Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #271--January 20, 2005


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. HRS: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study has announced the following changes as of Jan. 12, 2005.

A. "Additional changes have been made to the Questionnaires page: Box and Arrow representations of the 2004 data collection instrument have been added. Sections A and M have been updated for 2002.

B. The Online Concordance now links variables contained in HRS 1992 and HRS 1994 retrieval sets to their codebook counterparts. Look for the Xref link in the retrieval set returned by your query.

Both these items can be found at:

The concordance is available at:

2. ICPSR NACDA: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging 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 see:

Charleston Heart Study (CHS) (#4050):

Note: The study is available on CD-ROM only at this time, and requires users to sign a Limited Use Agreement form before distribution.


II. Reports and articles:

3. BLS REPORT: Employee Benefits in Private Industry, 2002-2003" (US Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS Bulletin 2573, January 2005, .pdf format, 128p.).

4. ILCUSA REPORT: "ILC Policy Report" (International Longevity Center, USA, January 2005, .pdf format, 8p.). The ILC Policy Report is "a monthly compilation of longevity news and trends in the U.S. and abroad."


A. "Scientists Detect Probable Genetic Cause of Some Parkinson's Disease Cases" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, Jan. 17, 2005).

Related _Lancet_ Research Letter summaries (Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content):

a. "Genetic screening for a single common LRRK2 mutation in familial Parkinson's disease," by William C. Nichols, Nathan Pankratz, Dena Hernandez, Coro Paisan-Ruiz, Shushant Jain, Cheryl A. Halter, Veronika E. Michaels, Terry Reed, Alice Rudolph, Clifford W. Shults, Andrew Singleton, and Tatiana Foroud (_Lancet_, early online publication, Jan. 18, 2005).

b. "A frequent LRRK2 gene mutation associated with autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease," by Alessio Di Fonzo, Christan F Rohe, Joaquim Ferreira, Hsin F Chien, Laura Vacca, Fabrizio Stocchi, Leonor Guedes, Edito Fabrizio, Mario Manfredi, Nicola Vanacore, Stefano Goldwurm, Guido Breedveld, Cristina Sampaio, Giuseppe Meco, Egberto Barbosa, Ben A Oostra, and Vincenzo Bonifati (_Lancet_, early online publication, Jan. 18, 2005

c. "A common LRRK2 mutation in idiopathic Parkinson's disease," by William P Gilks, Patrick M. Abou-Sleiman, Sonia Gandhi, Shushant Jain, Andrew Singleton, Andrew J. Lees, Karen Shaw, Kailash P. Bhatia, Vincenzo Bonifati, Niall P. Quinn, John Lynch, Daniel G. Healy, Janice L. Holton, Tamas Revesz, and Nicholas W. Wood (_Lancet_, early online publication, Jan. 18, 2005).

B. "Diet, Exercise, Stimulating Environment Helps Old Dogs Learn" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, Jan. 18, 2005).

C. "Lifestyle Changes Especially Effective at Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in Adults Aged 60 and Older (US National Institutes of Health, Jan. 18, 2005).


A. "Changes in Wealth for Americans Reaching or Just Past Normal Retirement Age," by Craig Copeland (IB 277, January 2005, .pdf format, 34p.). "This Issue Brief provides a first step in determining how retirees now starting to retire -- those first to be affected by the shift to lump-sum payments and 401(k) asset accumulation are managing their wealth. Americans born from 1931-1941 are the focus of this study, since these Americans ranged in age from 51-61 in 1992 (at the beginning of the study period) and had reached age 61-71 by 2002 (the end of the study period). These Americans have been affected by fundamental changes in the employment-based retirement plan market, as fewer people are covered by defined benefit pension plans and more people are covered by defined contribution plans, principally the 401(k) plan."

B. _EBRI Notes_, Vol. 26, No. 1, January 2005, .pdf format.

More information on EBRI:

7. CDC FACTSHEET: "Colorectal Cancer Screening among Adults Aged 50 or Older: Implementation of Fecal Occult Blood Testing in Clinical Practice" (US Centers for Disease Control, Jan. 17, 2005).

8. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "mtDNA mutations increase tumorigenicity in prostate cancer," by John A. Petros, Amanda K. Baumann, Eduardo Ruiz-Pesini, Mahul B. Amin, Carrie Qi Sun, John Hall, SoDug Lim, Muta M. Issa, W. Dana Flanders, Seyed H. Hosseini, Fray F. Marshall, and Douglas C. Wallace (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 102, No. 3, Jan. 18, 2005, p. 719-724).

9. _NEJM_ PERSPECTIVES EXTRACT: "Medicare Coverage of ICDs," by Mark B. McClellan, and Sean R. Tunis (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 352, No. 3, Jan. 20, 2005, p. 222-224).

10. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "The Women's Health Initiative: The Role of Hormonal Therapy in Disease Prevention," by Robert B. Wallace (Medscape Public Health & Prevention, Vol. 3, No. 1, January, 2005).

11. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, for January 11-18 2005, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Jan. 18, 2005--Estate Planning 101
Jan. 18, 2005--White House Conference on Aging


A. "Is There Really A Crisis?" by Karen Tumulty and Eric Roston (_Time_, Vol. 165, No. 4, Jan. 24, 2005).,9171,1018052,00.html

B. "Are There Other Ways to Fix It?" by Jyoti Thottam (_Time_, Vol. 165, No. 4, Jan. 24, 2005).,9171,1018055,00.html

C. "The Really Troubled Program," by Daniel Kadlec (_Time_, Vol. 165, No. 4, Jan. 24, 2005).,9171,1018067,00.html


A. "Pension tension: Workers can no longer count on company-funded retirements," by Kim Clark (_US News and World Report_, Jan. 24, 2005).

B. "More smoke than fire," by Jodie T. Allen (_US News and World Report_, Jan. 24, 2005).


III. Working Papers:

14. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: ""Thailand's Older Population: Social and Economic Support as Assessed in 2002," by John Knodel, Napaporn Chayovan, Preeya Mithranon, Pattama Amornsirisomboon, and Supraporn Arunraksombat (PSC Research Report 05-471, January 2005, .pdf format, 36p.).


This study examines various aspects of social and economic support of Thai elderly as assessed by the 2nd Survey of Elderly in Thailand (aged 60 and over) conducted by the National Statistical Office in 2002. Where possible, comparisons are provided with results from the 1st Survey of Elderly in Thailand conducted in 1994. The analysis covers characteristics of Thai elderly, trends and differentials in their living arrangements, the impact of living arrangements on their well-being, sources of material support, caregiving and social support. An extensive discussion of data problems associated with the 2002 survey is also provided. Co-residence between older parents and adult children (including children-in-law) declined from 74 to 66 percent between 1994 and 2002. Nevertheless, in 2002, 79 percent of Thai elderly still either lived with or had frequent contact with a child or child in-law and 77 percent received income or material support from children. Thus the family, and in particular adult children, still play a major role in providing support and care for the elderly in Thailand. Adult children followed by work are the two most common sources of support for Thai elders. One third of elderly reported their income to be insufficient, a share that has remained constant between 1994 and 2002. Between 3-5 percent of elderly in 2002 reported receiving a government welfare allowance. The poorest elderly are most likely to receive the allowance but the inverse association between the percentage who ever received an allowance and socioeconomic status is weak. Improvements in the selection process for government allowances would help ensure that the elderly most in need are covered by the program.

Click on PDF icon for full text.


A. "Dynamic Inefficiencies in Insurance Markets: Evidence from long-term care insurance," by Amy Finkelstein, Kathleen McGarry, and Amir Sufi (w11039, January 2005, .pdf format, 21p.).


We examine whether unregulated, private insurance markets efficiently provide insurance against reclassification risk (the risk of becoming a bad risk and facing higher premiums). To do so, we examine the ex-post risk type of individuals who drop their long-term care insurance contracts relative to those who are continually insured. Consistent with dynamic inefficiencies, we find that individuals who drop coverage are of lower risk ex-post than individuals who were otherwise-equivalent at the time of purchase but who do not drop out of their contracts. These findings suggest that dynamic market failures in private insurance markets can preclude the efficient provision of insurance against reclassification risk.

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

B. "Measuring Social Security's Financial Problems," by Jagadeesh Gokhale and Kent Smetters (w11060, January 2005, .pdf format, 27p.).


The U.S. Social Security system has helped keep many retirees out of poverty. However, according to the Social Security and Medicare Trustees, Social Security faces a future financial shortfall of $10.4 trillion in present value. This enormous imbalance has received little attention in public debates about Social Security. Instead, the media and policymakers continue to focus on the program's trust fund and several other ad-hoc measures that create a misleading impression of the size of Social Security's financial problem. Although the Social Security Trust Fund is not projected to be exhausted until 2042, Social Security's $10.4 trillion present value imbalance is accruing interest and will grow by $600 billion during 2004 alone. The current cash-flow federal budget, however, is biased against reforms that would improve Social Security's finances. As shown herein, a new federal accounting system would remove this bias.

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

16. NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH [UK] [UK]: "Fiscal Implications of Demographic Uncertainty for the United Kingdom," by James Sefton and Martin Weale (NIESR Discussion Paper No. 250, January 2005, .pdf format, 32p.).


We assess the implications of demographic uncertainty for the United Kingdom's fiscal position. We construct stochastic population projections and then use the framework provided by generational accounts to project government revenues and expenditures. We present stochastic paths for the budget balance over time and also evaluate the frequency distribution of the increase in taxes needed to deliver fiscal solvency.

17. CESifo (Center for Economic Studies/Ifo Institute for Economic Research [University of Munich, Germany]:

A. "Designing Benefit Rules for Flexible Retirement with or without Redistribution," by Andras Simonovits (Working Paper 1370, December 2004, .pdf format, 12p.).


