Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #333--April 13, 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. Data:

1. US NATIONAL HEALTH INTERVIEW SURVEY UPDATES: The National Center for Health Statistics has posted the most recent changes to the 2003 NHIS data and documentation. These changes can be seen at:

See the entries for Mar. 23, 24, and 31, 2006.

NHIS Data and Documentation:

2. INTEGRATED PUBLIC USE MICRODATA SERIES CORRECTION: On Apr. 7, 2006, the University of Minnesota IPUMS project announced it had "posted new versions of all of the 2000 samples and all of the ACS (American Community Survey) samples: a correction was made to the OCC variable." For more information see:


II. Reports and articles:

4. US NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS REPORT: "Health Characteristics of Adults 55 Years of Age and Over: United States, 2000-2003," by Charlotte A. Schoenborn, Jackline L. Vickerie, and Eve Powell-Griner (Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics No. 370, April 2006, .pdf format, 32p.).


A. "CMS Issues Two Final Guidance Documents Related To National Coverage Process" (Apr. 11, 2006). There are links to the documents at the bottom of the news release.

B. "Medicare Announces Funding For Health Insurance Counseling Programs For 2006" (Apr. 5, 2006).

6. _MONTHLY LABOR REVIEW_ ARTICLE: "Projected pension income: equality or disparity for the baby-boom cohort?" by James H. Moore, Jr.(Vol. 129, No. 6, March 2006, .pdf format, p. 58-67). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

7. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING MEDIA RELEASE: "Police checks and more random inspections for aged care" (SS034/06, Apr. 10, 2006, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).


A. "Looking at Act II of Women's Lives: Thriving & Striving from 45 On," by Jean Kalata (April 2006, .pdf format, 60p.).

B. "Trends in Manufacturer Prices of Prescription Drugs Used by Older Americans," by David Gross, Leigh Gross, Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, and Susan Raetzman (April 2006, .pdf format, 18p.).

Scroll to "2005 Year-End Update" under both "Brand Name Prescription Drugs" and "Generic Prescription Drugs" for links to full text.

C. "Designing 401(k) Plans That Encourage Retirement Savings: Lessons From Behavioral Finance," by John Turner (Issue Brief, March 2006, .pdf format, 19p.).

D. "Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Programs," by Enid Kassner (Fact Sheet, March 2006, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

E. "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation 2005 Fiscal Year Report: An Agency Facing Continuing Financial Challenges," by John Turner (Fact Sheet, March 2006, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

F. "New Medicare Drug Benefit is Meeting or Exceeding Expectations" (Apr. 12, 2006).

G. "The Policy Book: AARP Public Policies 2006" (April 2006, .pdf format).

H. _AARP THE MAGAZINE_ (May & June 2006). Selected articles from the latest edition are now available.

Note: This is a temporary address. When the next _AARP The Magazine_ is released, this one, along with all others back to 2003, will be available via the drop down menu on the right side of the page.

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

Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking

9. BROOKINGS INSTITUTION REPORT: "Improving Opportunities and Incentives for Saving by Middle- and Low-Income Households," by William G. Gale, Jonathan Gruber, and Peter R. Orszag (Hamilton Project White Paper 2006-02, April 2006, .pdf format, 26p.).

Link to full text is at the bottom of the page.

10. POPULATION ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA PAPER: "Childhood Conditions and Exceptional Longevity," by Leonid A. Gavrilov, Natalia S. Gavrilova (National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago [Illinois], March 2006, .pdf format, 35p.).


Related Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation:

11. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION REPORT: "An In-Depth Examination of Formularies and Other Features of Medicare Drug Plans," by Jack Hoadley and Elizabeth Hargrave (April 2006, .pdf format, 51p.).

12. GENWORTH FINANCIAL REPORT: "Genworth Financial 2006 Cost of Care Survey: Nursing Homes, Assisted Living Facilities and Home Care Providers"(March 2006, .pdf format, 32p.).

