Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #284--April 21, 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. Reports and articles:

1. URBAN INSTITUTE BRIEF: "Options for Reforming the Estate Tax," by William G. Gale, Leonard E. Burman, and Jeff Rohaly (_Tax Notes_, April 18, 2005, .pdf format, p. 379-385).

2. BROOKINGS INSTITUTE REPORT: "Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2005: Meeting the Long-Run Challenge," by Alice M. Rivlin and Isabel V. Sawhill (April 2005, .pdf format, 138p.). Note: Chapters 3 and 4 will be of particular interest to aging researchers.


"This report provides an in-depth assessment of the long-run outlook for the federal budget. Increased longevity, the retirement of the large baby boom generation, and rapidly increasing medical costs will drive spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid sharply upward over the next three decades unless their current structure is radically changed. The report suggests specific steps that could be taken to increase government revenues and reduce spending, especially on the big three entitlement programs."


A. "Low-Income Subsidies for the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: The Impact of the Asset Test," by Thomas Rice and Katherine A. Desmond (April 2005, .pdf format, 33p.).

Follow the "Report" link.

B. "The Public On Prescription Drugs For Seniors," (Kaiser Health Poll Report March/April 2005 Edition).


A. "New aged care places give older Australians more choice," (April 21, 2005).

B. "Planning the future of the aged care workforce," (April 21, 2005).


A. "Complement Factor H Polymorphism in Age-Related Macular Degeneration," by Robert J. Klein, Caroline Zeiss, Emily Y. Chew, Jen-Yue Tsai, Richard S. Sackler, Chad Haynes, Alice K. Henning, John Paul SanGiovanni, Shrikant M. Mane, Susan T. Mayne, Michael B. Bracken, Frederick L. Ferris, Jurg Ott, Colin Barnstable, and Josephine Hoh (_Science_, vol. 308, no. 5720, April 15, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 385-389).

B. "Complement Factor H Variant Increases the Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration," by Jonathan L. Haines, Michael A. Hauser, Silke Schmidt, William K. Scott, Lana M. Olson, Paul Gallins, Kylee L. Spencer, Shu Ying Kwan, Maher Noureddine, John R. Gilbert, Nathalie Schnetz-Boutaud, Anita Agarwal, Eric A. Postel, and Margaret A. Pericak-Vance (_Science_, vol. 308, no. 5720, April 15, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 419-421).

C. "Complement Factor H Polymorphism and Age-Related Macular Degeneration," by Albert O. Edwards, Robert Ritter, III, Kenneth J. Abel, Alisa Manning, Carolien Panhuysen, and Lindsay A. Farrer (_Science_, vol. 308, no. 5720, April 15, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 421-424).


A. "Mutations in PTEN-induced putative kinase 1 associated with recessive parkinsonism have differential effects on protein stability," by Alexandra Beilina, Marcel Van Der Brug, Rili Ahmad, Sashi Kesavapany, David W. Miller, Gregory A. Petsko, and Mark R. Cookson (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, vol. 102, no. 16, April 19, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 5703-5708).

B. "Late-onset motoneuron disease caused by a functionally modified AMPA receptor subunit," by Rohini Kuner, Anthony J. Groom, Iris Bresink, Hans-Christian Kornau, Vanya Stefovska, Gerald Müller, Bettina Hartmann, Karsten Tschauner, Stefan Waibel, Albert C. Ludolph, Chrysanthy Ikonomidou, Peter H. Seeburg, and Lechoslaw Turski (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, vol. 102, no. 16, April 19, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 5826-5831).

7. _HEALTH AFFAIRS_ ARTICLE: "Prescription Drug Coverage And Seniors: Findings From A 2003 National Survey," by Dana Gelb Safran, Patricia Neuman, Cathy Schoen, Michelle S. Kitchman, Ira B. Wilson, Barbara Cooper, Angela Li, Hong Chang, and William H. Rogers (_Health Affairs_, April 19, 2005, .pdf and HTML format).

Links to a news release, the full-text article, and additional charts are available from the Kaiser Family Foundation at:


A. "Role of multivitamins and mineral supplements in preventing infections in elderly people: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials," by Alia El-Kadiki and Alexander J. Sutton (_British Medical Journal_, vol. 330, no. 7496, April 16, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, 871p.).

