Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #286--May 5, 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. MANNHEIM RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR THE ECONOMICS OF AGING: "The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) is a multidisciplinary and cross-national data base of micro data on health, socio-economic status and social and family networks of some 22,000 Continental European individuals over the age of 50. SHARE is co-ordinated centrally at the Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging. Eleven countries have contributed micro data to the 2004 SHARE baseline study." "SHARE has been designed after the role models of the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA).Compared to HRS and ELSA, SHARE has the advantage to encompass cross-national variation of public policies, cultures and histories in a variety of European countries. This advantage makes SHARE a unique and innovative data set."

2. MEPS: "MEPS HC-072: Consolidation of all 2001 and 2002 MEPS public use files," (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, CD-ROM Only). For ordering information:

3. NCHS: The National Center on Health Statistics is making the "Data Warehouse on Trends in Health and Aging" available in Spanish.


II. Reports and articles:


A. "Medicaid Eligibility Policies for Long-Term Care Benefits Policy Briefs," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, April 2005, .pdf format). Note: There are five policy briefs:

"Medicaid Estate Recovery":

"Medicaid Liens":

"Medicaid Liens and Estate Recovery in Massachusetts":

"Medicaid Treatment of the Home: Determining Eligibility and Repayment for Long-Term Care":

"Spouses of Medicaid Long-Term Care Recipients":

B. "Social Security and Medicare from a Trust Fund and Budget Perspective," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, April 2005, .pdf and HTML format, 6p.).

C. "Long-Term Growth of Medical Expenditures - Public and Private," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, May 2005, .pdf format, 9p.).

5. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION REPORT: "International Update: February 2005," (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy, April 2005, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.).

6. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE REPORT: "High-Cost Medicare Beneficiaries," (May 2005, .pdf format, 24p.).

7. DHHS SAMHSA REPORT: "The DASIS Report: Older Adults in Substance Abuse Treatment: Update," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, May 2005, .pdf and HTML format, 3p.).

8. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL ARTICLE: "Social Support and Health-Related Quality of Life Among Older Adults---Missouri, 2000," (_Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report_, vol. 54, no. 17, May 6, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 433-437).




A. "LTCH PPS Final Rule: Annual Payment Rate Updates and Policy Changes," (CMS-1483-F, April 2005, .pdf and Excel format).

Press release:

B. "Medicare Program; Update of Ambulatory Surgical Center List of Covered Procedures," (CMS-1478-IFC, April 2005, .pdf format).

Press release:

C. "Proposed Decision Memo for Radioimmunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (CAG-00163N)," (May 4, 2005).

10. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH NEWS RELEASE: "Combination Radiation/Vaccine Therapy for Prostate Cancer May Benefit Some Patients," (May 1, 2005).

11. ADMINISTRATION ON AGING NEWSLETTER: "AoA eNews," (May 2005, .pdf and Word format, 8p.).

Scroll down to "May".

12. EBRI BRIEF: "Comparing Social Security Reform Options," by Craig Copeland (Employee Benefit Research Institute Issue Brief no. 281, May 2005, .pdf format, 31p.).

13. ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES: "Guidelines for Pension Fund Governance," (OECD, April 2005, .pdf format, 19p.).

Press release:,2340,en_2649_201185_34798087_1_1_1_1,00.html


A. "Bigger Than the Social Security Crisis: Wasteful Spending on Prescription Drugs," by Dean Baker (April 2005, .pdf format, 10p.).

B. "The Regressive Impact of the Progressive Indexation of Social Security Benefits," by Dean Baker (May 2005, .pdf format, 14p.).

Press Release:


A. "Medicare Spending and Financing Fact Sheet," (April 2005, .pdf format, 2p.).

B. "Medicare at a Glance - Fact Sheet," (April 2005, .pdf format, 2p.).

16. CENTURY FOUNDATION BRIEF: "Fixing Social Security," by Robert M. Ball (TCF, May 2005, .pdf format, 7p.).

Press release:


A. "20-Year Outcomes Following Conservative Management of Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer," by Peter C. Albertsen, James A. Hanley, and Judith Fine (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, vol. 293, no. 17, May 4, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2095-2101).

B. "The Natural History of Clinically Localized Prostate Cancer," by Peter H. Gann and Misop Han (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, vol. 293, no. 17, May 4, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2149-2151).

C. "Bone Mineral Density and the Risk of Incident Nonspinal Fractures in Black and White Women," by Jane A. Cauley, Li-Yung Lui, Kristine E. Ensrud, Joseph M. Zmuda, Katie L. Stone, Marc C. Hochberg, and Steven R. Cummings (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, vol. 293, no. 17, May 4, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2102-2108).

D. "Bone Density and the Risk of Fractures: Should Treatment Thresholds Vary by Race?" by Louise S. Acheson (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, vol. 293, no. 17, May 4, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2102-2108).

18. _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Endometrial cancer and hormone-replacement therapy in the Million Women Study," Million Women Study Collaborators (_Lancet_, vol. 365, no. 9470, April 30, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1543-1551).


A. "Modified Mediterranean diet and survival: EPIC-elderly prospective cohort study," by Antonia Trichopoulou, Philippos Orfanos, Teresa Norat, Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Marga C. Ocké, Petra H. M. Peeters, Yvonne T. van der Schouw, Heiner Boeing, Kurt Hoffmann, Paolo Boffetta, Gabriele Nagel, Giovanna Masala, Vittorio Krogh, Salvatore Panico, Rosario Tumino, Paolo Vineis, Christina Bamia, Androniki Naska, Vassiliki Benetou, Pietro Ferrari, Nadia Slimani, Guillem Pera, Carmen Martinez-Garcia, Carmen Navarro, Miguel Rodriguez-Barranco, Miren Dorronsoro, Elizabeth A. Spencer, Timothy J. Key, Sheila Bingham, Kay-Tee Khaw, Emmanuelle Kesse, Francoise Clavel-Chapelon, Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault, Goran Berglund, Elisabet Wirfalt, Goran Hallmans, Ingegerd Johansson, Anne Tjonneland, Anja Olsen, Kim Overvad, Heidi H. Hundborg, Elio Riboli, and Dimitrios Trichopoulos (_British Medical Journal_, vol. 330, no. 7498, April 30, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 991-994).

B. "Randomised controlled trial of calcium and supplementation with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) for prevention of fractures in primary care," by Jill Porthouse, Sarah Cockayne, Christine King, Lucy Saxon, Elizabeth Steele, Terry Aspray, Mike Baverstock, Yvonne Birks, Jo Dumville, Roger Francis, Cynthia Iglesias, Suezann Puffer, Anne Sutcliffe, Ian Watt, and David J. Torgerson (_British Medical Journal_, vol. 330, no. 7498, April 30, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1003-1006).

C. "Obesity in middle age and future risk of dementia: a 27 year longitudinal population based study," Rachel A. Whitmer, Erica P. Gunderson, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Charles P. Quesenberry Jr., and Kristine Yaffe (_British Medical Journal_, April 29, 2005, .pdf and HTML format).


A. "Diverse compounds mimic Alzheimer disease-causing mutations by augmenting A[beta]42 production," by Thomas Kukar, Michael Paul Murphy, Jason L. Eriksen, Sarah A. Sagi, Sascha Weggen, Tawnya E. Smith, Thomas Ladd, Murad A. Khan, Rajashaker Kache, Jenny Beard, Mark Dodson, Sami Merit, Victor V. Ozols, Panos Z. Anastasiadis, Pritam Das, Abdul Fauq, Edward H. Koo and Todd E. Golde (_Nature Medicine_, vol. 11, no. 5, May 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 545-550).

B. "A phase 1 clinical trial of nerve growth factor gene therapy for Alzheimer disease," by Mark H. Tuszynski, Leon Thal, Mary Pay, David P. Salmon, Hoi Sang U, Roy Bakay, Piyush Patel, Armin Blesch, H. Lee Vahlsing, Gilbert Ho, Gang Tong, Steven G. Potkin, James Fallon, Lawrence Hansen, Elliott J. Mufson, Jeffrey H. Kordower, Christine Gall and James Conner (_Nature Medicine_, vol. 11, no. 5, May 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 551-555).

C. "Amyloid [beta] protein immunotherapy neutralizes A[beta] oligomers that disrupt synaptic plasticity in vivo," by Igor Klyubin, Dominic M. Walsh, Cynthia A. Lemere, William K. Cullen, Ganesh M. Shankar, Vicki Betts, Edward T. Spooner, Liying Jiang, Roger Anwyl, Dennis J. Selkoe and Michael J. Rowan (_Nature Medicine_, vol. 11, no. 5, May 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 556-561).


A. "Raft lipids as common components of human extracellular amyloid fibrils," by Gerald P. Gellermann, Thomas R. Appel, Astrid Tannert, Anja Radestock, Peter Hortschansky, Volker Schroeckh, Christian Leisner, Tim Lütkepohl, Shmuel Shtrasburg, Christoph Röcken, Mordechai Pras, Reinhold P. Linke, Stephan Diekmann, and Marcus Fändrich (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, vol. 102, no. 18, May 3, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 6297-6302).

B. "In vivo fragmentation of heparan sulfate by heparanase overexpression renders mice resistant to amyloid protein A amyloidosis," by Jin-Ping Li, Martha L. Escobar Galvis, Feng Gong, Xiao Zhang, Eyal Zcharia, Shula Metzger, Israel Vlodavsky, Robert Kisilevsky, and Ulf Lindahl (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, vol. 102, no. 18, May 3, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 6473-6477).

22. _NATURE NEUROSCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "{alpha}-Synuclein phosphorylation controls neurotoxicity and inclusion formation in a Drosophila model of Parkinson disease," by Li Chen and Mel B. Feany (_Nature Neuroscience_, vol. 8, no. 5, May 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 657-663).

23. "AARP Prime Time Radio: The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows, for Apr. 20 - Apr. 26, 2005, are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

04/26/2005: Fat Girl: A True Story
04/26/2005: Everyday Choices for a Healthy Life


III. Working Papers:


A. "Social Security Programs and Retirement around the World: Fiscal Implications, Introduction and Summary," by Jonathan Gruber and David Wise (NBER Working Paper w11290, May 2005, .pdf format, 34p.).


This is the introduction to and summary of Phase III of an international research project to study the relationship between social security provisions and retirement. The project relies on the work of a large group of economists in 12 countries who conduct the analysis for each of their countries. The first phase described the retirement incentives inherent in plan provisions and documented the strong relationship across countries between social security incentives to retire and the proportion of older persons out of the labor force. The second phase illustrated the large effects that changing plan provisions would have on the labor force participation of older workers. This third phase shows the consequent fiscal implications that extending labor force participation would have on net program costs -- reduced government social security benefit payments less increased government tax revenues.

The findings are conveyed by simulating the implications of illustrative reforms. One reform increases benefit eligibility ages by three years. Another illustrative reform reduces actuarially benefits received before the normal retirement age. A common reform prescribes the same provisions in each country. The financial implications of the illustrative reforms are very large in many instances, often as much as 20 to 40 percent of current program costs. The savings amount to as much a 1 percent or more of country GDP. The results make clear that reforms like those considered in this volume can have very large fiscal implications for the cost of social security benefits as well as for government revenues engendered by changes in the labor force participation of older workers.

B. "The Life-Cycle Personal Accounts Proposal for Social Security: A Review," by Robert J. Shiller (NBER Working Paper w11300, May 2005, .pdf format, 34p.).


The life-cycle accounts proposal for Social Security reform has been justified by its proponents using a number of different arguments, but these arguments generally involve the assumption of a high likelihood of good returns on the accounts. A simulation is undertaken to estimate the probability distribution of returns in the accounts based on long-term historical experience. U.S. stock market, bond market and money market data 1871-2004 are used for the analysis. Assuming that future returns behave like historical data, it is found that a baseline personal account portfolio after offset will be negative 32% of the time on the retirement date. The median internal rate of return in this case is 3.4 percent, just above the amount necessary for holders of the accounts to break even. However, the U.S. stock market has been unusually successful historically by world standards. It would be better if we adjust the historical data to reduce the assumed average stock market return for the simulation. When this is done so that the return matches the median stock market return of 15 countries 1900-2000 as reported by Dimson et al. [2002], the baseline personal account is found to be negative 71% of the time on the date of retirement and the median internal rate of return is 2.6 percent.

C. "The Great Escape: A Review Essay on Fogel's 'The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100'," by Angus Deaton (NBER Working Paper w11308, May 2005, .pdf format, 17p.).


In this essay, I review Robert Fogel's The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100 which is concerned with the past, present, and future of human health. Fogel's work places great emphasis on nutrition, not only for the history of health, but for explaining aspects of current health, not only in comparing poor and rich countries, but in thinking about rich countries now and in the future. I discuss Fogel's analysis alongside alternative interpretations that place greater emphasis on the historical role of public health, and on the current and future role of improvements in medical technology.

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


A. "Do Individual Retirement Account Systems Postpone Retirement? Evidence from Chile," by Estelle James and Alejandra Cox Edwards (WP 2005-098, April 2005, .pdf format, 55p.).


Postponing retirement becomes an increasingly important channel to sustain incomes and maintain social security financial solvency, given population aging. Traditional defined benefit systems encourage early retirement. In contrast, the tight link between contributions and benefits in defined contribution systems likely leads workers to postpone their pension age and continue working after withdrawals begin. The experience of Chile offers an opportunity to test whether the change in incentives brought about by pension system reform has indeed produced changes in behavior. Using data from 1957 to 2002, we estimate the impact of system's characteristics on the hazard of 1) dropping out of the labor force and 2) joining the pensioners' population.

B. "Knowledge and Preference in Reporting Financial Information," by Thomas Juster, Joseph P. Lupton, Honggao Cao, and Michael Perry (WP 2005-100, April 2005, .pdf format, 23p.).


Imputation for missing data is critical to the development of high-quality microdata sets. For the most part, imputations are developed from the relationship between the response to a survey variable and the characteristics of the respondent; e.g., imputing an asset value for respondents whose asset value is missing involves creating a pool of observations with known asset values for a set of respondents with characteristics similar to x, and then selecting one of the pooled observations as the imputed value of the asset for respondent x. In cases where the microdata set is longitudinal, more information is available to estimate imputed values than will be the case where the data are cross-sectional. In a longitudinal dataset we have the value of the missing variable from a prior wave or waves, and that value plays a major role in the imputation process.

26. MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS: "Social Security, the Government Budget and National Savings," by Peter Diamond (March 2005, .pdf format, 24p.).


The overlapping generations model pioneered by Paul Samuelson is used to address an issue in Social Security. In the 1983 Social Security reform, Congress chose to build a substantial trust fund, with principal and interest both to be used for later benefits. That is, Congress chose payroll tax rates higher than pay-as-you-go levels while the baby-boomers were in the labor force in order to have payroll tax rates lower than pay-as-you-go while the baby-boomers were retired. The impact on national capital of these higher payroll taxes, with the implied trust fund buildup, has been controversial. The impact depends on the response of the rest of the government budget as well as the responses of individuals to these government actions. It also depends on the effects of future tax changes as well as initial tax changes. This paper explores a simple model distinguishing two types in each cohort - life-cycle savers and non-savers, and allowing an income tax change to offset a fraction of the additional revenue from any payroll tax change. Analyzing a permanent trust fund increase, even if the unified budget is always balanced, the trust fund buildup increases national capital initially when payroll taxpayers have a lower propensity to save out of payroll taxes than income taxpayers do out of the income tax, as is plausible. The long run impact on capital depends on the fraction of the payroll tax revenue increase that is offset by an income tax decrease.