Press release:

More information on Genworth Financial:

13. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE PERIODICAL: _EBRI Notes_ (Vol. 27, No. 4, April 2006, .pdf format, 12p.).

14. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU ARTICLE: "Full-Time Work Rises Among U.S. Elderly," by Murray Gendell (April 2006).

15. MAXWELL SCHOOL (SYRACUSE [NEW YORK] UNIVERSITY] CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH POLICY BRIEF: "Changing Economic Incentives in Long-Term Care,"by R. Tamara Konetzka (Policy Brief No. 36, 2006, .pdf format, 31p.).

16. _NATURE_ News and Views Article: "Ageing: Chromatin unbound," by an Vijg and Yousin Suh (Vol. 440, No. 7086, Apr. 13, 2006, HTML and .pdf format, p. 874-875). Note: this article is freely available to the public.

17. _JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION_ ARTICLE: "Effects of Conjugated Equine Estrogens on Breast Cancer and Mammography Screening in Postmenopausal Women With Hysterectomy," by Marcia L. Stefanick, Garnet L. Anderson, Karen L. Margolis, Susan L. Hendrix, Rebecca J. Rodabough, Electra D. Paskett, Dorothy S. Lane, F. Allan Hubbell, Annlouise R. Assaf, Gloria E. Sarto, Robert S. Schenken, Shagufta Yasmeen, Lawrence Lessin, and Rowan T. Chlebowski (Vol. 295, No. 14, Apr. 12, 2006, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1647-1657). Note: this article is freely available to the public.

US National Institutes of Health News Release: "WHI Updated Analysis: No Increased Risk of Breast Cancer with Estrogen-Alone" (Apr. 11, 2006).


A. _A Palliative Ethic of Care: Clinical Wisdom at Life's End_, by Joseph J. Fins, reviewed by Mellar P. Davis (Vol. 354, No. 15, Apr. 13, 2006, p. 1653-1654).

B. _End-of-Life Decision Making: A Cross-National Study_, edited by Robert H. Blank and Janna C. Merrick (Vol. 354, No. 15, Apr. 13, 2006, p. 1654).


A. "Life expectancy: women now on top everywhere" (editorial extract, Vol. 332, No. 7545, Apr. 8, 2006, p. 808).

B. "All older people should be guaranteed basic level of care," by Michael Day (news extract, Vol. 332, No. 7545, Apr. 8, 2006, p. 810).


III. Working Papers:

20. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "The Impact of AIDS on Older-age Parents in Cambodia," by John E. Knodel, Zachary S. Zimmer, Kiry Sovan Kim, and Sina Puch (PSC Research Report 06-594, April 2006, .pdf format, 31p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

Click on PDF icon for link to full text.

21. National Bureau of Economic Research:

A. "Political Risk Versus Market Risk in Social Security," by John B. Shoven and Sita N. Slavov (w12135, April 2006, .pdf format, 20p.).


Pay-as-you-go Social Security is typically characterized as a universal defined benefit pension program. Implicit in this characterization is a sense that the participant's investment in future benefits is somehow guaranteed, or safe from risk. This study develops the concept of " political risk" as the possibility that some future legislature will be forced to change the tax and benefit provisions of pay-as-you-go social security programs, when there are changes in the demographic and macroeconomic variables that support it. Thus there is a "political risk" to participants that might be compared to the "market risk" in a personal accounts retirement scheme. In this paper, we carry out a detailed quantitative analysis of political risk in the U.S. Social Security system, as well as an overview of policy reforms in several European countries that demonstrate political risk more broadly across social security systems. For the U.S., we compute the internal rates of return (IRRs) from Social Security for various age groups and income levels, using the existing law in effect each year since 1939. We find considerable variation in IRRs through time for any birth cohort. Participants experienced significant declines in IRRs as a result of adjustments made to restore the system's solvency in 1983 and 1994. If the system were brought into actuarial balance in 2005, younger cohorts would experience another significant decline in their lifetime IRR. Our review of other countries demonstrates political risk in other social security systems as well. Law changes necessitated by actuarial imbalances pass demographic risk on to participants. The debate over personal accounts, therefore, is not one of "safe" versus "risky" benefits, but one of portfolio choice.

