Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #279--March 17, 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. CENSUS BUREAU: "Census Bureau Estimates Number of Children and Adults in the States and Puerto Rico" (Census Bureau news release CB05-32, Mar. 10, 2005). The news release links to detailed tables (Microsoft Excel, .pdf, and .csv [comma separated value] format).

2. NACDA/ICPSR: The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging at the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, University of Michigan, has recently released the following dataset, which may be of interest to researchers in aging.

National Survey of the Japanese Elderly, 1993 (#4145)


II. Reports and articles:

3. KFF ISSUE BRIEF: "Profile and Analysis of the 26 Medicare Advantage Regions," by Marsha Gold and Lindsay Harris (Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief, March 2005, .pdf format, 34p.).


This issue brief examines the 26 new Medicare Advantage PPO regions and their implications for beneficiaries. The paper describes the characteristics of the new Medicare Advantage regions and the extent to which Medicare Advantage plans are already available in each region. It highlights the substantial gap between the current availability of Medicare Advantage health plans, including Medicare HMOs, PPOs and private fee-for-service plans, throughout the country and that intended for 2006.

4. SSA OP REPORT: "Income of the Population 55 or Older, 2002" (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, March 2005, HTML and .pdf format, 163p.).

5. AARP REPORT: "Attitudes of Individuals 50 and Older Toward Phased Retirement," by S. Kathi Brown (AARP Public Policy Institute, March 2005, .pdf format, 28p.).

Link to full text is at the bottom of the page.


A. "Medicare Physician Fees: Geographic Adjustments Indices Are Valid in Design but Data and Methods Need Refinement" (US Government Accountability Office GAO-05-119, March 2005, .pdf format, 48p.).

B. "Elderly Housing: Federal Housing Programs That Offer Assistance for the Elderly" (US Government Accountability Office GAO-05-174, February 2005, .pdf format, 78p.).

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


A. "Decision Memo for Abarelix for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer (CAG-00238N)" (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mar. 15, 2005).

B. "Decision Memo for Tumor Antigen by Immunoassay CA 125 (Modification of Code List to Include ICD-9-CM Codes for Suspicious Ovarian Mass) (CAG-00284N)" (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mar. 15, 2005).

C. "Decision Memo for Blood Counts (Addition of ICD-9-CM Codes V77.1, V81.0, V81.1, and V81.2 to the list of Codes that Do Not Support Medical Necessity) (CAG-00285N)" (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mar. 15, 2005).

D. "Decision Memo for Tumor Antigen by Immunoassay CA 19-9 (Modification of Code List to Include ICD-9-CM Code 156.2, Malignant neoplasm of Ampulla of Vater) (CAG-00275N)" (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mar. 11, 2005).

E. "Decision Memo for Hepatitis Panel (Removal of ICD-9-CM Code 784.69, Other symbolic dysfunction, from the list of Codes Covered by Medicare) (CAG-00283N)" (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mar. 11, 2005).

F. "Decision Memo for Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation (AuSCT) for Amyloidosis (CAG-00050R)" (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mar. 15, 2005).

G. "Making it Easier at the Pharmacy Counter" (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mar. 4, 2005).

H. CMS Issues Draft Guidance Documents Related to National Coverage Process (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mar. 9, 2005).

8. ALZHEIMER'S AUSTRALIA REPORT: "Dementia Estimates & Projections: Access Economics Report Feb 2005," (March 2005, .pdf and Word format). Note:This page provides links to the Media Release (Word format) and reports at the National and Territorial levels (.pdf format).

9. AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASE: "Boost for 'world first' dementia program" (JB031/05, Mar. 14, 2005).

10. URBAN INSTITUTE BRIEF: "Key Questions on Social Security Reform," (March 2005, HTML and .pdf format, 3p.).

11. AARP PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE DATA DIGEST: "Budget Surpluses (Deficits) and the Federal Debt: How Are They Linked?" by Jules Lichtenstein and Satyendra Verma (February 2005, .pdf format, 4p.).

12. Brookings Institution Report: "The Automatic 401(k): A Simple Way to Strengthen Retirement Savings," by William G. Gale, J. Mark Iwry, and Peter R. Orszag (Retirement Security Project No. 2005-01, March 2005, .pdf format, 12p.).

13. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Lipofuscin accumulation, abnormal electrophysiology, and photoreceptor degeneration in mutant ELOVL4 transgenic mice: A model for macular degeneration," by G. Karan, C. Lillo, Z. Yang, D.J. Cameron, K.G. Locke, Y. Zhao, S. Thirumalaichary, C. Li, D.G. Birch, H.R. Vollmer-Snarr, D.S. Williams, and K. Zhang (_Proceedings of the National Academies of Science_ Vol. 102, No. 11, Mar. 15, 2005, p. 4164-4169).

14. _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing articles. "Rasagiline as an adjunct to levodopa in patients with Parkinson's disease and motor fluctuations (LARGO, Lasting effect in Adjunct therapy with Rasagiline Given Once daily, study): a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group trial," by O. Rascol, D.J. Brooks, E. Melamed, W. Oertel, W. Poewe, F. Stocchi, and E. Tolosa (Vol. 365, No. 9463, Mar. 12, 2005, p. 947-54).


A. "Long-term Outcomes of Regional Variations in Intensity of Invasive vs Medical Management of Medicare Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction," by Therese A. Stukel, F. Lee Lucas, and David E. Wennberg (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 293, No. 11, Mar. 16, 2005, p. 1329-1337).

B. "Effects of Long-term Vitamin E Supplementation on Cardiovascular Events and Cancer: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by The HOPE and HOPE-TOO Trial Investigators (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 293, No. 11, Mar. 16, 2005, p. 1338-1347).

C. "Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use Among Elderly Home Care Patients in Europe," by Daniela Fialova, Eva Topinkova, Giovanni Gambassi, Harriet Finne-Soveri, Palmi V. Jonsson, Iain Carpenter, Marianne Schroll, Graziano Onder; Liv Wergeland Sorbye, Cordula Wagner, Jindra Reissigova, and Roberto Bernabei, for the AdHOC Project Research Group (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 293, No. 11, Mar. 16, 2005, p.1348-1358).


A. "A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century," by S. Jay Olshansky, Douglas J. Passaro, Ronald C. Hershow, Jennifer Layden, Bruce A. Carnes, Jacob Brody, Leonard Hayflick, Robert N. Butler, David B. Allison, and David S. Ludwig (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 352, No. 11, Mar. 17, 2005, p. 1138-1145).

B. "Deadweight? -- The Influence of Obesity on Longevity," by Samuel H. Preston (_New England Journal of Medicine_ Editorial Extract, Vol. 352, No. 11, Mar. 17, 2005, p. 1135-1137).

17. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Relationship Between Plasma Lipids and All-Cause Mortality in Nondemented Elderly," by Nicole Schupf, Rosann Costa, Jose Luchsinger, Ming-Xin Tang, Joseph H. Lee, and Richard Mayeux (_Journal of the American Geriatrics Society_, Vol. 53, No. 2, 2005, p. 219-226 via Medscape).


A. "Crunching the numbers," by Kenneth T. Walsh (_US News & World Report_, Mar. 21, 2005).

B. "His own ways, his own means," by Terence Samuel (US News & World Reports, Mar. 21, 2005).

19. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, for Feb. 8- Mar. 15, 2005, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Mar. 1, 2005: Age Discrimination and Employment

Mar. 8, 2005: Making an Exit: A Mother-Daughter Drama with Alzheimer's, Machine Tools, and Laughter

Mar. 15, 2005: The Father of Social Security


III. Working Papers:

20. NBER: "Estimating Life-Cycle Parameters from Consumption Behavior at Retirement, " by John Laitner and Dan Silverman (National Bureau of Economic Research w11163, March 2005, .pdf format, 50p.).


