Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #282--April 7, 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: The Census Bureau has release data from the 2003 State and Local Government Employee-Retirement survey. "The State and Local Government Employee-Retirement System survey provides revenues, expenditures, financial assets, and membership information for public employee retirement systems. Data are shown for individual retirement systems as well as at the national, state, and local level. State and local government employee retirement systems are an important component of the Nation`s government sector. Revised data are available from 1993 through 2003." The data is available at:

2. INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH (ICPSR): ICPSR at the University of Michigan has recently released the following dataset, which may be of interest to aging researchers. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

National Hospital Discharge Survey, 2003 (#4220)

3. HRS: "2002 HRS Core (Final Release, Version 1.0): Employment data modified (H02J_R), and minor codebook change made to Section H02PR_MC," (Health and Retirement Study, April 4, 2005).


II. Reports and articles:


A. "Social Security Administration: A More Formal Approach Could Enhance SSA's Ability to Develop and Manage Totalization Agreements," (US Government Accountability Office, GAO-05-250, 2005, .pdf format, 23p.).

B. "Social Security Statements: Social Security Administration Should Better Evaluate Whether Workers Understand Their Statements," (US Government Accountability Office, GAO-05-192, April 2005, .pdf format, p.).

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

5. SSA OP REPORT: "Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Asia and the Pacific, 2004," (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, March 2005, HTML and .pdf format).


A. "The CMS Quarterly Provider Update, April 2005," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, April 2005).

B. "Decision Memo for Aprepitant for Chemotherapy-Induced Emesis (CAG-00248N)," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, April 4, 2005).

C. "Decision Memo for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) (CAG-00093R)," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, April 4, 2005).

D. "Decision Memo for Cochlear Implantation (CAG-00107N)," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, April 4, 2005).


A. "How Do U.S. Farmers Plan for Retirement?" by Ashok K. Mishra, Ron L. Durst, and Hisham S. El-Osta (US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, _Amber Waves_, April 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 13-18).

B. "The Food Stamp Program's Elderly Nutrition Pilot Demonstration: Final Evaluation Design," by Merrile Sing, Scott Cody, Michael Sinclair, and Rhoda Cohen (Contractor and Cooperator Report No. CCR5-2, March 2005, .pdf format, 81 p.).


Low participation rates in the Food Stamp Program (FSP) by poor elderly individuals have been a persistent problem. Historically, no more than one-third of eligible elderly have participated in the FSP - a participation rate far lower than that of any other major demographic group. To address the low participation rates among the elderly, USDA is funding the Elderly Nutrition Demonstrations - six separate pilot programs that are testing three alternative ways to increase elderly participation in the FSP. This report discusses the logistical considerations for evaluating the impacts of the six demonstrations. It presents an overview of the evaluation design, discusses alternative approaches for data collection, presents a schedule for the evaluation, and presents the expected costs of the evaluation.

8. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE [EBRI] ISSUE BRIEF: "Encouraging Workers to Save: The 2005 Retirement Confidence Survey," by Ruth Helman, Mathew Greenwald & Associates; Dallas Salisbury, Variny Paladino and Craig Copeland (EBRI Issue Brief No. 280, April 2005, .pdf format, 29p.).

Press Release:

9. WORLD BANK REPORT: "Old-Age Income Support in the 21st Century: An International Perspective on Pension Systems and Reform," by Robert Holzmann, Richard Hinz, and Bank staff (World Bank, 2005, .pdf format, 279p.).

10. OECD POLICY BRIEF: "Solving the Pensions Puzzle," (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, March 2005, .pdf format, 8p.).

11. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT: "The Oral Health of Older Adults with Dementia," by Jane M. Chalmers, Knute D. Carter, and A. John Spencer (Dental Statistics and Research Series No. 29, April 2005, .pdf format, 99p.).


A. "New drugs on PBS - a healthy focus for older Australians," (April 1, 2005).

B. "Private Health Insurance Rebate increases today for older Australians," (April 1, 2005).

C. "New services to bridge the aged care cultural divide," (April 6, 2005).

13. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Cyclin-dependent kinase 6 associates with the androgen receptor and enhances its transcriptional activity in prostate cancer cells," by Jin T. E. Lim, Mahesh Mansukhani, and I. Bernard Weinstein (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 102, No. 14, April 5, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 5156-5161).

14. _NATURE MEDICINE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Somatostatin regulates brain amyloid [beta] peptide A[beta]42 through modulation of proteolytic degradation," by Takashi Saito, Nobuhisa Iwata, Satoshi Tsubuki, Yoshie Takaki, Jiro Takano, Shu-Ming Huang, Takahiro Suemoto, Makoto Higuchi and Takaomi C. Saido (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 11, no. 4, April 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 434-439).

15. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "N-Terminal Pro-Brain Natriuretic Peptide, C-Reactive Protein, and Urinary Albumin Levels as Predictors of Mortality and Cardiovascular Events in Older Adults," by Caroline Kistorp, Ilan Raymond, Frants Pedersen, Finn Gustafsson, Jens Faber, and Per Hildebrandt (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 293, No. 13, April 6, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1609-1616).


A. "Antibody negative coeliac disease presenting in elderly people - an easily missed diagnosis," by David S. Sanders, David P. Hurlstone, Mark E. McAlindon, Marios Hadjivassiliou, Simon S. Cross, Graeme Wild, Christopher J. Atkins (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 330, No. 7494, April 1, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 775-776).

B. "Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms: single centre randomised controlled trial," by Jes S. Lindholt, Svend Juul, Helge Fasting, and Eskild W. Henneberg (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 330, No. 7494, April 1, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 750-752).

17. ADEAR NEWSLETTER: "Connections," (Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, Vol. 12, No. 3-4, 2004-2005, .pdf and HTML format, 12p.).

18. MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER NEWSLETTER: "MRRC Newsletter," (Michigan Retirement Research Center, Vol. 6, No. 1, April 2005, HTML and .pdf format, 8p.).

19. 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).

March 29, 2005 Uninsured in America

20. US NEWS & WORLD REPORT ARTICLE: "Not Older but faster," by Diane Cole (US News & World Report, April 11, 2005).


III. Working Papers:

21. NBER: "Rethinking Social Insurance," by Martin Feldstein (NBER Working Paper No. 11250, April 2005, .pdf format, 58p.).


This paper begins by discussing the nature of and rationale for social insurance programs. I then consider three political principles and four economic principles that could guide the design and reform of social insurance programs. These ideas are then applied to unemployment insurance, Social Security pensions, health insurance and Medicare. A common theme is the advantage of incorporating investment based personal accounts in each of these programs.

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


A. "Investment Choice in the Swedish Premium Pension Plan," by Mårten Palme, Annika Sundén, and Paul Söderlind (WP 2005-06, April 2005, .pdf format, 20p.).


In 1998, Sweden passed a pension reform that introduced a second tier of mandatory individual accounts, the Premium Pension, in the public system. Of the total contribution rate of 18.5 percent, 2.5 percentage points go to the accounts.

The first investment selections in the Premium Pension plan took place in the fall of 2000 when all Swedes born after 1938 were able to choose how to invest their contributions from a menu of about 650 mutual funds. Approximately 70 percent of participants made an "active choice" while the remaining participants' contributions were invested in a government-run default fund.

This paper examines investment choice in the Swedish individual account scheme. First, do workers with high risk in their human capital diversify their overall portfolio by investing their pension funds in low-risk funds? Second, to what extent do participants exhibit "home bias" and invest their pension funds in Swedish assets?

The results show a positive relationship between income and the level of risk in the portfolio. But, looking into the details, the relationship is actually somewhat U-shaped: low-income investors take on more risk than middle-income earners. It also seems as if women who qualify for the guarantee benefit (low-income earners) take on more risk than motivated by their situation. We also find that workers in the manufacturing sector - that is, the sector that is probably most correlated with the Swedish stock market - are less likely to invest in foreign assets and thus are exhibiting "home bias."

B. "Design and Implementation Issues in Swedish Individual Pension Accounts," by R. Kent Weaver (WP 2005-05, April 2005, .pdf format, 20p.).


Sweden's new multi-pillar pension system includes a system of mandatory fully-funded individual accounts. The Swedish system tries to keep administrative costs down through centralized management of the collection of contributions, switching among fund options, and record-keeping and communication with account holders.

The Swedish system offers contributors more than 600 fund options. However, in the most recent rounds of fund choice, more than 90 percent of new labor market entrants have not made an active choice of funds, and thus have ended up in a government-sponsored default fund.

The Swedish system of individual accounts offers a number of lessons for countries considering adoption of a mandatory individual account tier. First, centralized administration of record-keeping, communication and trading functions can help to keep administrative costs down. Second, the lead time needed to set up such a system is considerable. Third, if entry barriers for funds are low, a very large number of fund options are likely to be offered. Fourth, engaging new labor market entrants in fund choice is likely to be difficult, and these barriers are likely to be particularly high for some groups-notably those with limited incomes and low English language skills. Fifth, in the absence of entry barriers for funds, a significant percentage of those making an active fund choice may choose funds that are very specialized and risky. Finally, the likelihood of limited active fund choice means that special care must be devoted both to the design of a default fund and to communicating to potential participants what asset allocation and risk-return trade-offs the default fund is likely to make.

23. NEW ZEALAND TREASURY: "Population Ageing and Government Health Expenditure," by John Bryant, Audrey Sonerson, Martin Tobias, Jit Cheung and Mhairi McHugh (Policy Perspectives Paper 05/01, March 2005, .pdf format, 6p.).


The average person aged 65 or over currently costs New Zealand's public health system five times as much as the average person under 65. Over the next 50 years, the proportion of the population aged 65 and over is expected to double. Although this appears to imply that population ageing will put substantial pressure on government health care expenditures, international evidence suggests that changes in age structure may be a less decisive influence on health expenditure than is often assumed. To explore the implications of these issues for New Zealand, an inter-disciplinary team from the Treasury and the Ministry of Health has constructed a model of ageing, health and health expenditures. This paper uses results from the model to address a number of key questions concerning New Zealand's health expenditure.

