Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #301--August 25, 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. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT SURVEY: On Aug. 18, 2005 HRS at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research announced: "RAND HRS Data (Version E): As of Aug. 18, 2005 a "new version of the RAND HRS Data File has been released, replacing all prior versions." For more information see:

Data access:


II. Reports and articles:

2. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY REPORT: "Life Tables for the United States Social Security Area 1900-2100," by Felicitie C. Bell and Michael L. Miller (Office off the Chief Actuary, Actuarial Study No. 120, August 2005, .pdf format, 186p.).


A. "Review of the Services Related to the Placement of Arterial Stents" (A-06-04-00091, August 2005, .pdf format, 14p.). "Our audit objective was to determine whether 72 paid Medicare claims for outpatient stent placement services provided in calendar year 2002 were reasonable, necessary, and allowable under Medicare rules; supported by adequate documentation; and properly coded. The Program Safeguard Contractor found that a total of 20 claims from 15 providers did not meet Medicare reimbursement of requirements and, as a result, were overpaid by a total of $35,291. These errors may have occurred because the providers did not have procedures in place to ensure that the services for which they billed met Medicare requirements. In addition, the providers may need additional education covering proper billing practices for stent services. We recommended that TrailBlazer recover the $35,291 in overpayments and provide education to these providers to ensure that the claims they submit for reimbursement meet Medicare's requirements. TrailBlazer generally agreed with our findings and recommendations, stating that it had recovered the overpayments based on our recommendations.

B. "Status of Rural Health Clinic Program" (OEI-05-03-00170, August 2005, .pdf format, 24p.).


In 1977, Congress created the Rural Health Clinic (RHC) Program to increase health services for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries living in rural underserved areas. To be eligible for RHC status, clinics must be located in areas that meet the RHC Act's definition of rural and underserved. Currently, 279 RHCs are located in areas that do not meet the rural and underserved criteria. Another 946 are located in shortage-designated areas that HRSA has not reviewed or updated within a 3-year period. Despite the identification of problems with the rural and underserved criteria in previous OIG and Government Accountability Office reports, the RHC Program continues to rely on them. Current rural and underservice criteria result in RHC participation in areas with already existing health care systems. Because of its involvement in the RHC Program, OIG makes recommendations to both HRSA and CMS. OIG recommends that HRSA: (1) review shortage designations within the requisite 3 -year period, and (2) publish regulations to revise its shortage-designation criteria. OIG recommends that CMS: (1) issue regulations to ensure that only RHCs determined to be essential providers remain certified as RHCs, and (2) seek legislative authority or administratively require RHC applicants to document need and impact on access to health care in rural underserved areas. Both CMS and HRSA concurred with our recommendations.

4. US CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES NEWS RELEASE: "CMS Issues Updated Regulations for Power Wheelchair and Power Operated Vehicle Claims" (Aug. 24, 2005).

5. US BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS REPORT: Bureau of Labor Statistics Report: "National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in Private Industry in the United States, March 2005," (Summary 05-01, August 2005, .pdf format, 32p.).

News release (HTML, ASCII text, and .pdf format, 1p.).

6. "ILCUSA REPORT: "ILC Policy Report" (International Longevity Center, USA, August 2005, .pdf format, 5p.). The ILC Policy Report is "a monthly compilation of longevity news and trends in the U.S. and abroad."


"Gene Discovery Sheds Light on Causes of Rare Disease, Cancer" (Aug. 21, 2005).

8. _DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH_ ARTICLE: Note: _DR_ is " a free, expedited, peer-reviewed journal of the population sciences published by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Rostock, Germany). " Age-specific contributions to changes in the period and cohort life expectancy," by Vladimir Canudas-Romo and Robert Schoen (Vol. 13, Article 3, .pdf format, p. 63-82).


Period life expectancy has increased more slowly than its cohort counterpart. This paper explores the differences between life expectancies at a given time (the gap) and the time required for period life expectancy to reach the current level of cohort life expectancy (the lag). Additionally, to understand the disparity between the two life expectancies we identify and compare age-specific contributions to change in life expectancy. Using mortality models and historical data for Sweden, we examine the effect of mortality changes over time. Our results indicate that the widening of the gap between the two life expectancies is primarily a consequence of the dramatic mortality decline at older ages that occurred during the twentieth century. These results imply that the divergence between the two measures is likely to become even greater in the future as reductions in deaths are concentrated at older ages.

Click on "Enter".

9. US SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF ADVOCACY, REPORT: "Cost of Employee Benefits in Small and Large Businesses," by Joel Popkin and Associates (Small Business Research Summary No. 262, August 2005, .pdf format, 62p.).

News release:


A. "Older Consumers' Attitudes Toward The Use of Credit Scores," by Sharon Hermanson and Ann McLarty Jackson (AARP Public Policy Institute Data Digest 120, July 2005, .pdf format, 6p.).


Attitudes and beliefs about credit scores are examined in this Data
Digest.... The Data Digest reports results of a national random sample of respondents age 18 and older. Only 39 percent of those age 65 or older (compared to 67 percent of those younger than 65) were either somewhat or very familiar with the use of these scores. Respondents not much familiar with the topic were not further queried. The remaining respondents were asked for their attitudes concerning the potential advantages and disadvantages, as well as the accuracy, of credit scores. More than half (56 percent) of respondents reported having seen their own credit scores, with those age 65 and older much less likely (34 percent) than younger respondents (58 percent) to have done so. Three fourths (74 percent) of whites and less than one-half (48 percent) of blacks believed their own credit scores accurately represent their credit worthiness. The survey also found that respondents were most likely to believe that credit scores were appropriately used to qualify applicants for mortgages and car loans, and least likely to believe their use appropriate in setting rates for electricity and phone service.

Click on "Full Report" for link to full text.

B. "Retirement Plan Coverage of Baby Boomers: Analysis of 1998 SIPP Data," by Satyendra Verma (AARP Public Policy Research Institute Report, August 2005, .pdf format, 72p.). Links to a detailed abstract and full text can be found at:

11. URBAN INSTITUTE TAX ANALYSTS TAX FACTS: "Penalties on IRAs and 401(k)s," by Peter Orszag (August 2005, HTML and .pdf format, 1p.).

12. COMMONWEALTH FUND ISSUE BRIEF: "A Look at Working-Age Caregivers' Roles, Health Concerns, and Need for Support," by Alice Ho, Sara R. Collins, Karen Davis, and Michelle M. Doty (August 2005, .pdf format, 11p.).

More information about CF:

13. LEVY ECONOMICS INSTITUTE [BARD COLLEGE] ISSUE BRIEF: "The Ownership Society: Social Security Is Only the Beginning...," by L. Randall Wray (Public Policy Issue Brief No. 82, August 2005, .pdf format, 40p.).

More information about the LEI:

14. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION HEALTH POLL REPORT UPDATE: "Views on the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit" (Health Poll Report Chartpack, August 2005, .pdf format, 21p., complete July/August 2005 Survey Toplines, August 2005, .pdf format, 14p.).

15. MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL [UK] PRESS RELEASE: "Health and wealth does not affect incidence of dementia in England and Wales," (Aug. 23, 2005).


A. "Differential patterns of apoptosis in response to aging in
Drosophila," by Jie Zheng, Scott W. Edelman, Grace Tharmarajah, David W.
Walker, Scott D. Pletcher, and Laurent Seroude (Vol. 102, No. 34, Aug. 23,
2005, p. 12083-12088).

B. "Calcineurin cleavage is triggered by elevated intraocular pressure, and calcineurin inhibition blocks retinal ganglion cell death in experimental glaucoma," by Wei Huang, John B. Fileta, Adam Dobberfuhl, Theodoros Filippopolous, Yan Guo, Gina Kwon and Cynthia L. Grosskreutz (Vol. 102, No. 34, Aug. 23, 2005, p. 12242-12247). Note: _PNAS_ is offering free public access to this article at present.

17. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Effects of Telomerase and Telomere Length on Epidermal Stem Cell Behavior," by Ignacio Flores, María L. Cayuela, and María A. Blasco (Vol. 309, No. 5738, Aug. 19, 2005, p. 1253-1256).

18. _BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL_ NEWS EXTRACT: "Aid agencies ignored special needs of elderly people after tsunami," by Ganapati Mudur (Vol. 331, No. 7514, Aug. 20, 2005, p. 422).

19. _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content."Obesity, cigarette smoking, and telomere length in women," by A.M. Valdes, T. Andrew, J.P. Gardner, M. Kimura, E. Oelsner, L.F. Cherkas, A. Aviv, and T.D. Spector (_Lancet_, Vol. 366, No. 9486, August 20, 2005, .pdf and HTML format, p. 662-664).

20. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Cereal Fiber and Whole-Grain Intake Are Associated With Reduced Progression of Coronary-Artery Atherosclerosis in Postmenopausal Women With Coronary Artery Disease," by Arja T. Erkkilu, David M. Herrington, Dariush Mozaffarian, and Alice H. Lichtenstein (_American Heart Journal_, Vol. 149, No. 7, 2005, p. 94-101, via Medscape).


III. Working Papers:

21. PENSION RESEARCH COUNCIL, WHARTON SCHOOL [UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA]: "Changing Risks Confronting Pension Participants," by Phyllis C. Borzi (WP 2005-14, 2005, .pdf format, 26p.).


The past decade has seen a shift from traditional employer-sponsored defined benefit pensions toward individual account defined contribution plans. This has profound implications for participants' retirement security, as it involves a reallocation of risks and rewards from the plan sponsor to the employee. While much has been written about the transfer of investment risk and the potential consequences of bad investment choices, less attention has been focused on other potential hazards to retirement security. These include the effect of job changes and other employment factors on contribution patterns, the chance of outliving one's accumulated assets, and the tension between encouraging participants to save for retirement while allowing access to those assets for a variety of other pressing financial needs. This chapter examines these challenges to participant retirement income security and identifies several legal and policy changes that might enable participants to cope better with such changes.

22. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH [ROSTOCK, GERMANY]: " Season of birth influences life span of Mediterranean fruit flies, rats and mice," by Anna V. Semenchenko, Gabriele Doblhammer, Vladimir N. Anisimov, James Carey, and Anatoli I. Yashin (WP 2005-025, August 2005, .pdf format, 26p.).

23. INSTITUTE FOR FISCAL STUDIES [LONDON]: "Dissecting dividend decisions: some clues about the effects of dividend taxation from recent UK reforms," by Steve Bond, Michael P Devereux and Alexander Klemm (IFS Working Paper W05/17, August 2005, .pdf format, 50p.).


We present empirical evidence which suggests that a big increase in dividend taxation for UK pension funds in July 1997 affected the form in which some UK companies chose to make dividend payments, but otherwise had limited effects on both the level of dividend payments and the level of investment. These findings are consistent with a version of the 'new view' of dividend taxation. We also identify a group of firms whose dividend choices are difficult to reconcile with (stock market) value maximisation.

Click on "Full document" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

24. CENTER FOR ECONOMIC STUDIES/IFO INSTITUTE FOR ECONOMIC RESEARCH (CESifo) [UNIVERSITY OF MUNICH, GERMANY]: "Actuarial Neutrality across Generations Applied to Public Pensions under Population Ageing: Effects on Government Finances and National Saving," by Heikki Oksanen (WP 1501, July 2005, .pdf format, 28p.).


In welfare states, collective saving has declined to a persistently negative level, while reduced fertility and increasing longevity are leading to increasing pension liabilities. Actuarial neutrality across generations is presented as a benchmark for designing pension reforms to meet the challenges of population ageing. It is shown that this condition can be respected by a wide range of pension reforms, with very different consequences for public finance target setting. The rules for public pensions in national accounting are also discussed. Finally, the combined effects of population ageing and public pension rules on national saving are discussed.


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

25. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 95, No. 9, September 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.

26. American Journal of Sociology (Vol. 111, No. 1, July 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.

27. Dementia (Vol. 4, No. 3, August 2005).

28. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 53, No. 8, August 2005).

29. Medical Care (Vol. 43, No. 9, and Vol. 43, No. 9, Vol. 43, No. 9, Supplement, September 2005).

30. 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 Aug. 24, 2005:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Aug. 24, 2005:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Aug. 24, 2005:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Aug. 24, 2005:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Aug. 24, 2005:

F. Ophthalmology Research: Literature for the week of Aug. 24, 2005:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

31. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS: _The Reform of Bismarckian Pension Systems: A Comparison of Pension Politics in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden_, by Martin Schludi (Distributed for Amsterdam University Press. 320 p., (A-CWS) Amsterdam University Press - Changing Welfare States Series, 2005). For more information, including ordering information see:


VI. Funding Opportunities/Employment Opportunities:


A. "New Ways to Image Neural Activity" (National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies RFA-EB-05-001, Aug. 19, 2005). For more information see:

B. "The Secretory Pattern of Senescent Cells" (National Institute on Aging and National Cancer Institute PA-05-155, Aug. 18, 2005). For more information see:

C. National Institute on Aging Employment Opportunities: "Health Scientist Administrator" (NIA-05-66442A and NIA-05-66442B, closing dates, Sep. 30, 2005 and Oct. 14, 2005). For more information see:

Click on the link below "NIA Job Opportunities - USAJobs".

VII. Websites of Interest:

33. NIH: (originally discussed in item no. 29 of CAAR #210, Oct. 30, 2003-- has recently added a section on stroke.

Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology and Center for
Demography of Health and Aging
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706