Using pseudo-panel data, we estimate the structural parameters of a life--cycle consumption model with discrete labor supply choice. A focus of our analysis is the abrupt drop in consumption upon retirement for a typical household. The literature sometimes refers to the drop, which in the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey we estimate to be approximately 16%, as the "retirement--consumption puzzle." Although a downward step in consumption at retirement contradicts predictions from life--cycle models with additively separable consumption and leisure, or with continuous work-hour options, a consumption jump is consistent with a setup having nonseparable preferences over consumption and leisure and requiring discrete work choices. This paper specifies a life--cycle model with these latter two elements, and it uses the empirical magnitude of the drop in consumption at retirement to provide an advantageous method of identifying structural parameters --- most importantly, the intertemporal elasticity of substitution.

21. SEDAP [MCMASTER UNIVERSITY, HAMILTON, ONTARIO, CANADA]: "Healthy Aging at Older Ages: Are Income and Education Important?" by Neil J. Buckley, Frank T. Denton, A. Leslie Robb, and Byron G. Spencer (Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population, WP 123, December 2004, .pdf format, 32p.).


Being higher on the socioeconomic scale is correlated with being in better health, but is there is a causal relationship? Using three years of longitudinal data for individuals aged 50 and older from the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, we study the health transitions for those who were in good health in the first year, focussing especially on income and education. The initial good health restriction removes from the sample those whose incomes may have been affected by a previous history of poor health, thus avoiding a well known problem of econometric endogeneity. We then ask, for those in good health, whether later transitions in health status are related to socioeconomic status. We find that they are -- that changes in health status over the subsequent two years are related in particular to income and education.


A. "Free choice of unfunded systems: a first assessment," by Gabrielle Demange (2005-06, February 2005, .pdf format, 29p.).


The first pillars of social security systems widely differ across European countries both in the contribution rate and intra-generational redistribution. What would be the impact of these differences if EU citizens had free access to all systems? This paper aims to highlight some basic features of this question in a very simple two countries model.

B. "On sustainable Pay As You Go systems," by Gabrielle Demange (2005-05, January 2005, .pdf format, 33p.).


An unfunded Social Security system faces the major risk, sometimes referred to as 'political risk', that future generations modify or even suppress the contributions. In order to account properly for this risk, the paper considers a political process in which the support to the system is asked from each new born generation. The analysis is conducted in an overlapping generations economy that is subject to macro-economic shocks. As a consequence, the political support varies with the evolution of the economy. The impact of various factors -intra-generational redistribution, risk aversion, financial markets, governmental debt- on the political sustainability of a pay-as-you-go system is discussed.

23. UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS: "Participation in the Peruvian reformed pension system," by Carmen Li and Javier Olivera (Discussion Paper 592, February 2005, .pdf format, 31p.).


One of the important aspects in the design of social protection is coverage. In Peru, as in most Latin American countries, social security participation is compulsory only for workers in the formal sector. There is a large sector of the population for which participation is voluntary. This paper investigates the determinants of enrolment to the pension system in Peru. In particular, we found that a selected group of people i.e. married males with at least secondary education, high income and with other family members already participating in the pension system, have a higher likelihood of participation. Moreover, the results also suggest that family based safety nets have a negative effect on the probability of pension participation.


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

24. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 161, No. 6, Mar. 15, 2005).

25. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 53, No. 3, March 2005).

26. 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.

Canadian Journal on Aging (Vol. 23, No. 4, 2005).

27. 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 Mar. 16, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 16, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 16, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Mar. 16, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Mar. 16, 2005:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Conferences:

28. NIH CONSENSUS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: "NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Management of Menopause-Related Symptoms" (a conference to be held Mar. 21-23, 2005 in Bethesda Maryland). For more information see:


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

29. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Exploring the Economics of Retirement," a hearing held March 15, 2005 (.pdf format).


VII. Websites of Interest:

30. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION POLICY WORKSHOP ON DRUG FORMULARIES AND MEDICARE: "The Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a March 14, 2005 policy workshop on the use of drug formularies in the private sector and their potential implications for beneficiaries under the new Medicare drug benefit, set to go into effect January 1, 2006. The workshop involved an expert panel, including perspectives from a health plan, a pharmacy benefits manager, a physician, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and policy experts." The page contains links to a video and print transcript of the workshop, resource list, speaker biographies (.pdf format), and links to other relevant Kaiser reports (.pdf format).

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