Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #300--August 18, 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:


Note! This is our 300th issue of the CAAR report. In that time, we have also mailed out over 1,400 CAAR E-Clippings. When the report began in 1999, we had approximately 250 subscribers. Today we have nearly 1,900 subscribers. Thank you all for your interest. And thanks also to the following people, without whose assistance, encouragement, and support, this project would not have been possible: Bob Hauser, Charlie Fiss, Janet Eisenhauer, Janet Clear, and Dan Bongert. We hope these newsletters have been of use to you. Any suggestions are always welcome. Please send to either Charlie or myself. Our email addresses are listed at the end of each mailing.


Jack Solock

P.S. For those of you who might be interested, the University of Wisconsin Center for Demography and Ecology also produces a weekly current awareness email report on the topic of general demography called Current DEmographic Research Report (CDERR). More information about that report, including subscription information and links to back issues, can be found at:

I. Data:

1. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT SURVEY DATA ALERT: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research HRS released a data alert Aug. 11, 2005: "HRS 2004 Core Early Release (Version 1.0)."


II. Reports and articles:

2. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY REPORT: "Short-Range Actuarial Projections of the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program, 2005," by Chris Motsiopoulos and Richard B. Tucker (Actuarial Study No. 119, August 2005, .pdf format, 300p.).


A. "Physician Services: Concierge Care Characteristics and Considerations for Medicare," (US Government Accountability Office, GAO-05-929, August 2005, .pdf format, 44p.).

B. "Medicare Contracting Reform: CMS's Plan Has Gaps and Its Anticipated Savings Are Uncertain," (US Government Accountability Office, GAO-05-873, August 2005, .pdf format, 63p.).

C. "Social Security Administration: Additional Actions Needed in Ongoing Efforts to Improve 800-Number Service," (US Government Accountability Office, GAO-05-735, August 2005, .pdf format, 44p.).

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

4. CMS PRESS RELEASE: "CMS Issues Marketing Rules for all Plans Offering Medicare Drug Coverage," (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, August 15, 2005).

5. NIH PRESS RELEASE: "National Institute on Aging Offers Free Cancer Information in Spanish," (US National Institutes of Health, August 15, 2005).

6. AARP PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE REPORT: "Trends in Manufacturer Prices of Prescription Drugs Used by Older Americans," by David Gross, Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, and Susan Raetzman (August 2005, .pdf format, 14p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "First Quarter 2005 Update" for "Brand Name Prescription Drugs" or "Generic Prescription Drugs" (without the quotes).

Press Release:

7. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH [BOSTON COLLEGE] CONFERENCE PAPERS: The Seventh Annual Conference of the Retirement Research Consortium, "Towards a Secure Retirement System," was held on August 11-12, 2005 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The papers and presentations from the conference are now available at:


A. "Targeted disruption of Mig-6 in the mouse genome leads to early onset degenerative joint disease," by Yu-Wen Zhang, Yanli Su, Nathan Lanning, Pamela J. Swiatek, Roderick T. Bronson, Robert Sigler, Richard W. Martin, and George F. Vande Woude (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 102, No. 33, August 16, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 11740-11745).

B. "Advanced glycation endproduct-induced aging of the retinal pigment epithelium and choroid: A comprehensive transcriptional response," by Jane Tian, Kazuki Ishibashi, Kazuko Ishibashi, Karen Reiser, Rhonda Grebe, Shyam Biswal, Peter Gehlbach, and James T. Handa (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 102, No. 33, August 16, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 11846-11851).

C. "Apolipoprotein E allele-dependent pathogenesis: A model for age-related retinal degeneration," by G. Malek, L. V. Johnson, B. E. Mace, P. Saloupis, D. E. Schmechel, D. W. Rickman, C. A. Toth, P. M. Sullivan, and C. Bowes Rickman (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 102, No. 33, August 16, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 11900-11905).

D. "Monitoring disease progression in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease with proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy," by Malgorzata Marjanska, Geoffrey L. Curran, Thomas M. Wengenack, Pierre-Gilles Henry, Robin L. Bliss, Joseph F. Poduslo, Clifford R. Jack, Jr., Kâmil Ugurbil, and Michael Garwood (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 102, No. 33, August 16, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 11906-11910).

9. _SCIENCE_ REPORT ABSTRACT: "Effects of Telomerase and Telomere Length on Epidermal Stem Cell Behavior," by Ignacio Flores, María L. Cayuela, and María A. Blasco (_Science_, Vol. 309, No. 5738, August 19, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 1253-1256).