The traditional approach to flexible retirement (e.g. NDC) neglects the impact of asymmetric information on actuarial fairness (neutrality). The mechanism design approach (e.g. Diamond, 2003) gives up the requirement of neutrality and looks for a redistributive second-best benefit-retirement-age schedule. Trying to combine the two approaches, the present paper determines the neutral (redistribution-free) second-best solution. This neutral solution is, however, often Pareto-dominated by the redistributive one.

B. "Macroeconomic Effects of Social Security Privatization in a Small Unionized Economy," by Antonis Adam (Working Paper 1371, December 2004, .pdf format, 16p.).


This paper analyses the effects of a pension system privatization in a unionized economy. Using an overlapping- generations framework we show that in an environment characterized by unemployment, a reform towards a private pension system in the steady state may result in lower levels of employment and capital stock. In this case even if the privatization increases the welfare of all future generations, the reduction in the welfare of the elderly due to reduced pension benefits may be greater and a Pareto improving transition to a private system may not be feasible. On the other hand if the reform leads to higher employment then a Pareto-improving pension privatization scheme can be constructed.

18. DE NEDERLANDSCHE BANK [AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS]: "Risk-return preferences in the pension domain: are people able to choose?" by Maarten van Rooij, Clemens Kool, and Henriette Prast (Working Paper 025/2004, December 2004, .pdf format, p.).


In this paper we investigate pension preferences and the effect of individual freedom of choice on risk taking in the context of pension arrangements based on a representative survey of about 1000 Dutch citizens. The attitude towards pension schemes and portfolio choices is explained by individual characteristics. Our main conclusions are the following. Risk aversion is domain dependent and highest in the pension domain. The vast majority of respondents is in favour of compulsory saving for retirement and favours a defined benefit pension system. If offered a combined defined benefit/defined contribution system, the majority of the respondents would like to have a guaranteed pension income of 70% or more of their net labour income. Self-assessed risk tolerance and financial expertise are important explanatory variables of pension system attitude. Respondents are on average conservative in their investment policy. If given investor autonomy, they are willing to change the composition of their retirement savings portfolio in response to their personal financial situation, general economic conditions, and expectations of financial markets. Respondents may be inconsistent in their preferences. Especially respondents who have chosen a relatively safe portfolio (less stock, more bonds) appear to prefer the retirement income streams of the median investment portfolio to their own portfolio choice. Finally, the average respondent considers himself financially unsophisticated, but is not very eager to take control of retirement savings investment when offered the possibility to increase expertise.


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

19. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 53, No. 1, January 2005).

20. Public Policy and Aging Report (Vol. 14, No. 4, Fall 2004).

Ordering information:

21. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "advanced search"
C. Type in your publication name and click "Exact title" radio button
D. Under "Show", click the "fax/ariel" radio button.
E. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Journal of Aging and Social Policy (Vol. 16, No. 4, 2004).

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. 19, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jan. 19, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jan. 19, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Jan. 19, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Jan. 19, 2005:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

23. _The Greying of India: Population Ageing in the Context of Asia_" by Rajagopal Dhar Chakraborti (Sage Publications India, 2004, 467p., ISBN 8178292793). For more information see:

search in title for "population ageing" (without the quotes).

24. _Growing Old in India: Voices Reveal, Statistics Speak_, by Ashish Bose and Mala Kapur Shankardass (B.R. Publishing Corporation, 2004, 450p., ISBN 8176463817). For more information see:

search in title for "Growing Old in India" (without the quotes).


VI. Funding Opportunities:

25. NIH: "NIA Announces New Policy on Receipt Dates for Program Project (P01) Grant Applications" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, NOT-AG-05-003, Jan. 14, 2005). For more information, see:

26. DHHS HRSA: "Geriatric Education Centers" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration HRSA-05-077, application deadline, Mar. 1, 2005). For more information see:

27. AGS FHA T. FRANKLIN WILLIAMS SCHOLARS AWARD: "The American Geriatrics Society Foundation for Health in Aging and the Association of Subspecialty Professors are pleased to announce the availability of a T. Franklin Williams Scholars Award for academic geriatricians who are conducting research on older patients that has applicability to the care provided by sub-specialists of internal medicine." For more information see:


VII. Conferences:

28. VIVA 50PLUS: "VIVA 50plus is calling for papers to be presented at the World Ageing & Generations Congress 2005," to be held in St. Gallen, Switzerland, Sep. 29-Oct. 1, 2005. For more information see:

More information on Viva 50Plus, click on VIV 50plus near the top of the page.


VIII. Legislation Information Updates:

29. US SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "Medicare Prescription Drug Cards and Association Health Plans," a hearing held Apr. 2, 2004 (Senate Hearing 108-718, ASCII text and .pdf format, 38p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "108-718" (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