27. AEI/BROOKINGS JOINT CENTER: "QALYs and Policy Evaluation: A New Perspective Matthew D. Adler (Working Paper 05-01, 2005, .pdf format, 80p.).


This Article presents a new, welfarist defense of the use of QALYs (quality adjusted life years) in policy evaluation. It challenges both the conventional wisdom among health economists that QALY-based analysis is dominated by traditional cost-benefit analysis (i.e., the sum of willingness-to-pay amounts) as well as the standard view of public health researchers that QALYs should function as the effectiveness metric in a cost-effectiveness analysis. Instead, the Article defends a nontraditional form of cost-benefit analysis, where QALYs are multipled by a conversion factor, for example $100,000 per QALY, and added to the monetized non-health effects of a policy. Part I of the Article surveys the current literature on QALYs. Part II shows that QALYs can be a more accurate measure of overall well-being than WTP amounts, under certain conditions, and argues that cognitive difficulties interfering with the measurement of WTP amounts can be circumvented by QALYs. Part III describes the limitations of QALYs. Part IV discusses the role that QALYs should play in welfarist policy analysis, given their strengths and limitations. In particular, it presents a pragmatic approach to determining the QALY-to-dollar conversion factor, and sheds new light on the controversy about pricing whole lives versus life-years.

28. OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE [UK], ECONOMIC AND STATISTICS ANALYSIS UNIT: "Population Ageing, Elderly Welfare, and Extending Retirement Cover: The Case Study of Sri Lanka," by Nirosha Gaminiratne (ESAU WP3, April 2004, .pdf format, 91p.).


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

29. Age and Ageing (vol. 34, no. 3, May 2005).

30. American Journal of Epidemiology (vol. 161, no. 10, May 15, 2005).

31. Journals of Gerontology (B): Psychological and Social Sciences (vols. 60, nos. 3, May 2005). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of these databases and these issues.

32. 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 May 4, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of May 4, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of May 4, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of May 4, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of May 4, 2005:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of May 4, 2005:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

33. ADMINISTRATION ON AGING/CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: "Aging and Disability Resource Center Grant Initiative," (April 2005).


34. NIH:

A. "Collaborative Awards in Epilepsy Research for Junior Investigators," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with other agencies, PA-05-095, April 25, 2005).

B. "Mechanisms of Transmission and Dissemination of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs)," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with other agencies, PA-05-096, April 26, 2005).

C. "Cell Biological Studies of Parkinson's Disease," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, RFA-NS-06-001, April 26, 2005).

D. "Brain Disorders in the Developing World: Research Across the Lifespan," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with other agencies, PAR-05-100, May 3, 2005).

E. "Correction to PAR-05-055: Jointly Sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Institutional Predoctoral Training Program in the Neurosciences," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging in conjunction with other agencies, NOT-MH-05-009, April 26, 2005).

35. US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE: "FY 2005 NIJ Research and Evaluation on Abuse of Elderly Individuals, Older Women, and Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities," (DOJ-GRANTS-050405-001, May 4, 2005).


VI. Conferences:

36. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT STUDY: "As part of the Survey Research Center's Summer Institute, the HRS offers a one-week intensive workshop covering the basic design, content and usage of the study. It is conducted at the University of Michigan (for detailed information on application, lodging and faculty go to the Summer Institute Web site). This year the workshop will be held June 20th - 24th, and consists of morning lectures and afternoon computer labs each running about 3 hours."




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