diamond-Orszag Social Security Plan," (Congressional Budget Office, December 2004, .pdf format, supplemental tables in Excel format, 37p.).

4. DHHS TASK FORCE ON DRUG IMPORTATION REPORT: "Report on Prescription Drug Importation," (December 21, 2004, .pdf format, 130p.).

5. NIH PRESS RELEASE: "Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Suspended in Large Alzheimer's Disease Prevention Trial," (National Institutes of Health, December 21, 2004).

6. CDC PRESS RELEASE: "CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Expands Priority Groups for Inactivated Influenza Vaccination," (Centers for Disease Control, December 17, 2004).

7. FDA PRESS RELEASE: "FDA Approves New Drug Treatment for Age-Related Macular Degeneration," (Food & Drug Administration, December 20, 2004).

8. NCHS ANNOUNCEMENT: "Procedures and Costs for Use of the Research Data Center," (National Center for Health Statistics, also published in _Federal Register_ (Volume 69, Number 222, Nov. 18, 2004)). For more information see:

9. DHHS NEWS RELEASE: "Nursing Home Care Improving in Many Areas New CMS Data Show, New Steps Initiated," (Department of Health and Human Services, December 22, 2004).

Nursing Home Compare can be found at:

10. CMMS DECISION MEMORANDUM: "NCA Tracking Sheet for Insulin Pump: C-Peptide Levels as a Criterion for Use (CAG-00092R)," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, December 17, 2004).

To view the decision memorandum, click on "12/17/2004" link.


A. "OASDI Monthly Statistics, November 2004," (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, December 2004, HTML and .pdf format).

B. "SSI Monthly Statistics, November 2004," (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, December 2004, HTML and .pdf format).

12. PRB REPORT EXCERPT: "The Lives and Times of the Baby Boomers," by Mary E. Hughes and Angela O'Rand (Population Reference Bureau, December 2004). Note: There is no electronic access to the full-text report.

To order a copy of the report:

13. HRS BIBLIOGRAPHY UPDATE: The following items have recently been added to the Health and Retirement Study. For the full bibliography see:


Loh, C.-P. A., Physical activity and employment decisions under working hours inflexibility 2004. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Journal Articles:

Burkhauser, R. V., Butler, J. S., and Gumus, G., Dynamic Modeling of the SSDI Application Timing Decision: The Importance of Policy Variables Journal of Applied Econometrics, vol. 19, pp. 671-685, 2004.

Charles, K. K., The Extent and Effect of Employer Compliance with the Accommodations Mandates of the Americans with Disabilities Act Journal of Disability Policy Studies, vol. 15, pp. 86-96, 2004.

French, E. and Jones, J. B., On the Distribution and Dynamics of Health Costs Journal of Applied Econometrics, vol. 19, pp. 705-721, 2004.

Fultz, N. H., Fisher, G. G., and Jenkins, K. R., Does Urinary Incontinence Affect Middle-Aged and Older Women's Time Use and Activity Patterns? Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 104, 2004.

Gustman, A. L. and Steinmeier, T. L., Social Security, Pensions and Retirement Behaviour Within the Family Journal of Applied Econometrics, vol. 19, pp. 723-737, 2004.

Hurd, M. D., Smith, J. P., and Zissimopoulos, The Effects of Subjective Survival on Retirement and Social Security Claiming Journal of Applied Econometrics, vol. 19, pp. 761-775, 2004.

Jones, R. N. and Fonda, S. J., Use of an IRT-based Latent Variable Model to Link Different Forms of the CES-D from the Health and Retirement Study Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, vol. 39, pp. 828-835, 2004.

Joulfaian, D. and McGarry, K., Estate and Gift Tax Incentives and Inter Vivos Giving National Tax Journal, vol. 57, pp. 429-444, 2004.

Lum, T. Y. and Lightfoot, E., The Effects of Volunteering on the Physical and Mental Health of Older People Research on Aging, vol. 27, pp. 31-55, 2005.

McNamara, T. K. and Williamson, J. B., Race, gender, and the retirement decisions of people ages 60 to 80: Prospects for age integration in employment International Journal of Aging and Human Development, vol. 59, pp. 255-286, 2004.

Mojtabai, R. and Olfson, M., Major depression in community-dwelling middle-aged and older adults: Prevalence and 2- and 4-year follow-up symptoms. Psychological Medicine, vol. 34, pp. 623-634, 2004.

Picone, G. A., Sloan, F., and Trogdon, J. G., The effect of the tobacco settlement and smoking bans on alcohol consumption. Health Economics, vol. 13, pp. 1063-1080, 2004.

Richardson, C. R., Kriska, A. M., Lantz, P. M., and Hayward, R. A., Physical Activity and Mortality Across Cardiovascular Disease Risk Groups Medicine and Science of Sports Exercise, vol. 2004.