10. _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content. "Postoperative radiotherapy after radical prostatectomy: a randomised controlled trial (EORTC trial 22911)," by Michel Bolla, Hein van Poppel, Laurence Collette, Paul van Cangh, Kris Vekemans, Luigi Da Pozzo, Theo M. de Reijke, Antony Verbaeys, Jean-François Bosset, Roland van Velthoven, Jean-Marie Maréchal, Pierre Scalliet, Karin Haustermans, and Marianne Piérart (_Lancet_, Vol. 366, No. 9486, August 13, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 572-578).


A. "Racial Trends in the Use of Major Procedures among the Elderly," by Ashish K. Jha, Elliott S. Fisher, Zhonghe Li, E. John Orav, and Arnold M. Epstein (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 353, No. 7, August 18, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 683-691).

B. "Trends in the Quality of Care and Racial Disparities in Medicare Managed Care," by Amal N. Trivedi, Alan M. Zaslavsky, Eric C. Schneider, and John Z. Ayanian (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 353, No. 7, August 18, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 692-700).


III. Working Papers:


A. "The Influence of PBGC Insurance on Pension Fund Finances," by Julia Coronado and Nellie Liang (WP 2005-10, 2005, .pdf format, 34p.).

B. "Implications of Optimal Investment Policies for Hybrid Pension Plans: Sponsor and Member Perspectives," by Peter Albrecht, Joachim Coche, Raimond Maurer and Ralph Rogalla (WP 2005-11, 2005, .pdf format, 32p.).


This paper analyzes pension plan costs and investment strategies in the context of alternative hybrid pension plans which are optimal either from the perspective of the plan sponsor or the beneficiaries. The focus is in particular on how the introduction of minimum and maximum limits for pension benefits as well as minimum guarantees and caps on the return of the members' individual investment accounts affect investment decisions and plan costs. Within a comparative static analysis framework, it is shown that for low to medium risk portfolios, minimum benefit guarantees tend to be more expensive than minimum return guarantees while for the latter costs increase exponentially with investment risk. The study also finds that the portfolio choice of the sponsor and the beneficiaries shows substantial differences depending on the exact plan design and the beneficiaries' risk aversion. Combining minimum return guarantees and caps on investment returns emerged as a possible means to reduce such differences, to share investment risks and returns more equally between sponsor and beneficiaries, and to keep pension plan costs under control.

C. "Regulating Single Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans: A Modern Approach," by Mark J. Warshawsky, Neal McCall and John D. Worth (WP 2005-12, 2005, .pdf format, 30p.).


Recent financial market and plan termination experiences have exposed the shortcomings of existing funding, disclosure, and premium rules governing private single-employer defined benefit pension plans in the United States. These rules were designed to provide predictability for plan sponsors and administrators, by insulating pension plans from the realities of economic and financial market fluctuations. Unfortunately current practice often overlooks key financial principles that arguably should inform a responsible set of pension rules and the insurance system backing the plans. We outline the key characteristics of pension plans needed to beneficially guide rule-making and offer examples drawn from proposed funding and premium rules.

D. "Risk-Sharing in Retiree Medical Benefits," by George Wagoner, Anna Rappaport, Brian Fuller, and Frank Yeager (WP 2005-13, 2005, .pdf format, 44p.).


Retiree medical care expenditures in the United States are growing at a rapid rate, while the retired portion of the population is increasing. This puts pressure on government and employer programs providing retiree health care coverage. Retirees also face increasing challenges in gaining access to affordable coverage, particularly before eligibility for Medicare. In this chapter we assess prospects for US retiree health coverage and the challenges, risks, and roles of employers, Medicare, and retirees in providing and financing it. We discuss both traditional approaches to retiree health benefits, where the employer assumes most risk, and new defined contribution approaches, where significant risk is shifted to the retiree. We also review government benefits for retirees including new Medicare prescription drug benefits. We model future retiree health care costs and opportunities to save before retiring, highlighting public policy obstacles and issues for employer-provided retiree health benefits.


A. "$100 Bills on the Sidewalk: Suboptimal Saving in 401(k) Plans," by James J. Choi, David Laibson, and Brigitte C. Madrian (w11554, August 2005, .pdf format, 39p.)


It is typically difficult to determine whether households save optimally. But in some cases, savings incentives are strong enough to imply sharp normative restrictions. We consider employees who receive employer matching contributions in their 401(k) plan and are allowed to make discretionary, penalty-free, in-service withdrawals. For these employees, contributing below the match threshold is a dominated action. Nevertheless, half of employees with these clear-cut incentives do contribute below the match threshold, foregoing matching contributions that average 1.3% of their annual pay. Providing these " undersavers" with specific information about the free lunch they are giving up fails to raise their contribution rates.

B. Work Disability is a Pain in the *****, Especially in England, The Netherlands, and the United States," by James Banks, Arie Kapteyn, James P. Smith and Arthur van Soest (w11558, August 2005, .pdf format, 57p.).