B. "Quetiapine and rivastigmine and cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease: randomised double blind placebo controlled trial," Clive Ballard, Marisa Margallo-Lana, Edmund Juszczak, Simon Douglas, Alan Swann, Alan Thomas, John O'Brien, Anna Everratt, Stuart Sadler, Clare Maddison, Lesley Lee, Carol Bannister, Ruth Elvish, and Robin Jacoby (_British Medical Journal_, vol. 330, no. 7496, April 16, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, 874p.).

C. "Drugs for Alzheimer's disease and related dementias," by Serge Gauthier (_British Medical Journal_, vol. 330, no. 7496, April 16, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, 857p.).

9. NBER NEWSLETTER: "NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health," (National Bureau of Economic Research, Winter 2004/2005, no. 10, .pdf format, 4p.).

10. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, for Apr. 5 - Apr. 15, 2005, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

04/12/2005 Nursing Against the Odds


II. Working Papers:

11. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH: "Betting on Death and Capital Markets in Retirement: A Shortfall Risk Analysis of Life Annuities," by Ivica Dus, Raimond Maurer, and Olivia S. Mitchell (NBER Working Paper No. 11271, April 2005, .pdf format, 37p.).


Retirees must draw down their accumulated assets in an orderly fashion, so as not to exhaust their funds too soon. We compare alternative phased withdrawal strategies to a life annuity benchmark using German data; one particular phased withdrawal rule seems attractive, as it offers relatively low expected shortfall risk, good expected payouts for the retiree during his life, and some bequest potential; results are similar for the US case. Delayed annuitization may also appeal, as it offers higher expected benefits with lower expected shortfalls. Requiring unisex mortality tables in annuity pricing raises women's risks under a phased withdrawal program.

12. INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: "Aging: Some Pleasant Fiscal Arithmetic," by David Hauner (Working Paper No. 05/71, April 2005, .pdf format, 18p.).


Projections of age-related public expenditure growth have raised widespread concerns about fiscal sustainability. This paper examines how total expenditure would develop under four policy rules on public expenditure growth. Some simple arithmetic of expenditure, GDP, and population is reviewed and applied in simulations for 19 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) over 2000-50. A general and a specific conclusion arise from the results in this paper: Generally, long-term expenditure projections could benefit from revisiting common assumptions on non-age related expenditure growth. Specifically, under realistic assumptions, the belt-tightening required to maintain fiscal sustainability under age-related spending pressures could be less painful than commonly thought.

13. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [University of Bonn, Germany]:

A. "The Benefits of Separating Early Retirees from the Unemployed: Simulation Results for Belgian Wage Earners," by Raphaël Desmet, Alain Jousten, and Sergio Perelman (Discussion Paper No. 1571, April 2005, .pdf format, 23p.).


The pool of early retirees is characterized by a large heterogeneity along several criteria. The present paper focuses on the key distinction between those in forced early retirement and those who retire early by individual choice. We start by estimating a retirement probit model for older workers in Belgium. Based on these estimates, we then perform micro-simulations relating to a hypothetical actuarial reform of a pension system, i.e., a reform imposing on average actuarial neutrality with respect to the time of retirement. We explore two scenarios, one where the entire population is subjected to the actuarial system, and one where a duly screened sub-sample of the unemployed is shielded against these actuarial adjustment factors, a group we call the truly unemployed. We evaluate the impact on the average retirement age, the pension budgets as well as indicators of redistribution within the group of the elderly. We find that the extra budgetary gain of exposing this subgroup to the full-blown reform is modest, while the distributional cost is rather high. Our results thus comfort the idea that the budgetary cost of a focused unemployment system are moderate, and that returning the unemployment insurance to its primary role might be a desirable strategy.

B. "Pathways to Early Retirement in Denmark, 1984-2000," by Mona Larsen, Peder J. Pedersen (Discussion Paper No. 1575, April 2005, .pdf format, 32p.).


This paper describes and analyses the pathways to early retirement in Denmark. The analyses are based on a 10 per cent panel sample of the population 45-66 years old followed from 1984 onwards. We use a multinomial logit approach to analyse the characteristics of individuals that retire through each pathway compared to those remaining in the labour force. The transition from work to retirement is complex and far from the conventional idea of exit typically occurring from a job at the official pension age. Eight pathways from work to an early retirement program are identified. One group of pathways is transitions directly from employment corresponding to 75 per cent of all transitions in the sample period. The great majority of these transitions occur to an early retirement program. A second group consists of pathways dominated by unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) covering 20 per cent. The remaining 5 per cent of the transitions occur through pathways dominated by benefit programs reflecting a low attachment to the labour force in the period prior to retirement. Overall, availability and/or generosity of retirement programs are important for early retirement through the employment and UIB dominated pathways. For early retirement through other pathways, however, personal characteristics seem to be at least as important as retirement programs.

14. LEVY ECONOMICS INSTITUTE OF BARD COLLEGE: "Is the Equalizing Effect of Retirement Wealth Wearing Off?" by Edward N. Wolff (Working Paper No. 420, March 2005, .pdf format, 81p.).


Retirement wealth is often viewed as a great equalizer, offsetting the inequality in standard household net worth. One of the most dramatic changes in the retirement income system over the last two decades has been a decline in traditional Defined Benefit (DB) pension plans and a sharp rise in Defined Contribution (DC) pensions. Using data from the Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances, I find that retirement wealth (the sum of pension and Social Security wealth) has a considerably weaker offsetting effect on wealth inequality in 2001 than in 1983. Whereas standard net worth inequality increased modestly between 1983 and 2001, the inequality of augmented wealth (the sum of retirement wealth and net worth) surged from 1983 to 2001, very much in line with income inequality. Moreover, whereas median net worth climbed substantially from 1983 to 2001, median augmented wealth actually fell over this period.

15. RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR QUANTITATIVE STUDIES IN ECONOMICS AND POPULATION (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, Byron G. Spencer (Research Report 392, December 2004, .pdf format, 40p.).


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, focusing 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.

16. INSTITUTET FOR FRAMTDSSTUDIER (INSTITUTE FOR FUTURES STUDIES) [STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN]: "Equity, Justice, Interdependence: Intergenerational Transfers and the Ageing Population," by Ingrid Rydell (2005:5, March 2005, .pdf format, 44p.).


The increase in the ratio of the elderly to the working age population as the demographic transition of low fertility and low mortality proceeds, has spurred a discussion concerning the equity of intergenerational transfers. The central question is if and how the state can afford the pensions and healthcare costs for growing older populations, and who should carry the burden. To a large extent, focus has been on public transfers while neglecting private transfers within families. There is also an obvious tendency of considering the impact of ageing in terms of pensions while health care has gained a lot less attention. A gender approach shows to be fruitful in the analysis of the costs and benefits of intergenerational transfers.

More information about IFS:


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

17. American Journal of Epidemiology (vol. 161, no. 9, May 1, 2005).

18. European Journal of Palliative Care (vol. 12, no. 2, 2005).

19. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (vol. 53, no. 4, s1, April 2005).

20. Journal of Applied Gerontology (Vol. 24, No. 3, June 2005). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Elite database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

21. Medical Care (vol. 43, no. 5, May 2005).

Follow link to "May 2005".

22. 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.

Health and Social Work (vol. 30, no. 1, 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.

Journal of Aging and Social Policy (vol. 17, no. 1, 2005).

Journal of Elder Abuse & Neglect (vol. 15, no. 3/4, 2003).


23. 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 20, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of April 20, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of April 20, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of April 20, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of April 20, 2005:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of April 20, 2005:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


IV. Funding Opportunities:

24. NIH:

A. "Stem Cells and Cancer," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with other agencies, PA-05-086, April 12, 2005).

B. "Nutrition and Diet in the Causation, Prevention, and Management of Heart Failure," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with other agencies, PA-05-089, April 15, 2005).

C. "Methodology and Measurement in the Behavioral and Social Sciences," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with other agencies, PA-05-090, April 15, 2005).

D. "Review of Ranking Data," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with other agencies, NOT-OD-05-090, April 11, 2005).

25. ASA: "ASA Graduate Student Paper Award," nominations are due by June 1, 2005. "Papers authored or coauthored solely by students are eligible. Faculty coauthors render papers ineligible. Unpublished, under review, accepted, or published papers are eligible. If published, the paper should have appeared within the past two calendar years (e.g., a paper nominated in 2003 may have been published anytime during 2002 or 2003)."


V. Legislation Information Updates:


Hearing testimony (.pdf format):

27. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR AND PENSIONS HEARING TESTIMONY: "S.334: An Approach to Drug Importation," a hearing held April 19, 2005.

Hearing testimony (HTML format):

28. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON FINANCIAL SERVICES HEARING TESTIMONY: "Generations Working Together: Financial Literacy and Social Security Reform," a hearing held April 20, 2005.

Hearing testimony (.pdf format):

29. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON VETERAN AFFAIRS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND INVESTIGATIONS, HEARING PUBLICATION: "VA Research on Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and Diabetes," a hearing held April 28, 2004 (Serial No. 108-38, .pdf format, 90p.).




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