Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #354--September 14, 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 CENSUS SURVEY OF INCOME AND PROGRAM DYNAMICS TRANSITION TO DYNAMICS OF ECONOMIC WELL-BEING SYSTEM: "In an attempt to obtain a complete picture of the data needs of all of our users (both internal and external) for the Dynamics of Economic Well-being system, matrices have been developed to solicit your input. The results from these matrices will ultimately be used to determine the content for the new survey instrument. As indicated in the report distributed at the June 8, 2006 meeting at Brookings [Institution], we are using the items from the 1993 SIPP Longitudinal file as a starting point. Stakeholders are being asked to complete the matrix by indicating whether or not the item is critical and the frequency with which the item is needed (annually, monthly). In addition, please identify at the bottom of the matrix critical data items that are not currently included." Information at the site is available in .pdf, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint format.

2. INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH: ICPSR at the University of Michigan released several new datasets on June 7, 2006, which may be of interest to researchers in aging. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

Of possible interest to researchers in aging:

National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2004

All new and updated data in the last 90 days can be found at:

Click on "list"


3. LUXEMBOURG INCOME STUDY: LIS has announced the availability of data for France for the year 2000.

Data Accessibility:

II. Reports and articles:

4. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE REPORT: "Social Security Reform: Implications of Different Indexing Choices" (GAO-06-804, September 2006, .pdf format, 68p.).

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

5. US CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ISSUE BRIEF: "The Sustainable Growth Rate Formula for Setting Medicare's Physician Payment Rates" (September 2006, .pdf format, 8p.).

6. US NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS REPORT: "Impact of Medicare and Medicaid Probe Questions on Health Insurance Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2005," by Robin A. Cohen and Michael E. Martinez (September 2006).

7. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR PLANNING AND EVALUATION, OFFICE OF DISABILITY, AGING AND LONG-TERM CARE POLICY REPORT: "An Introduction to the National Nursing Assistant Survey," by Marie R. Squillace, Robin E. Remsburg, Anita Bercovitz, Emily Rosenoff, and Laura Branden (September 2006, HTML and .pdf format, 63p.).


A. "Medicare Part B Payments for Radiology Services Provided During Inpatient Stays: 2001 Through 2003" (A-01-04-00528, August 2006, .pdf format, 20p.).


Our objective was to determine whether carriers made inappropriate Part B payments for outpatient radiology services provided to Medicare beneficiaries during inpatient stays at prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals. During calendar years 20012003, carriers inappropriately made Part B payments for 100,034 outpatient radiology services provided to PPS hospital inpatients. Rather than billing the hospitals for these services, radiology suppliers billed the carriers and received separate payments. We recommended that CMS: (1) instruct the Medicare carriers to recover the 20 million dollars in potential overpayments identified in our review and monitor the recovery of those overpayments, (2) establish prepayment controls to detect and prevent separate payments for Medicare Part B radiology services provided to beneficiaries during inpatient stays in PPS hospitals and/or develop postpayment review procedures to identify suppliers that submit and receive payments for inappropriate billings, and (3) alert the Medicare carriers to the most common types of payment errors and help them educate radiology suppliers about such improper billings. CMS generally agreed with our recommendations.

B. "Medicare Cost Sharing for Older Americans Act Services" (OEI-02-04-00290, September 2006, .pdf format, 42p.).


This report assesses the extent to which States have implemented cost sharing under the Older Americans Act (OAA). The report also determines whether States implementing cost sharing do so in accordance with requirements designed to protect low-income individuals access to services. OIG based this study on data gathered from a written survey completed by State representatives from all 50 States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia; a review of relevant State documents; a review of AoA's participation data; and structured interviews with State Unit on Aging representatives, area agency officials, and State data officials. A total of 12 States have implemented cost sharing for at least 1 OAA service in at least 1 part of their State. We found that States that have implemented cost sharing do not always follow OAA requirements for cost sharing that are designed to protect low-income individuals access to services. Additionally, AoA has provided limited guidance to States about implementing cost sharing. Also, AoAs participation data cannot be used to determine the impact of cost sharing on participation rates. We recommend that AoA ensure that States cost sharing practices comply with requirements designed to protect low-income individuals access to services; provide additional guidance to States about implementing cost sharing in accordance with the OAA; and improve the quality of its data so that any effects of cost sharing can be measured. In its comments, AoA agrees with our findings that cost sharing is limited and that States are confused about cost sharing, but does not agree with our finding that it has provided limited guidance to States. AoA also disagrees with our finding and recommendation regarding the National Aging Program Information System/State Program Reports (NAPIS/SPR). AoA states that it will follow up on our observations and correct instances of noncompliance with the provisions of the OAA and will provide additional guidance to States.

C. "Medicare Home Oxygen Equipment: Cost and Servicing" (OEI-09-04-00420, September 2006, .pdf format, 22p.).


OIG found that based on the 2006 median fee schedule amount of 200.41 dollars, Medicare will allow 7,215 dollars for 36 months for concentrators that cost 587 dollars on average to purchase. Beneficiaries will incur $1,443 in coinsurance. Suppliers commonly provide used concentrators, which can last for several years. If Medicare treated concentrators like capped rental items and limited rental payments to 13 months, the program and its beneficiaries would realize considerable savings. Based on our analysis, minimal servicing and maintenance of concentrators and portable equipment are necessary. Beneficiaries are trained to perform limited routine maintenance on their concentrators, and major manufacturers recommend more comprehensive preventive maintenance annually or after several thousand hours of use. Servicing for portable equipment consists mostly of cylinder deliveries. OIG recommends that CMS work with Congress to further reduce the rental period for oxygen equipment and determine the necessity and frequency of nonroutine maintenance and servicing for concentrators. In addition, CMS should determine if a new payment methodology is appropriate for portable oxygen. CMS concurred with our recommendations and noted that the Presidents budget for fiscal year 2007 reduces the rental period to 13 months. In addition, the CMS proposed rule of August 3, 2006, addresses our recommendations regarding nonroutine maintenance and servicing for concentrators and the payment methodology for portable oxygen.

9. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT: "Life expectancy and disability in Australia 1988 to 2003" (September 2006, .pdf format, 44p.).

10. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASE: "Funding boost to improve dementia service delivery" (SAN082/06, Sep. 8. 2006, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

pension premiums," by Mark Zuiderwijk (Sep. 5, 2006).

12. GENERAL REGISTER OFFICE FOR SCOTLAND REPORT: "Life Expectancy for Administrative Areas within Scotland, 2003-2005" (September 2006, HTML and .pdf format, 36p.).

Click on title at the top of the page for link to .pdf full text.

13. STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA REPORT: "Adult mortality (age 15-64) based on death notification data in South Africa: 1997-2004" (September 2006, .pdf format, 180p.). SCH=3731


A. _Global Report on Aging_ (Summer 2006).

B. "Demographic Changes and Challenges in Europe," by Karl Kuhn (Global Aging Program Perspectives, September 2006).

C. "Caught in the NET: A Survey of Chicago Area Residents 40+ About Online Use and Safety," by Jennifer H. Sauer (September 2006, .pdf format, 22p.).

D. "AARP Election Watch 2006: Pulse of a Generation," by Curt Davies and William E. Wright (September 2006, .pdf format, 16p.). Note: this is the first of a series of weekly weekly reports summarizing AARP national election polling of Americans aged 42 and over). The first report concerns identity theft.


A. "EBRI Notes, Vol. 27, No. 9, September 2006, .pdf format, 16p.). The lead article is "Debt of the Elderly and Near Elderly, 1992-2004," by Craig Copeland.

B. "Measuring Retirement Income Adequacy: Calculating Realistic Income Replacement Rates," by Jack VanDerhei (EBRI Issue Brief #297, September 2006, .pdf format, 35p.).

16. ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE REPORT: "EPI Issue Guide: Retirement Security" (Revised September 2006, .pdf format, 18p.).

More information about EPI:

17. SOCIETY OF ACTUARIES/WOMEN'S INSTITUTE FOR A SECURE RETIREMENT/HEINZ FAMILY PHILANTHROPIES REPORT: "Society of Actuaries Key Findings and Issues: The Impact of Retirement Risk on Women: 2005 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey Report" (August 2006, .pdf format, 31p.).

18. CENTER FOR HEALTH DESIGN REPORT: "Health Promotion by Design in Long-Term Care Settings," by Anjali Joseph (2006, .pdf format, 19p.).

Click on "Download..." for link to full text.

More information on CHD:

19. NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA REPORT: "Domestic Workers Working Hard to Sustain American Families, Compromising Their Social Security," by Luisa Grillo-Chope and Carlos Ramos (September 2006, .pdf format, 9p.).

More information on NCLR:


A. "The Life and Debt Cycle: The Implications of Rising Credit Card Debt Among Older Consumers," by Deanne Loonin (July 2006, .pdf format, 35p.).

B. "Finding Help for Older Consumers with Credit Card Debt," by Deanne Loonin and Julia Devanthery (September 2006, .pdf format, 31p.).

More information on NCLC:

21. AIDS COMMUNITY RESEARCH INITIATIVE OF AMERICA REPORT: "Research on Older Adults With HIV," by Stephen E. Karpiak and R. Andrew Shippy (2006, .pdf format, 51p.). "ROAH is a comprehensive research study of 1000 people over the age of 50 living with HIV in New York City."

More information on ACRIA:


A. "An aged host promotes the evolution of a virulent coxsackievirus into a virulent strain," by Raina T. Gay, Sarah Belisle, Melinda A. Beck, and Simin Nikbin Meydani (Vol. 103, No. 37, Sep. 12, 2006, p. 13825-13830).

B. "A _Drosophila_ model for age-associated changes in sleep:wake cycles," by Kyunghee Koh, Joshua M. Evans, Joan C. Hendricks, and Amita Sehgal (Vol. 103, No. 37, Sep. 12, 2006, p. 13843-13847).


A. "Ageism in services for transient ischaemic attack and stroke," by John Young (Editorial Extract, Vol. 333, No. 7567, Sep. 9, 2006, p. 508-509).

B. "Underinvestigation and undertreatment of carotid disease in elderly patients with transient ischaemic attack and stroke: comparative population based study," by Jack F. Fairhead and Peter M. Rothwell (Article Abstract, Vol. 333, No. 7567, Sep. 9, 2006, p. 525-527).

C, Letting Him Down: making the euthanasia decision easier, by Tony Sheldon (Film Review Extract, Vol. 333, No. 7567, Sep. 9, 2006, p. 556).


A. "Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan: The Ohsaki Study," by Shinichi Kuriyama, Taichi Shimazu, Kaori Ohmori, Nobutaka Kikuchi, Naoki Nakaya, Yoshikazu Nishino, Yoshitaka Tsubono, and Ichiro Tsuji (Article Abstract, Vol. 296, No. 10, Sep. 13, 2006, p. 1255-1265).

B. "Medicare Spending Slows," by Mike Mitka (Capitol Health Call Extract, Vol. 296, No. 10, Sep. 13, 2006, p. 1225).


A. "Stem Cells: A Papal Study," by Debra Rosenberg and Claudia Kalb (Sep. 18, 2006).

B. "Finding & Seeking: Born in affluence, the baby boomers were driven to ask Big Questions about fulfillment and the meaning of life. How their legacy has changed us," by Jerry Adler and Julie Scelfo (Sep. 18, 2006).


III. Working Papers:


A. "What Determines Adult Cognitive Skills? Impacts of Pre-Schooling, Schooling and Post-Schooling Experiences in Guatemala," by Jere R. Behrman, John Hoddinott, John A. Maluccio, Erica Soler-Hampejsek, Emily L. Behrman, Reynaldo Martorell, Manuel Ramirez-Zea, and Aryeh D. Steind (WPS 06-11, April 2006, .pdf format, 38p.).


Most investigations of the importance of and the determinants of adult cognitive skills assume that (a) they are produced primarily by schooling and (b) schooling is statistically predetermined. But these assumptions may lead to misleading inferences about impacts of schooling and of pre-schooling and post-schooling experiences on adult cognitive skills. This study uses an unusually rich longitudinal data set collected over 35 years in Guatemala to investigate production functions for adult (i) reading-comprehension and (ii) non-verbal cognitive skills as dependent on behaviorally-determined pre-schooling, schooling and post-schooling experiences. Major results are: (1) Schooling has significant and substantial impact on adult reading comprehension (but not on adult non-verbal cognitive skills) --but estimates of this impact are biased upwards substantially if there is not control for behavioral determinants of schooling in the presence of persistent unobserved factors such as genetic endowments and/or if family background factors that appear to be correlated with genetic endowments are included among the first-stage instruments. (2) Both pre-schooling and post-schooling experiences have substantial significant impacts on one or both of the adult cognitive skill measures that tend to be underestimated if these pre- and post-schooling experiences are treated as statistically predetermined--in contrast to the upward bias for schooling, which suggests that the underlying physical and job-related components of genetic endowments are negatively correlated with those for cognitive skills. (3) The failure in most studies to incorporate pre- and post-schooling experiences in the analysis of adult cognitive skills or outcomes affected by adult skills is likely to lead to misleading over-emphasis on schooling relative to these pre-and post-schooling experiences. (4) Gender differences in the coefficients of the adult cognitive skills production functions are not significant, suggesting that most of the fairly substantial differences in adult cognitive skills favoring males on average originate from gender differences in completed grades of schooling and in experience in skilled jobs favoring males. These four sets of findings are of substantial interest in themselves. But they also have important implications for broader literatures, pointing to limitations in the cross-country growth literature of using schooling of adults to represent human capital, supporting hypotheses about the importance of childhood nutrition and work complexity in explaining the" Flynn effect" of substantial increases in measured cognitive skills over time, and questioning the interpretation of studies that report productivity impacts of cognitive skills without controlling for the endogeneity of such skills.

B. "Who Knows What About Their Pensions? Financial Literacy in the Chilean Individual Account System," by Jeremy Skog (WP 06-12, 2006, .pdf format, 31p.).


This paper examines the question of what affiliates of the Chilean pension system know about their pension system, and whether they respond to incentives to learn more about their benefits depending on whether they stand to gain most from a particular aspect of the pension system. We rely on the 2004 Social Protection Survey (Encuesta de Prevision Social, EPS) to assess individuals' financial literacy regarding several structural questions about their pension system. These questions are aggregated into several clusters, representing aspects of the pension lifecycle, and literacy along these vectors of knowledge is assessed using an integer scoring system. Using multivariate regression, we show the older, healthier, more educated, married male workers know more about the system. Also, union members, those with higher incomes, and workers at larger companies are also more financially informed. We also find that knowledge varies by subject area; accordingly, it is important to ascertain what literacy shortfalls must be targeted before determining what education efforts might be useful. We also conclude that people become more pension literate, as that knowledge becomes more useful.

C. "Cross-Cohort Differences in Health on the Verge of Retirement," by Beth J. Soldo, Olivia S. Mitchell, Rania Tfaily, and John F. McCabe (WPS 06-13, September 2006, .pdf format, 32p.).


Baby Boomers have left a unique imprint on US culture and society in the last 60 years, and it might be anticipated that they will also put their own stamp on retirement, the last phase of the life cycle. Yet because Boomers have not all fully retired, we cannot yet judge how they will fare as retirees. Instead, we focus on how this group compares with prior groups on the verge of retirement, that is, at ages 51-56. Accordingly, this chapter evaluates the stock of health which Early Boomers bring to retirement and compare these to the circumstances of two prior cohorts at the same point in their life cycles. Using three sets of responses from the Health and Retirement Study, we find some interesting patterns. Overall, the raw evidence indicates that Boomers on the verge of retirement are in poorer health their counterparts 12 years ago. Using a summary health index designed for this study, we find that those born 1948 to 1953 share health risks with the War Baby cohort. This suggests that most of the health decline instead began before the late 1940's. A more complex set of health conclusions emerges from the specific self-reported health measures. Boomers indicate they have relatively more difficulty with a range of everyday physical tasks, but they also report having more pain, more chronic conditions, more drinking and psychiatric problems, than their HRS earlier counterparts. This trend portends poorly for the future health of Boomers as they age and incur increasing costs associated with health care and medications. Using our health index, only those at the 75th percentile or higher are likely to be characterized as having good or better health.


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

27. European Journal of Palliative Care (Vol. 13, No. 5, 2006).

28. Journals of Gerontology (B) Psychological and Social Sciences (Vols. 61, Nos. 5, September 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 these issues.

29. Population and Development Review (Vol. 32, No. 3, September 2006).

30. 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.

Clinical Gerontologist (Vol. 29, No. 4, 2006).

Health and Social Work (Vol. 31, No. 3, 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.

Journal of Women & Aging (Vol. 18, No. 2, 2006)

Milbank Quarterly (Vol. 84, No. 3, 2006).

31. 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 Sep. 13, 2006:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Sep. 13, 2006:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Sep. 13, 2006:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Sep. 13, 2006:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Sep. 13, 2006:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Sep. 13, 2006:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Conferences:

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


VI. Legislation Information Updates:


A. "Roundtable: Securing Medicaid's Future: Spotlight on Managed Care," a hearing held Sep. 13, 2006 (.pdf format).

B. "A Generation at Risk: Breaking the Cycle of Senior Suicide," a hearing to held Sep. 14, 2006 (.pdf format).


VII. Websites of Interest:

34. AARP GLOGAL AGING PROGRAM PORTFOLIO ON LONG-TERM CARE: The site contains links to AARP and other resources on the topic.

AARP Global Aging Program Portfolio:

35. US National Institutes of update: NIHSeniorHealth has added a new page of resources about Paget's disease of bone to its website. More information about the update and a link to the main site are available from a NIH news release: "NIHSeniorHealth Adds Information on\ Paget's Disease of Bone" (Sep. 8, 2006).

36. US CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: "My Health, My Medicare." The site links to relevant documents about the open enrollment campaign, prescription drug plan finder, and more.

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