Go to "tpp_05-01.pdf" at bottom of page.


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

24. Journal of Health Economics (vol. 24, no. 3, May 2005).

Click on "Tables of Contents" in the right corner of the page.

25. 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.

Aging and Mental Health (Vol. 9, No. 2, March 2005).


26. 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 April 6, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of April 6, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of April 6, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of April 6, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of April 6, 2005:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of April 6, 2005:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

27. NIH:

A. "The Annual Matilda White Riley NIH Lecture in the Behavioral and Social Sciences," (US National Institutes of Health, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, March 2005). Note: "The Lecture Selection Committee is seeking nominations of an accomplished behavioral and social scientist to deliver the first Matilda White Riley Lecture in the fall of 2005 or winter of 2006. The annual award will honor an individual whose research has contributed to behavioral and social scientific knowledge and/or the application of such knowledge relevant to the mission of the National Institutes of Health."

B. "Tools for Zebrafish Research," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, PAR-02-142, March 30, 2005).

28. DHHS SAMHSA: "Older Adult Mental Health Targeted Capacity Expansion (TCE) Grant Program," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, March 2005). Deadline for application is May 5, 2005.

29. INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH, HEALTH CARE POLICY & AGING RESEARCH [RUTGERS UNIVERSITY]: "2005-06 Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Pilot Grant Program." "Two pilot project grants will be awarded for innovative interdisciplinary research on adult health and well-being, with an emphasis on integrative approaches to understanding life course and subgroup variations in physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive functioning. All research must be based on the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) data set, or its satellite studies including the National Study of Daily Experiences (NSDE) and sibling/twin subsample studies. Grants of up to $15,000 (total costs) will be awarded to investigators from a variety of disciplines." Deadline for application is July 1, 2005.


VI. Conferences:

30. NIH/SMITHSONIAN RESIDENT ASSOCIATE PROGRAM: "Mini-Med School: Aging Under the Microscope". The six-week series is scheduled on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m., April 21-May 26, at a location to be announced on the Smithsonian campus in Washington D.C. "Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend medical school? Do you have a desire to deepen your understanding of the scientific topics that you often hear about in the news? If the answer is yes, then this course is for you. Learn from eminent researchers supported by the NIH who are exploring the basic science underlying the aging process."

NIA Press Release:

32. CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING INSTITUTE: "Creativity Matters," a conference to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota, from June 26 to July 1, 2005. Of particular interest are sessions to be held on aging and creativity.

· Keynoter Mary Catherine Bateson on being "Willing to Learn: Living Curious, Ambiguous and Imaginative Lives." Bateson is an anthropologist, educator and author of "With a Daughter's Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson" and "Composing a Life." She will expand on her ideas about life as an improvisatory art and share why a lifelong willingness to learn can lead to a creative, flourishing life - at any age.

· Featured presenter Richard Leider on "Claiming Your Place at the Fire: Creating the Second Half of Your Life on Purpose." Leider, author of "The Power of Purpose," looks at who the "new elders" are and how they are crafting the second half of their life on purpose. Leider will help participants explore questions and answers to: Who am I? Where do I belong? What do I care about? What is my purpose?

· Featured presenter Judith Salerno on "Vital Visionaries: Creativity, Aging and Health." Salerno is deputy director at the National Institute on Aging. She has supported NIA-funded research into overcoming stereotypes about aging, including looking at how late life can be a period of great fulfillment and creativity. Salerno will share details about one such study in which first-year medical students and healthy older people successfully participated in a four-part art journey together to improve communication and understanding.


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

33. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS HEARING PUBLICATION: "Medicaid Prescription Drug Reimbursement: Why the Government Pays too Much," a hearing held December 7, 2004 (Serial No. 108-126, .pdf and ASCII text format, 611p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "108-126" (without the quotes).

34. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT OF GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT, HEARING TESTIMONY: "Monitoring CMS' Vital Signs: Implementation of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit," a hearing held April 5, 2005.

Hearing testimony (RealPlayer and .pdf format):


VIII. Websites of Interest:

35. CMS: "Hospital Compare," a website designed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide "information on how well the hospitals in your area care for all their adult patients with certain medical conditions."

36. NIH SENIOR HEALTH UPDATE: The NIH Senior Health web site has been updated to include a segment on "Sleep and Aging". "I have trouble falling asleep. Is that what I should expect at my age? Why do older adults wake up at night? When should I see a doctor about a sleeping problem? What are some suggestions for getting a good night's sleep? Now, information about sleep and aging is only a mouse click away at The Web site also offers hints for sleeping well. For example, exercising regularly improves the quality of your nighttime sleep and helps you sleep more soundly, and doing the same things each night tell your body that it's time to wind down."

Press Release:

37. NCOA: "'BenefitsCheckUp' helps thousands every day to find programs for people ages 55 and over that may pay for some of their costs of prescription drugs, health care, utilities, and other essential items or services."




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Rm. 4470A Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400