Shuey, K. M., Worker preferences, spousal coordination, and participation in an employer-sponsored pension plan Research on Aging, vol. 26, pp. 287-316, 2004.

Weng, H. H., Bastian, L. A., Taylor, D. H., Moser, B. K., and Ostbye, T., Number of children associated with obesity in middle-aged women and men: results from the health and retirement study. Journal of Womens Health, vol. 13, pp. 85-91, 2004.

Wilmoth, J. M., Social Integration of Older Immigrants in 21st Century America Syracuse University Policy Brief, vol. 2004.


Johnson, R.W., Do Spouses Coordinate Their Retirement Decisions? 2004. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. CRR Issue Brief No. 19.

Michaud, P.-C. and Van Soest, A., Health and Wealth of Elderly Couples 2004. RAND Labor and Population Series. RAND WR-191.

Poterba, J.M., Saving for Retirement: Taxes Matter 2004. Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. CRR Issue Brief No. 17.

Xu, J., Werner, R., and Polsky, D., The Impact of New Health Problems on Self-Reported Health Over Time 2004. PSC Publications. University of Michigan Population Studies Center.

14. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUE BRIEF: "Improving 401(k) Investment Performance," by William G. Gale, J. Mark Iwry, Alicia H. Munnell, and Richard H. Thaler (IB #26, December 2004, .pdf format, 8p.).

15. FINANCIAL SERVICES ROUNDTABLE REPORT: "The Future of Retirement Security in America," by The Financial Services Roundtable's Blue Ribbon Commission on Retirement Security (December 2004, .pdf format, 41p.).

For more information about FSR:

16. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Menopause and Hypothalamic-Pituitary Sensitivity to Estrogen," by Gerson Weiss, Joan H. Skurnick, Laura T. Goldsmith, Nanette F. Santoro, and Susanna J. Park (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 292, No. 24, December 22/29, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2991-2996).

17. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Adiposity as Compared with Physical Activity in Predicting Mortality among Women," by Frank B. Hu, Walter C. Willett, Tricia Li, Meir J. Stampfer, Graham A. Colditz, and JoAnn E. Manson (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 351, No. 26, December 23, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2694-2703).

18. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "{gamma}-Tocopherol or combinations of vitamin E forms induce cell death in human prostate cancer cells by interrupting sphingolipid synthesis," by Qing Jiang, Jeffrey Wong, Henrik Fyrst, Julie D. Saba, and Bruce N. Ames (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 101, No. 51, December 21, 2004, .pdf and HTML format, p. 17825-17830).

19. KFF ISSUE BRIEF: "Summary of the Proposed Rule to Implement the New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit," (Kaiser Family Foundation, December 2004, .pdf format, p.).

20. TRANSAMERICA CENTER FOR RETIREMENT STUDIES REPORT: "Transamerica Small Business Retirement Survey," (December 2004, .pdf format, 160p.).

For more information about the Center:

21. ALTERNET ARTICLE: "A True Safety Net," by Joan Entmacher and Nancy Duff Campbell (December 21, 2004).

More information on Alternet:


III. Working Papers:

22. NBER:

A. "Happy News from the Dismal Science: Reassessing the Japanese Fiscal Policy and Sustainability," by Christian Broda and David E. Weinstein (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper w10988, December 2004, .pdf format, 44p.).


We analyze fiscal policy and fiscal sustainability in Japan using a variant of the methodology developed in Blanchard (1990). We find that Japan can achieve fiscal sustainability over a 100-year horizon with relatively small changes in the tax-to-GDP ratio. Our analysis differs from more pessimistic analyses in several dimensions. First, since Japanese net debt is only half that of gross debt, we demonstrate that the current debt burden is much lower than is typically reported. This means that monetization of the debt will have little impact on Japan's fiscal sustainability because Japan's problem is the level of future liabilities not current ones. Second, we argue that one obtains very different projections of social security burdens based on the standard assumption that Japan's population is on a trend towards extinction rather than transitioning to a new lower level. Third, we demonstrate that some modest cost containment of the growth rate of real per capita benefits, such as cutting expenditures for shrinking demographic categories, can dramatically lower the necessary tax burden. In sum, no scenario involves Japanese taxes rising above those in Europe today and many result in tax-to-GDP ratios comparable to those in the United States.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address for full text.

B. "The Interaction of Public and Private Insurance: Medicaid and the Long-Term Care Insurance Market," by Jeffrey R. Brown and Amy Finkelstein (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper w10989, December 2004, .pdf format, 56p.).