B. "The Dynamics of the Age Structure, Dependency, and Consumption," by Heinrich Hock and David N. Weil (w12140, April 2006, .pdf format, 34p.).


We examine the dynamic interaction of the population age structure, economic dependency, and fertility, paying particular attention to the role of intergenerational transfers. In the short run, a reduction in fertility produces a "demographic dividend" that allows for higher consumption. In the long run, however, higher old-age dependency can more than offset this effect. To analyze these dynamics we develop a highly tractable continuous-time overlapping generations model in which population is divided into three groups (young, working age, and old) and transitions between groups take place in a probabilistic fashion. We show that most highly developed countries have fertility below the rate that maximizes steady state consumption. Further, the dependency-minimizing response to increased longevity is to raise fertility. In the face of the high taxes required to support transfers to a growing aged population, we demonstrate that the actual response of fertility will likely be exactly the opposite, leading to increased population aging.

C. "Population Aging," by David N. Weil (w12147, April 2006, .pdf format, 15p.).


Population aging is primarily the result of past declines in fertility, which produced a decades long period in which the ratio of dependents to working age adults was reduced. Rising old-age dependency in many countries represents the inevitable passing of this "demographic dividend." Societies use three methods to transfer resources to people in dependent age groups: government, family, and personal saving. In developed countries, families are predominant in supporting children, while government is the main source of support for the elderly. The most important means by which aging will affect aggregate output is the distortion from taxes to fund PAYGO pensions.

22. UK PENSION POLICY INSTITUTE REPORT: "NPSS policy and design choices," by Alison O'Connell (PPI Discussion Paper, April 2006, .pdf format, 48p.).

More information about PPI:

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

23. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 96, No. 4, April 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.

24. Journal of Aging and Health (Vol. 18, No. 2, April 2006). Note: Full electronic text of these journals are available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

25. Journals of Gerontology (A), Biological and Medical Sciences (Vols. 61A, Nos. 4, April 2006). Note: Full electronic text of these journals are available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of these database and these issues.

26. INGENTACONNECT: INGENTACONNECT 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.

European Journal of Public Health (Vol. 16, No. 2, April 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.

Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Vol. 47, No. 1, 2006). 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. 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 Apr. 12, 2006:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Apr. 12, 2006:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Apr. 12, 2006:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Apr. 12, 2006:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Apr. 12, 2006:

F. Ophthalmology Research: Literature for the week of Apr. 12, 2006:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Conferences:

28. US NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS 2006 DATA USERS CONFERENCE, to be held Jul. 10-12, 2006 in Washington, D.C. For more information see:

29. CONFERENCEALERTS.COM: has recently updated its gerontology conferences page.


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

30. US HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "The Future of Social Security," a hearing held Mar. 9, 2005 (House Serial Publication 109-12, .pdf format, 110p.).

31. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING PUBLICATION: "The Impact of Direct-To-Consumer Drug Advertising on Seniors' Health and Health Care Costs," a hearing held Sep. 29, 2005 (Senate Hearing 109-317, ASCII text and .pdf format, 124p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "109-317" (without the quotes).

32. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE HEARING TESTIMONY: "Saving for the 21st Century: Is America Saving Enough to be Competitive in the Global Marketplace?" a hearing held Apr. 6, 2006 (.pdf format).

VII. Websites of Interest:

33. AARP GLOBAL AGING PROGRAM PORTFOLIO: "Portfolio on Long-Term Care." This meta-page links to reports, event proceedings, opinions, speeches, and other relevant resources pertinent to the subject.

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