Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #281--March 31, 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. 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 datasets, which may be of interest to researchers in aging.

Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS): Psychological Experiences Follow-Up Study, 1998 (#2911):

National Home and Hospice Care Survey, 1998 (#3763):

Census of Population and Housing, 2000 [United States]: 5-Percent Public Use Microdata Sample: Elderly Households Extract (#4204):

2. HRS: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study has announced that the HRS Online Concordance has been "updated with metadata for the recently released HRS 2000 Exit (Final v1.0) data set." For more information and links see:

See Mar. 28, 2005 item.


II. Reports and articles:


A. _SSI [Supplemental Security Income] Recipients by State and County, 2004_ (March 2005, HTML, .pdf, and Microsoft Excel format, 107p.).

B. "OASDI [Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance] Monthly Statistics, February 2005 (US Social Security Administration, March 2005, HTML and .pdf format).

C. "SSI [Supplemental Security Income] Monthly Statistics, February 2005" (US Social Security Administration, March 2005, HTML and .pdf format).

4. CMS NEWS RELEASE: "Demonstration to Work Toward Assuring Accurate Medicare Payments" (US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Mar. 28, 2005).

5. DHHS OIG REPORT: "Medicare and FEHB [Federal Employees Health Benefits] Payment Rates for Home Oxygen Equipment" (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, OEI-09-03-00160-revised, March 2005, .pdf format, 11p.). "This report supersedes our September 2004 report concerning Medicare payments for home oxygen equipment. The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) requires reductions in payments for oxygen equipment in 2005 based on the Office of Inspector General's analysis of median FEHB prices for this equipment. We found that in 2002 FEHB plans' median payment rates for home oxygen equipment and contents were lower than median Medicare fee schedule allowances for both stationary and portable equipment. Specifically, our report found that FEHB plans' median payment rates are 12.4 percent lower for stationary equipment and 10.8 percent lower for portable equipment.

6. BROOKINGS INSTITUTION REPORT: "The Saver's Credit: Expanding Retirement Savings for Middle- and Lower-Income Americans," by William G. Gale, J. Mark Iwry, and Peter R. Orszag (Retirement Security Project 2005-02, March 2005, .pdf format, 20p).

7. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH JUST THE FACTS: "Social Security's Financial Outlook: The 2005 Update and a Look Back," by Alicia H. Munnell (JTF #16, March 2005, .pdf format, 5p.).

8. AARP DATA DIGEST: "The Status of the Medicare HI and SMI Trust Funds: The Trustees' 2005 Annual Report" (AARP Public Policy Institute Data Digest #111, March 2005, .pdf format, 6p.). "The Federal Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund finances Part A of Medicare, while the Federal Supplementary Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund finances Part B and, starting in 2006, Part D of Medicare. Data Digest #111 summarizes and graphically illustrates projections of the trust funds' short- and long-term financial health. The Trustees now project that the HI Trust Fund will remain solvent until 2020, one year later than they projected in 2004."

9. Demographic Research_ Article: Note: _DR_ is a free, expedited, peer-reviewed journal of the population sciences published by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research" [Rostock, Germany]. "Toward a Unified Timestamp with explicit precision," by Justus Benzler and Samuel J. Clark (_Demographic Research_, Vol. 12, Article 6, March 2005, .pdf format, p. 107-140).


Demographic and health surveillance (DS) systems monitor and document individual- and group-level processes in well-defined populations over long periods of time. The resulting data are complex and inherently temporal. Established methods of storing and manipulating temporal data are unable to adequately address the challenges posed by these data. Building on existing standards, a temporal framework and notation are presented that are able to faithfully record all of the time-related information (or partial lack thereof) produced by surveillance systems. The Unified Timestamp isolates all of the inherent complexity of temporal data into a single data type and provides the foundation on which a Unified Timestamp class can be built. The Unified Timestamp accommodates both point- and interval-based time measures with arbitrary precision, including temporal sets. Arbitrary granularities and calendars are supported, and the Unified Timestamp is hierarchically organized, allowing it to represent an unlimited array of temporal entities.

