Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #326--February 23, 2006


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. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE CORRESPONDENCE: "Medicare: Sponsors' Management of the Prescription Drug Discount Card and Transitional Assistance Benefit," (GAO-06-299R, January 2006, .pdf format, 21p.)

2. U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY FACT SHEET: "State Statistics, December 2004," (February 2006, .pdf and HTML format).

3. _MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WEEKLY REPORT_ QUICKSTAT: "Age-Adjusted Death Rates* for Parkinson Disease --- United States, 1973--2003," (Vol. 55, No. 6, February 17, 2006, .pdf and HTML format, p. 159).



4. CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES DECISION MEMORANDUM: "Decision Memo for Bariatric Surgery for the Treatment of Morbid Obesity (CAG-00250R),"(February 21, 2006).

5. U.S. ADMINISTRATION ON AGING NEWSLETTER: _AOA eNews_ (February 2006, .pdf and Word format, 5p.).

6. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NEW RELEASE: "More Than 25 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Now Have Prescription Drug Coverage," (February 22, 2006).

7. _ALZHEIMER'S AND DEMENTIA: THE JOURNAL OF THE ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION_ REVIEW ARTICLE: "The NIH Cognitive and Emotional Health Project Report of the Critical Evaluation Study Committee," by Hugh C. Hendrie (Chair), Marilyn S. Albert, Meryl A. Butters, Sujuan Gao, David S. Knopman, Lenore J. Launer, Kristine Yaffe, Bruce N. Cuthberth, Emmeline Edwards, and Molly V. Wagster (February 2006, .pdf format, 21p.).

Commentary: "Commentary on 'The NIH Cognitive and Emotional Health Project. Report of the Critical Evaluation Study Committee'," by Lewis H. Kuller (February 2006, .pdf format, 3p.).

NIH News Release: "NIH Seeks Strategies to Preserve Brain Health," (February 21, 2006).


A. "Scientists and Study Participants Gather at Conference on Scientific Contributions of the Women's Health Initiative - The Largest Study of Older Women's Health," (February 2006).

B. "Preliminary Study Shows Creatine and Minocycline May Warrant Further Study In Parkinson's Disease," (February 23, 2006).

C. "NIA Expands Arts Program Aimed at Debunking Negative Aging Stereotypes," (February 22, 2006).


A. "Images of Aging in America 2004: Selected Findings," by Alexis Abramson and Merril Silverstein (February 2006, .pdf format, 34p.).

B. The following AARP _Prime Time Radio_ shows are now available (RealPlayer plug-in or helper application required, audio transcripts run between 24 and 30 minutes).

Coping With Alzheimer's Disease:

Pills, Pills, and More Pills:


A. "Selected Findings on Seniors' Views of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit," (February 2006, .pdf format, 18p.).

B. "Frontline Perspectives on Long-Term Care Financing Decisions and Medicaid Assets Transfer Practices," (February 2006, .pdf format, 13p.).

C. "Private Long-Term Care Insurance: A Viable Option for Low and Middle-Income Seniors?" (February 2006, .pdf format, 2p.).

11. METLIFE MATURE MARKET INSTITUTE REPORT: "Looking Into The Future of Family Caregiving in the U.S.," by Donna L. Wagner, with assistance by Kelly J. Niles (2006, .pdf format, 68p.).

12. BROOKINGS INSTITUTE REPORT: "One-Fifth of the Nation: America's First Suburbs," by Robert Puentes and David Warren (February 2006, .pdf format, 23p.).

13. _DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH_ ARTICLE: "The relative tail of longevity and the mean remaining lifetime," by Maxim Finkelstein and James W. Vaupel (Vol. 14, Article 7, February 2006, .pdf format, p. 111-138).

14. STATISTICS NETHERLANDS ARTICLE: "Pension entitlement often only partial," by Luc Verschuren (February 2006).

15. FRASER INSTITUTE REPORT: "Price Controls, Patents, and Cross-Border Internet Pharmacies: Risks to Canada's Drug Supply and International Trading Relations," by Brett J. Skinner (February 2006, .pdf format, 36p.).

For more information about the Fraser Institute:

16. CONFEDERATION OF BRITISH INDUSTRIES REPORT: "CBI submission to the Department for Work and Pensions: Responding to the Pensions Commission final report," by Jay Sheth (February 2006, .pdf format, 17p.).$FILE/CBI%20response%20to%20Turner%20Commission%20final%20report%20-%20Feb%2006.pdf

Press Release:


A. "Relevance and safety of telomerase for human tissue engineering," by Rebecca Y. Klinger, Juliana L. Blum, Bevin Hearn, Benjamin Lebow, and Laura E. Niklason (Vol. 103, No. 8, February 21, 2006, p. 2500-2505).

B. "Cooperative transcription activation by Nurr1 and Pitx3 induces embryonic stem cell maturation to the midbrain dopamine neuron phenotype," by Cecile Martinat, Jean-Jacques Bacci, Thomas Leete, Jongpil Kim, William B. Vanti, Amy H. Newman, Joo H. Cha, Ulrik Gether, Honggang Wang, and Asa Abeliovich (Vol. 103, No. 8, February 21, 2006, p. 2874-2879).

C. "NMDA receptor mediates tau-induced neurotoxicity by calpain and ERK/MAPK activation," by Giuseppina Amadoro, Maria Teresa Ciotti, Marco Costanzi, Vincenzo Cestari, Pietro Calissano, and Nadia Canu (Vol. 103, No. 8, February 21, 2006, .pdf and HTML format, p. 2892-2897). Note: _PNAS_ is providing Open Access to the full-text of this article.

18. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "A Rational Approach to Androgen Therapy for Hypogonadal Men with Prostate Cancer," by J. Kaufman (_International Journal of Impotence Research_, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2006, p. 26-31).

19. _JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Sirolimus- vs Paclitaxel-Eluting Stents in De Novo Coronary Artery Lesions: The REALITY Trial: A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Marie-Claude Morice, Antonio Colombo, Bernhard Meier, Patrick Serruys, Corrado Tamburino, Giulio Guagliumi, Eduardo Sousa, and Hans-Peter Stoll; for the REALITY Trial Investigators (Vol. 295, No. 8, February 22, 2006, p. 895-904).


A. "Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate, and the Two in Combination for Painful Knee Osteoarthritis," by Daniel O. Clegg, Domenic J. Reda, Crystal L. Harris, Marguerite A. Klein, James R. O'Dell, Michele M. Hooper, John D. Bradley, Clifton O. Bingham, III, Michael H. Weisman, Christopher G. Jackson, Nancy E. Lane, John J. Cush, Larry W. Moreland, H. Ralph Schumacher, Jr., Chester V. Oddis, Frederick Wolfe, Jerry A. Molitor, David E. Yocum, Thomas J. Schnitzer, Daniel E. Furst, Allen D. Sawitzke, Helen Shi, Kenneth D. Brandt, Roland W. Moskowitz, and H. James Williams (Vol. 354, No. 8, February 23, 2006, p. 795-808).

Related NIH News Release: "Efficacy of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate May Depend on Level of Osteoarthritis Pain," (February 23, 2006).

B. "Denosumab in Postmenopausal Women with Low Bone Mineral Density," by Michael R. McClung, E. Michael Lewiecki, Stanley B. Cohen, Michael A. Bolognese, Grattan C. Woodson, Alfred H. Moffett, Munro Peacock, Paul D. Miller, Samuel N. Lederman, Charles H. Chesnut, Douglas Lain, Alan J. Kivitz, Donna L. Holloway, Charlie Zhang, Mark C. Peterson, and Pirow J. Bekker, for the AMG 162 Bone Loss Study Group (Vol. 354, No. 8, February 23, 2006, p. 821-831).

21. ILCUSA REPORT: "ILC Policy Report," (International Longevity Center, USA, February 2006, .pdf format, 6p.). The ILC Policy Report is "a monthly compilation of longevity news and trends in the U.S. and abroad."

22. _TIME_ ARTICLE: "Not Quite Ready to Retire," by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen (Vol. 167, No. 9, February 27, 2006).,9171,1161224,00.html


II. Working Papers:


A. "Long-Term Immigration Projection Methods: Current Practice and How to Improve it," by Neil Howe and Richard Jackson (WP 2006-3, February 2006, .pdf format, 116p.). Note: Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

B. "Financing Disability Benefits in a System of Individual Accounts: Lessons from International Experience," by Patrick Wiese (WP 2006-4, February 2006, .pdf format, 37p.). Note: Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

C. "Population Aging and the Structure of Wages," by Robert K. Triest, Steven A. Sass and Margarita Sapozhnikov (WP 2006-5, February 2006, .pdf format, 26p.). Note: Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

D. "Cross-National Evidence on the Burden of Age Related Public Transfers and Health Benefits," by Gary Burtless (WP 2006-6, February 2006, .pdf format, 33p.). Note: Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

E. "The Politics of Parallel Pensions: Lessons from the United Kingdom for the United States," by R. Kent Weaver (WP 2006-7, February 2006, .pdf format, 43p.). Note: Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


A. "State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act," by Joanna Lahey (Working Paper No. w12048, February 2006, .pdf format, 35p.).


Some anti-discrimination laws have the perverse effect of harming the very class they were meant to protect. This paper provides evidence that age discrimination laws belong to this perverse class. Prior to the enforcement of the federal law, state laws had little effect on older workers, suggesting that firms either knew little about these laws or did not see them as a threat. After the enforcement of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in 1979, white male workers over the age of 50 in states with age discrimination laws worked between 1 and 1.5 fewer weeks per year than workers in states without laws. These men are also .3 percentage points more likely to be retired and .2 percentage points less likely to be hired. These findings suggest that in an anti-age discrimination environment, firms seek to avoid litigation through means not intended by the legislation -- by not employing older workers in the first place.

B. "Some Answers to the Retirement-Consumption Puzzle," by Michael D. Hurd and Susann Rohwedder (Working Paper No. w12057, February 2006, .pdf format, 34p.).


The simple one-good model of life-cycle consumption requires "consumption smoothing." According to previous results based on partial spending and on synthetic panels, British and U.S. households apparently reduce consumption at retirement. The reduction cannot be explained by the simple one-good life-cycle model, so it has been referred to as the retirement-consumption puzzle. An interpretation is that at retirement individuals discover they have fewer economic resources than they had anticipated prior to retirement, and as a consequence reduce consumption. This interpretation challenges the life-cycle model where consumers are assumed to be forward-looking. Using panel data, we find that prior to retirement workers anticipated on average a decline of 13.3% in spending and after retirement they recollected a decline of 12.9%: widespread surprise is not the explanation for the retirement-consumption puzzle. Workers with substantial wealth both anticipated and recollected a decline. Therefore, for many workers the decline is not necessitated by the fall in income that accompanies retirement. Poor health is associated with above-average declines. At retirement time spent in activities that could substitute for market-purchased goods increases. Apparently a number of factors contribute to the decline in spending, which, for most of the population, can be accommodated in conventional models of economic behavior.

25. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY]: "The Interaction between Retirement and Job Search: A Global Approach to Older Workers Employment," by Jean-Olivier Hairault, François Langot, and Thepthida Sopraseuth (Discussion Paper 1984, February 2006, .pdf format, 38p.).


This paper presents a theoretical foundation and empirical evidence in favor of the view that the tax on continued activity not only decreases the participation rate by inducing early retirement, but also badly affects the employment rate of older workers just before early retirement age. Countries with an early retirement age at 60 also have lower employment rates for old workers aged 55-59. Based on the French Labor Force Survey, we show that the likelihood of employment is significantly affected by the distance from retirement, in addition to age and other relevant variables. We then extend McCall's (1970) job search model by explicitly integrating life-cycle features and retirement decisions. Using simulations, we show that the effective tax on continued activity caused by French social security system in conjunction with the generosity of unemployment benefits for older workers helps explain the low rate of employment just before the early retirement age. Decreasing this tax, thus bringing it closer to the actuarially-fair scheme, not only extends the retirement age, but also encourages a more intensive job-search by older unemployed workers.

26. ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT: "The Ageing Challenge in Norway: Ensuring a Sustainable Pension and Welfare System," by Benoît Bellone and Alexandra Bibbee (Economics Department Working Paper No. 480, February 2006, .pdf and Word format, 46p.).


Norway will face a fast maturing old age pension scheme over the 30 next years whereas oil revenues will supply only a part of implicit liabilities related to the present generation. This working paper examines the recently proposed new measures to strengthen long term fiscal sustainability in Norway. Even though a broad agreement was reached in the parliament on the proposed principles of pension reform, crucial elements are still under discussion, among these the decision on a flexible retirement age based on actuarially fair notional accounts and the strength of the link between income and benefits. Estimated savings arising from strengthened work incentives introducing a longevity coefficient and less generous indexation are three percentage points of GDP over the long term compared to an expected nine percentage points of GDP financing gap for welfare spending. For the proposals to have maximum impact, public subsidies to existing early retirement schemes should be removed and eligibility for disability pensions and long-term sick leaves tightened.


A. "Conditional Indexation in Defined Benefit Pension Plans," by Jacob A. Bikker and Peter J.G. Vlaar (DNB Working Paper No. 86, January 2006, .pdf format, 22p.).


In the Netherlands, the typical pension contract nowadays comprises an average earnings defined benefit pension in which only nominal benefits are guaranteed, but with the intention to provide wage indexation. In the new supervisory regime, the guaranteed pension rights, based on market valuation, are subject to risk-based solvency requirements. Provisioning is not required for conditional pension rights, though contributions have to be consistent with the indexation ambition, as communicated with the participants. This paper analyses to what extent indexation is indeed likely, given different indexation and contribution policies. Thereby, it explains how intergenerational risk sharing in defined benefit pension plans can provide a reasonable insurance of pension benefits against wage or price inflation. Moreover, it illustrates the tenability of defined benefit pension plans under ageing, the new fair-value accounting regimes, and possible volatility on financial markets. The analysis is based on a stochastic Pension Asset and Liability Model for the Netherlands (PALMNET). According to the PALMNET simulations, voluntary provisioning for indexation is to be recommended. Without reserving, indexation cuts may be severe and the solvency requirements incidentally lead to extreme premiums. Fully guaranteed indexation is virtually unaffordable under the new supervisory regime, because the real discount rate is generally both very low and volatile.

B. "Valuation of Conditional Pension Liabilities and Guarantees under Sponsor Vulnerabilities," by Dirk Broeders (DNB Working Paper No. 82, January 2006, .pdf format, 40p.).


This paper analyzes the relationship between a pension fund with conditionally indexed defined benefit liabilities and its sponsor, using contingent claims analysis. As pension funds run a mismatch risk, future surpluses and shortfalls will occur. Surpluses are divided between beneficiaries and sponsor through conditional indexation and refunding. Covering an eventual loss at the pension fund level is a function of the sponsor's financial ability to do so. This paper suggests that this system creates an asymmetric allocation of the residual risk between sponsor and beneficiaries. The main conclusion is that the sponsor's vulnerability negatively impacts the optimum risk profile of a defined benefit scheme with conditional indexation and thereby the market value of conditional indexation.


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

28. Age and Ageing (Vol. 35, No. 2, March 2006).

29. Alzheimer's and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association (Vol. 2, No. 1, January 2006).

30. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 163, No. 5, March 1, 2005).

31. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 96, No. 3, February 2006). 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.

32. Research in Nursing and Health (Vol. 29, No. 1, February 2006).

33. Research on Aging (Vol. 28, No. 2, March 1, 2006). 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 these databases and this issue.

34. 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.

Educational Gerontology (Vol. 32, No. 3, March 2006). 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.

Journal of Aging and Physical Activity (Vol. 14, No. 1, 2006).

Journal of the American Geriatric Society (Vol. 54, No. 2, 2006).

35. 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: There was no literature updates provided for the week of February 22, 2006.

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of February 22, 2006:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of February 22, 2006:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of February 22, 2006:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of February 22, 2006:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of February 22, 2006:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


IV. Conferences:

36. FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CHICAGO: "State and Local Government Pension Forum," a forum to be held February 28, 2006.


V. Websites of Interest:

37. PBS DOCUMENTARY: "Almost Home is a feature-length documentary that follows the daily lives of residents and staff at Saint John's On The Lake, a retirement community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Through a memorable cast of characters, candid interviews and true-life drama, ALMOST HOME presents real stories of aging - frightening, tender, funny, surprising and honest."

Click on "Schedule" to find out when this program airs in your area.


A. "A Note to Health and Retirement Study Participants from HRS staff at the University of Michigan, and from the Social Security Administration" concerning release of personal SSA information.

B. "2006 Participant Brochure," (February 2006, .pdf format, 4p.).




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology and
Center for Demography of Health and Aging
Rm. 4470A Social Science Bldg
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Phone: (608) 265-9240
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