This paper investigates the role of pain in determining self-reported work disability in the US, the UK and The Netherlands. Even if identical questions are asked, cross-country differences in reported work disability remain substantial. In the US and the Netherlands, respondent evaluations of work limitations of hypothetical persons described in pain vignettes are used to identify the extent to which differences in self-reports between countries or socio-economic groups are due to systematic variation in the response scales.

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

14. INTERNATIONAL POVERTY CENTER [UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME]: " Ageing and poverty in Africa and the role of social pensions," by Nanak Kakwani and Kalanidhi Subbarao (Working Paper # 8, August 2005, .pdf format, 40p.). Note: There is no abstract for this paper.


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

15. Age and Ageing (Vol. 34, NO. 5, September 2005).

16. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 162, No. 5, Sep. 1, 2005).

17. Journal of Aging Studies (Vol. 19, No. 3, Sept. 2005). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Elite database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Follow link to "Volume 19, Issue 3".

18. Journal of Marriage and the Family (Vol. 67, No. 3, August 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 this database and this issue.

19. 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 Psychogeriatrics (Vol. 17, No. 2, 2005).

20. 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 August 17, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of August 17, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of August 17, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of August 17, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of August 17, 2005:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of August 17, 2005:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding/Employment Opportunities:

21. NIH:

A. "Anemia in the Elderly," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, RFA-AG-06-002, August 12, 2005).

B. "Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD Fellows (F30)," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, PA-05-151, August 8, 2005).

C. "Request for Information on the Testosterone Formulations, Doses and Availability," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, NOT-AG-05-005, August 11, 2005).

D. "Clarification on Receipt Dates for PAR-05-148," (US National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging, NOT-AG-05-006, August 10, 2005).


The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College is seeking a Research Economist to develop and conduct a variety of research projects on issues relating to retirement income, such as Social Security, employer-provided pensions, household saving, and labor force issues concerning older workers. The Center was created in 1998 through a grant from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to promote research on retirement issues and transmit the findings to policy makers, the research community, and the public. The Research Economist will have primary responsibility for conducting and completing specific projects and will also assist on other projects as needed. Specifically, the Research Economist will develop research proposals, conduct quantitative research using micro datasets such as the Health and Retirement Study and the Survey of Consumer Finances, monitor the work of research assistants, and produce papers and other written products, such as issue briefs, in response to specific deadlines. The Research Economist will present research results at conferences and other forums. The Research Economist will also be involved in identifying opportunities for research funding and completing proposals to attract funding from government, corporate, and foundation sources. The ideal candidate would have a Ph. D. in Economics, with 5 years of more of experience and familiarity to retirement issues. We are looking for someone who is well organized and detail oriented, skilled at juggling multiple assignments, has exceptional research and analytical skills, and exceptional writing and communication skills. Some travel is required. Salary is dependent upon experience. Please send a cover letter and resume to Tim Garufi, Associate Director for Administration, Center for Retirement Research, via e-mail at

For more information about CRRBC see:

23. NIA UPDATED JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: The National Institute on Aging, Behavioral and Social Research (BSR) Program is seeking applicants for two Health Scientist Administrator positions (On 8/5/05, this announcement was amended to include the opportunity for noncitizens who have valid work visas and permanent residents to apply.):

A. "Health Scientist Administrator; Specialist in Behavioral/Population Genetics," (NIA-05-66442A).

B. "Health Scientist Administrator; Specialist in Biodemography," (NIA-05-66442B).

24. ELLISON INSTITUTE FOR WORLD HEALTH [HARVARD UNIVERSITY]: "The Ellison Global Health Fellows Program is currently accepting applications for a two-year fellowship to work at the Ellison Institute for World Health in Cambridge, MA. Fellows are expected to apply their core research skills in the areas of economics, public health, health policy, demography, and related fields with the expectation that they will make important research contributions for future international health policy."


VI. Conferences:

25. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN INSTITUTE ON AGING COLLOQUIUM: The Institute on Aging's 17th Annual Colloquium will be October 19, 2005 at Monona Terrace and Convention Center (Madison). For more information about the colloquium:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:


A. "Challenges to Employer Efforts to Preserve Retiree Health Care Benefits," a hearing held April 28, 2005 (Serial No. 109-12, .pdf and ASCII format, 40p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "109-12" (without the quotes).

B. "The Retirement Security Crisis: The Administration's Proposal for Pension Reform and its Implications for Workers and Taxpayers," a hearing held March 2, 2005 (Serial No. 109-3, .pdf and ASCII format, 114p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "109-3" (without the quotes).

27. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING PUBLICATION: "Exploring the Economics of Retirement," a hearing held March 15, 2005 (Serial No. 109-59, .pdf and ASCII format, 49p.).

Scroll down to or "find in page" "109-59" (without the quotes).




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

Jack Solock's email: