Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #290--June 2, 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:


A. "Documentation Errata: HRS 1994 Imputation File (Version 3.0): Merging H94I_KID with W2KIDS," (Health and Retirement Study, May 26, 2005).

B. "The HRS File Merge Cross-Reference Table has been modified to reflect updated merge rules for HRS public and restricted data files," (Health and Retirement Study, May 26, 2005).

2. CENSUS BUREAU: "Census of Population and Housing: 1890 Census." The Census Bureau is making available many of the statistical volumes, compendium, and atlases from the 1890 Census in electronic format (.pdf format and .zip compressed .pdf format). The publications are available at:

3. MEPS: "MEPS HC-073: 2003 Full Year Population Characteristics," (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, May 2005, data in .zip and .exe self-decompressing ASCII and SAS transport format, SAS and SPSS programming statements, documentation in HTML, ASCII, .pdf or ASP codebook format).


II. Reports and articles:

4. CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES FACT SHEETS: "Help For Those With Limited Income and Resources," (May 27, 2005, .pdf format).

5. GAO REPORT: "Private Pensions: Recent Experiences of Large Defined Benefit Plans Illustrate Weaknesses in Funding Rules," (US Government Accountability Office, GAO-05-294, May 2005, .pdf format, 56p.).

Note: This is a temporary address. GAO reports are always available at:

6. NCHS REPORT: "National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2003 Emergency Department Summary," by Linda F. McCaig and Catharine W. Burt (Advance Data for Vital and Health Statistics No. 358, May 2005, .pdf format, 40p.). The report is linked to from a NCHS news release: "Visits to U.S. Emergency Departments at All-Time High; Number of Departments Shrinking" (US National Center for Health Statistics, May 26, 2005).

Click on "View/Download PDF" for full text.


A. "A Profile of Older Americans: 2004," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, May 2005, .pdf and Word format, tables in Excel format, 16p.).

B. "AoA e-News," (US Administration on Aging, June 2005, .pdf and Microsoft Word format, 10p.).


A. "Sexuality at Midlife and Beyond: 2004 Update of Attitudes and Behaviors," (May 2005, .pdf format, 126p.).

B. "A New Look at U.S. Expenditures for Long-Term Care and Independent Living Services, Settings, and Technologies for the Year 2000," by Marc Freiman (2005-04, April 2005, .pdf format, 23p.).

C. "Prescription Drugs in Nebraska: A Survey of Experiences and Opinions," by Susan Silberman (May 2005, .pdf format, 21p.).

D. "AARP New Hampshire Social Security Survey," by William E. Wright (May 2005, .pdf format, 16p.).


A. "More aged care places deliver greater choice," (May 27, 2005).

B. "$1.7 million boost to help Canberrans age at home," (May 28, 2005).


A. "Increased glutathione S-transferase activity rescues dopaminergic neuron loss in a Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease," by Alexander J. Whitworth, Dorothy A. Theodore, Jessica C. Greene, Helen Benes, Paul D. Wes, and Leo J. Pallanck (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, vol. 102, no. 22, May 31, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 8024-8029).

B. "Replaceable neurons and neurodegenerative disease share depressed UCHL1 levels," by Anthony J. Lombardino, Xiao-Ching Li, Moritz Hertel, and Fernando Nottebohm (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, vol. 102, no. 22, May 31, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 8036-8041).


A. "Treatment of Complicated Grief: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Katherine Shear, Ellen Frank, Patricia R. Houck, and Charles F. Reynolds III (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, vol. 293, no. 21, June 1, 2005, .pdf and HTML, p. 2601-2608).

B. "Erectile Dysfunction Following Radical Prostatectomy," by Arthur L. Burnett (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, vol. 293, no. 21, June 1, 2005, .pdf and HTML, p. 2648-2653).

12. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "A Vaccine to Prevent Herpes Zoster and Postherpetic Neuralgia in Older Adults," by M. N. Oxman, et. al. (_New England Journal of Medicine_, vol 352, no. 22, June 2, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2271-2284).

NIH Press Release:

13. _FORBES_ ARTICLE: "Retire? Not so Fast," by Matthew Swibel (June 6, 2005).


III. Working Papers:

14. POPULATION COUNCIL: "Education of adult children and mortality of their elderly parents in Taiwan," by Zimmer, Zachary, Linda G. Martin, Mary Beth Ofstedal, and Yi-Li Chuang (Working Paper 199, May 2005, .pdf format, 24p.).


Research shows an older adult's education is strongly associated with mortality. But in societies such as Taiwan, where families are highly integrated, the education of family members may be linked to survival. Such may be the case in settings where there are large gaps in levels of education across generations and high levels of resource transfers between family members. This study employs 14 years of longitudinal data from Taiwan to examine the combined effects of education of older adults and their adult children on mortality outcomes of older adults. Nested Gompertz hazard models are used to evaluate the importance of education of an older adult and their highest-educated child after controlling for socioeconomic, demographic, and health characteristics. To gain further insight, additional models stratify results by whether older adults report serious chronic health conditions. Results indicate that educational levels of both parent and child are associated with older adult mortality, but the child's education is more important when a) controlling for the health of the older adult, and b) when examining only those older adults who already report a serious chronic condition, suggesting different roles for education in onset versus progression of a health disorder that may lead to death.

15. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY - OFFICE OF RESEARCH, EVALUATION, AND STATISTICS [ORES]: "Social Security as a Retirement Resource for Near-Retirees," by Benjamin Bridges and Sharmila Choudhury (ORES Working Paper No. 106, May 2005, .pdf and HTML format, 77p.).



16. GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTE [TUFTS UNIVERSITY]: "Securing Social Security: Sensitivity to Economic Assumptions and Analysis of Policy Options," by Brian Roach and Frank Ackerman (Working Paper No. 05-03, May 2005, .pdf format, 32p.).

17. FUNDACION DE ESTUDIOS DE ECONOMICA APLICADA (FEDEA) [MADRID SPAIN]: "Wellbeing and dependency among European elderly: The role of social integration," by Corinne Mette (Documento de Trabajo 2005-12, May 2005, .pdf format, 23p.).


This study aims at highlighting the importance of social integration on the well-being of dependent elderly living at home. This question is important because, as we can observe, favouring social activities is not a priority for social policies regarding dependent elderly in Europe. Now, social activities and contacts improve dependent elderly's well-being. Therefore, as depression is one of the factors leading to a dependency situation, to attach greater importance to social measures favouring dependent elderly social integration should allow to decrease their depression rate and, consequently, should allow to decrease their demand for care too. The data used in this study stem from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). Major results are: health perception is strongly and positively correlated with satisfaction with the main activity. The importance of the correlation decreases however a little when social integration variables are included in the model. Except for "owning a phone", these latter variables have equally significant effects on satisfaction with the main activity. Dependent elderly who are member of a club, those who often meet their friends and relatives and those who often talk with their neighbours declare a higher satisfaction than the rest. Satisfaction is largely correlated with the country of residence. Dependent elderly from Southern countries and from Ireland declare to be less satisfied with their main activity than those from North or Central Europe. In terms of housing situation, having a comfortable dwelling leads to a higher satisfaction while living in a household composed by several persons leads to a lower satisfaction. The standard of living is linked with satisfaction: both household and personal income increase satisfaction. Lastly, dependency-related social transfers have no effect on satisfaction with the main activity.

18. UNIVERSITY OF ST. GALLEN [SWITZERLAND] DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC: "Why Forcing People to Save for Retirement May Backfire," by Monika Bütler, Olivia Huguenin, and Federica Teppa (Discussion Paper no. 2005-09, April 2005, .pdf format, 48p.).


Early retirement is predominantly considered to be the result of incentives set by social security and the tax system. But the Swiss example demonstrates that the incidence of early retirement has dramatically increased even in the absence of institutional changes. We argue that an actuarially fair, but mandatory funded system may also distort optimal individual allocation. If individuals are credit constraint (or just reluctant to borrow), a higher than desired retirement capital induces people to retire earlier than they would have in the absence of such a scheme. Individuals thus retire as soon as the retirement income is deemed sufficient the pension plan avails withdrawal of benefits. We provide evidence using individual data from a selection of Swiss pension funds, allowing us to perfectly control for pension scheme details. Our findings suggest that affordability is indeed a key determinant in the retirement decisions. The fact that early retirement has become much more prevalent in the last 15 years is a strong indicator for the importance of affordability as the maturing the Swiss mandatory funded pension system over that period has led to an increase in the already high effective replacement rates. Moreover, even after controlling for the time trend, the higher the accumulated pension capital, the earlier men, and - to a smaller extent - women, tend to leave the work force.$FILE/DP-09_Buetler_ganz.pdf


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

19. American Sociological Review (Vol. 70, 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.

20. Gerontologist (vol. 45, no. 1, June 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.

21. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 53, Nos. 5 and 6, May and June 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.

International Journal of Ageing and Human Development (vol. 60, no. 3, 2005).


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 June 1, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of June 1, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of June 1, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of June 1, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of June 1, 2005:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of June 1, 2005:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Conferences:

24. AARP GLOBAL AGING PROGRAM: "Universal Village: Livable Communities in the 21st Century," will be held on June 15, 2005 in Washington D.C.. "AARP has identified promoting livable communities - with a range of transportation options and appropriate, affordable, and accessible housing that can enable older persons to age in place while remaining independent and engaged in community life - as a high organizational priority. Through this conference, we hope to encourage dialogue on this issue and share best policy practices and innovations taking place in nations across the globe." For more information about the conference, including a link for online registration, go to:




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