10. URBAN INSTITUTE REPORT: "Options to Reform the Estate Tax," by Leonard E. Burman, William G. Gale and Jeff Rohaly (March 2005, .pdf format, 7p.).

11. AHRQ REPORT: "Management of Menopause-Related Symptoms," by Heidi D. Nelson, Elizabeth Haney, Linda Humphrey, Jill Miller, Anne Nedrow, Christina Nicolaidis, Kimberly Vesco, Miranda Walker, Christina Bougatsos, and Peggy Nygren (US Agency for Health Care Research and Quality 05-E016-2, March 2005, .pdf format, 915p.).

12. CANADIAN ASSOCIATION FOR RETIRED PERSON REPORT: "CARP's fight against scams and frauds," (March 2005, .pdf format, 12p.).

Press release:

13. _NATURE NEUROSCIENCE_ TECHNICAL REPORT ABSTRACT: "19F and 1H MRI detection of amyloid [beta]plaques in vivo," by Makoto Higuchi, Nobuhisa Iwata, Yukio Matsuba, Kumi Sato, Kazumi Sasamoto and Takaomi C Saido (_Nature Neuroscience_, Vol. 8, No. 4, April 2005, .pdf format, p. 527-533).

14. _BMJ_ NEWS EXTRA EXTRACT: "Government will not back down over free personal care for all elderly people," by Madeleine Brettingham (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 330, No. 7493, Mar. 26, 2005, p. 692).

15. _TIME_ ARTICLES: The latest _Time_ Magazine contains a special section on the Terri Schiavo case.


A. "Life and death politics: The Schiavo case is just the latest front in a much nastier war," by Dan Gilgoff (_US News and World Report, Apr. 4, 2005).

B. "Wrestling with the final call: When it comes to end-of-life decisions, taking an ethical path isn't always easy," by Jay Tolson (_US News and World Report, Apr. 4, 2005).

C. "A will alone is not a way" (_US News and World Report, Apr. 4, 2005).

17. _ECONOMIST_ ARTICLE: "America's Social Security reform: Labour lashes out" (_Economist_, Mar. 31, 2005).

18. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, for Mar. 15- Mar.29, 2005, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Mar. 15, 2005: The Father of Social Security:

Mar. 22, 2005: Taking Care of Your Elderly Parents When They Didn't Take Care of You:


III. Working Papers:

19. PRINCETON OFFICE OF POPULATION RESEARCH: "Results from the Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study (SEBAS) 2000," by Dana A. Glei, Maxine Weinstein, Noreen Goldman, Ming-Cheng Chang, Yi-Li Chuang, Yu-Hsuan Lin, and Harvey S. Lin (WP 2005-01, 2005, .pdf format, 66p.).


A. "Changes in Consumption and Activities in Retirement," by Michael Hurd and Susann Rohwedder (WP 2005-096, March 2005, .pdf format, 30p.).


Prior research has found that consumption drops at retirement, and it has interpreted the drop as resulting from a failure to save adequately due to a lack of forward-looking behavior. Our research will compare the change in consumption at retirement in panel data with anticipated changes, and will examine whether the substitution of home production for market purchases can explain any drop in consumption. Besides providing evidence about the retirement-consumption puzzle and any associated change in self-assessed well-being at retirement, these findings will suggest whether policy can successfully encourage more planning for retirement and more pre-retirement saving.

B. "Valuing Lost Home Production in Dual-Earner Couples," by John Laitner, Christopher House, and Dmitriy Stolyarov (WP 2005-097, March 2005, .pdf format, 33p.).


We propose to use the life-cycle model of saving behavior to investigate whether changes in married women's labor market participation rates lead to mismeasurement of the national saving ratio. We propose to test our specification with microdata and to investigate resulting implications for Social Security reform.

C. "The Impact of the 1972 Social Security Benefit Increase in Household Consumption," by Mel Stephens (WP 2005-095, February 2005, .pdf format, 36p.).


The 1972 Social Security benefit increase provides an opportunity to examine the consumption response to a large, permanent income increase. While prior research examined the labor supply response, the impact on consumption has generally been ignored. Using the 1972-73 Consumer Expenditure Survey, this project will examine whether consumption responded to the announcement and/or to the implementation of the benefit increase, and it will investigate the impact of the benefit increase on the composition of consumption.

D. "Saving Shortfalls and Delayed Retirement," by Olivia S. Mitchell and John W. R. Phillips (WP 2005-094, February 2005, .pdf format, 31p.).


Our past work used baseline data, collected in 1992 from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) linked with pension and Social Security records, to evaluate retirement wealth shortfalls for Americans on the verge of retirement. We concluded that older Americans just prior to retirement accumulated too little wealth to continue their lifestyles into their retirement years. The proposed project seeks to update earlier studies -- to follow older Americans in the HRS over the subsequent five survey waves. This will permit us to determine whether those households most in need of additional retirement saving initially, actually did save more before retiring.

21. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH: "Lashed to the Mast?: The Politics of Notional Defined Contribution Pension Reforms," by Sarah M. Brooks and R. Kent Weaver (WP 2005-[04], March 2005, .pdf format, 68p.).


Over the past decade, a number of countries have adopted a new form of pension system known as "notional defined contribution" (NDC) pensions. Like traditional defined benefit (DB) pensions, NDC pensions operate largely on a pay-as-you-go basis, but base benefits on total lifetime contributions rather than those in a specified number of peak earnings years. Payroll tax rates are (at least in theory) permanently fixed, while adjustments necessitated by demographic change and slow economic growth are automatically made on the benefit side. The authors argue that adoption of NDC-based reforms reflects political as well as policy considerations. The article analyzes a variety of conditions that have led some countries to adopt NDC-based reforms while such reforms have not even reached the agenda in others. The authors point out a number of problems that may arise during implementation of NDC-based reforms that undercut their potential benefits, and argue that erosion of NDC-based reforms is more likely than outright reversal.

22. NBER: "Changes in the Physiology of Aging during the Twentieth Century," by Robert W. Fogel (National Bureau of Economic Research w11233, March 2005, .pdf format, 12p.).


One way to demonstrate how remarkable changes in the process of aging have been is to compare health over the life cycles of 3 cohorts. For the first cohort, born between 1835 and 1845 (the Civil War cohort), life was short and disabilities were common even at young ages. Other factors contributing to lifelong poor health were widespread exposure to severely debilitating diseases and chronic malnutrition. Fewer of the World War II cohort, born between 1920 and 1930, died in infancy and most of the survivors have lived past age 60 without developing severe chronic diseases. Members of this cohort have experienced better health throughout their lives largely due to their lower exposure to environmental hazards before birth and throughout their infancy and early childhood. Members of the cohort born between 1980 and 1990 have a 50-50 chance of living to age 100. The average age at onset of disabilities has continued to rise, so members of this cohort can expect to remain healthy at later ages. Adopting a healthy life style early can help to prevent or postpone disability at older ages.


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

23. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 95, No. 4, April 2005). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

24. European Journal of Palliative Care (Vol. 12, No. 1, 2005).

25. Gerontologist (Vol. 45, No. 2, April 2005). 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.

26. Research on Aging (Vol. 27, No. 3, May 2005). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

27. 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 Health and Social Behavior (Vol. 45, No. SPI, 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.

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 Mar. 30, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 30, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Mar. 30, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Mar. 30, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Mar. 30, 2005:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities/Employment Opportunities:

29. NIH:

A. "Course Development in the Neurobiology of Disease" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, RFA-MH-05-011, Mar. 23, 2005). For more information see:

B. "Neurologic Motor Speech Disorders and Speech Motor Control" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging and National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, PA-05-075, Mar. 24, 2005). For more information see:

C. "International Research Collaboration - Behavioral, Social Sciences (FIRCA-BSS)" (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies, PAR-05-073, Mar. 22, 2005). For more information see:

30. LOC CRS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: "Analyst in Social Security" (US Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, Mar. 21, 2005). For more information see:


VI. Websites of Interest:

31. AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING SENIORS PORTAL UPDATE: The AGDHA has recently updated its metasite: "Seniors Portal." For more information on the site updates, see the AGDHA news release at:

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