We show that the provision of even incomplete public insurance can substantially crowd out private insurance demand. We examine the interaction of the public Medicaid program with the private market for long-term care insurance and estimate that Medicaid can explain the lack of private insurance purchases for at least two-thirds and as much as 90 percent of the wealth distribution, even if comprehensive, actuarially fair private policies were available. Medicaid's large crowd out effect stems from the very large implicit tax (on the order of 60 to 75 percent for a median wealth individual) that Medicaid imposes on the benefits paid from private insurance policies. Importantly, Medicaid itself provides an inadequate mechanism for smoothing consumption for most individuals, so that its crowd out effect has important implications for overall risk exposure. An implication of our findings is that public policies designed to stimulate private insurance demand will be of limited efficacy as long as Medicaid continues to impose this large implicit tax.

Click on "PDF" or submit your email address for full text.

23. COWLES FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH IN ECONOMICS (YALE UNIVERSITY) [NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT]: "Estimated Physical and Cognitive Aging Effects," by Ray C. Fair (Discussion Paper 1495, November 2004, .pdf format, 25p.).


Biological-capacity deterioration rates are estimated using record bests by age for chess and for various track and field, road running, and swimming events. The estimates show linear percent deterioration between age 35 and about age 70 and then quadratic deterioration after that. Chess shows much less deterioration than the physical activities. The capacity estimates can be used as benchmarks for comparison to individual estimates of deterioration rates. The capacity estimates do not suffer sample selection problems that are common in cross-section studies and some longitudinal studies. The age range for the estimates is large, and the estimates are based on very large sample sizes except at the very old ages.

24. UNIVERSITY OF TARTU FACULTY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION: "Old-Age Pension Reform in Estonia on the Basis of the World Bank's Multi-Pillar Approach," by Liina Kulu and Janno Reiljan (Working Paper Series No. 34, 2004, .pdf format, p.).


The current literature about old-age pensions can be characterised by the numerous analyses of pension system reforms in developed countries as well as in developing ones. Although the radical change in economic and social values during the process of transition from command economy to market economy offers many special cases for economists as well as social scientists, only some of them have analysed the developments of pension systems in Central and Eastern European countries. Therefore, the purpose of the present paper is to analyse the adjustments in publicly managed pillar as well the implementation of the funded component of pensions in Estonia, described by previous analyses in general as successful reforms in comparison with the other transition countries.

Firstly, in the working paper the aims and the design of the pension system as well as main factors determining pension reform are studied on a theoretical basis. Next, the general overview of the reforms and more specific assessment of the changes in publicly managed scheme and the implementation of the funded scheme in Estonia are given. Finally, the challenges of the multi-pillar pension scheme in Estonia are described and in order to cope successfully with these challenges, some suggestions are made. The study explains that the undervaluation of the social dimension in comparison with the economic one has taken place during the transition period. The pension reform has to some extent ensured the financial sustainability of the pension system, but not fulfilled the two other objectives defined in 2001 by the European Council in Göteborg as a basis of sustainability of the pension system - to guarantee safe and adequate pensions and to respond to the changing needs of society and individuals. The present old-age pensioners (as well as the pensioners in the future) are directly placed at the risk of poverty and the opportunities of elderly people to participate in the societal life are very limited in comparison to the active population. The changes in publicly managed scheme as well as the implementation of the mandatory funded system (II pillar) and supplementary funded system (III pillar) during the period 1997-2002 have not been successful in avoiding potential demographic and macroeconomic risks in the near future.


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

25. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 161, No. 1, January 1, 2005).

26. The Gerontologist (Vol. 44, No. 6, December 1, 2004). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

27. Journal of Health Economics (Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2005).

Follow link to "Tables of contents" on the right side of the page. Follow link to "Volume 24".

28. 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 23/December 30, 2004:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of December 23/December 30, 2004:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of December 23/December 30, 2004:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of December 23/December 30, 2004:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of December 23/December 30, 2004:

F. Opthamology: Literature for the week of December 23/December 30, 2004:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

29. NIH:

A. "Social and Cultural Dimensions of Health," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, PA-05-029, December 2004).

B. "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Pathophysiology and Treatment," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, PA-05-030, December 20, 2004).

C. "Additional Receipt Dates for Bioengineering Research Partnerships," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, PAR-04-023, December 16, 2004).


VI. Conferences:

30. CATO INSTITUTE: "Social Security: The Opportunity for Real Reform," a conference to be held in Washington, DC (February 8-9, 2005). For more information about the conference, including registration:


VII. Websites of Interest:

31. KFF:

A. "Medicare Health Plan Tracker," (Kaiser Family Foundation, December 2004). "Kaiser Family Foundation is launching the Medicare Health Plan Tracker, a new interactive online resource on Medicare Advantage plans. The Plan Tracker provides basic information about Medicare HMOs and other private plans, including plan participation and beneficiary enrollment, at the national, state and county level. It also includes payment rates for 2005 and prior years. Online users can get quick facts about these plans, examine key trends (1999-2004) and compare their state or county to others."

B. On December 16, 2004, the Kaiser Family Foundation updated the "State Health Facts" database to include Medicare Advantage data.

To use the database go to:




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
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Phone: (608) 265-9240
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