Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #37--June 8, 2000

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. BLS CENSUS FERRET: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics/Census Bureau FERRET data extractor has begun making National Center for Health Statistics Underlying Cause of Death data available for query. The extractor has the 1994 Underlying Cause of Death file available at this time. Users can extract raw data or create crosstabs, frequencies or SAS datasets. Note: This dataset, while not yet listed on the main FERRET page, is available.

Click on "Get FERRET Data" at the bottom of the page.


II. Reports and articles:

2. US SUPREME COURT OPINION: "TROXEL et vir. v. GRANVILLE, No. 99138. Argued January 12, 2000. Decided June 5, 2000. "Washington Rev. Code 26.10.160(3) permits [a]ny person to petition for visitation rights at any time and authorizes state superior courts to grant such rights whenever visitation may serve a child's best interest. Petitioners Troxel petitioned for the right to visit their deceased son's daughters. Respondent Granville, the girls' mother, did not oppose all visitation, but objected to the amount sought by the Troxels. The Superior Court ordered more visitation than Granville desired, and she appealed. The State Court of Appeals reversed and dismissed the Troxels' petition. In affirming, the State Supreme Court held, inter alia, that 26.10.160(3) unconstitutionally infringes on parents fundamental right to rear their children. Reasoning that the Federal Constitution permits a State to interfere with this right only to prevent harm or potential harm to the child, it found that 26.10.160(3) does not require a threshold showing of harm and sweeps too broadly by permitting any person to petition at any time with the only requirement being that the visitation serve the best interest of the child." Syllabus, Opinions, Concurrences, and Dissents are available in HTML and .pdf formats at the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University:

Opinion (HTML format only) with hyperlinks to other relevant opinions is available at FindLaw:

Click on "2000 Decisions," then scroll to "TROXEL v. GRANVILLE."

3. WHO PRESS RELEASE: The World Health Organization issued the following press release on June 4, 2000: "WHO Issues New Healthy Life Expectancy Rankings: Japan Number One in New Healthy Life System."

4. FRB ATLANTA _ECONOMIC REVIEW_ ARTICLE: "A Primer and Assessment of Social Security Reform in Mexico," by Marco A. Espinosa-Vega and Tapen Sinha (_Economic Review_, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Vol. 85, No. 1, 1st Quarter 2000, .pdf format, p. 1-23).

>From the Abstract:

Recent projections of a number of countries with pay-as-you-go pension systems have shown significant future actuarial imbalances. As a consequence, several of these countries, including Mexico, are engaged in redesigning their pension systems. From the U.S. perspective, Mexico's reform is of particular interest because of the similarities of its program to some proposals for the U.S. system. The Mexican government claims that it has started a move to a fully funded system. As proof, it points out that since 1997 Mexico has adopted a privately managed defined-contribution system. However, a pension system can be privately administered without being fully funded. It is the adoption of a fully funded system that would have the most significant macroeconomic effects in an economy: an increase in domestic savings and a drop in interest rates. The authors of this article contend that after reviewing the new system, one cannot tell whether the government is switching to a fully funded system. They review some potential gains and losses of the change in style of the system. However, they argue that regardless of whether the reform is a change of style or substance, additional information is required to effectively assess its net gains. They conclude that Mexico is in dire need of further research to guide it through its decision of whether and how to switch to a fully funded pension system.

5. GAO REPORT: "Federal Pensions: Judicial Survivors' Annuities System Costs" (General Accounting Office Report GGD-00-125, May 2000, .pdf format, 24p.).

Note: GAO Internet addresses are valid for only a limited period of time. After that time, documents can be found by searching the Government Printing Office:

and searching on title or report number.

6. NCHS REPORT: The US National Center for Health Statistics has released "Design and Estimation for the National Health Interview Survey, 1995-2004," (Series 2, Data Evaluation and Methods Research, No. 130, June 2000, .pdf format, 41p.).

Click on "View/download PDF" for full text.

7. BLS NEWS RELEASE: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has released "Employment Situation of Vietnam - Era Veterans." Included are a summary and nine text tables. Data are derived from the September 1999 Current Population Survey.

8. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Alzheimer-like neurodegeneration in aged antinerve growth factor transgenic mice," by Simona Capsoni, Gabriele Ugolini, Alessandro Comparini, Francesca Ruberti, Nicoletta Berardi, and Antonino Cattaneo (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 97, No. 12, June 6, 2000, p. 6826-6831). Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this article. Contact your organization's library for more information.

9. _NATURE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT AND EDITORIAL: Note: _Nature_ requires free registration before providing content.

A. "Photoactivated y-secretase inhibitors directed to the active site covalently label presenilin 1," by Yue-Ming Li, Min Xu, Ming-Tain Lai, Qian Huang, Jose L. Castro, Jillian Dimuzio-Mower, Timothy Harrison, Colin Lellis, Alan Nadin, Joseph G. Neduvelil, R. Bruce Register, Mohinder K. Sardana, Mark S. Shearman, Adrian L. Smith, Xiao-Ping Shi, Kuo-Chang Yin, Jules A. Shafer and Stephen J. Gardell (_Nature_, Vol. 405, No. 6787, June 8, 2000, p. 689-694). Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this article. Contact your organization's library for more information.

B. "Alzheimer's disease: Closing in on y-secretase," by Bart De Strooper (_Nature_, Vol. 405, No. 6787, June 8, 2000, p. 627-628). Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this article. Contact your organization's library for more information.


A. "Effectiveness of a Nurse-Based Outreach Program for Identifying and Treating Psychiatric Illness in the Elderly," by Peter V. Rabins, Betty S. Black, Robert Roca, Pearl German, Marsden McGuire, Beatrice Robbins, Rebecca Rye, and Larry Brant (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 21, June 7, 2000, p. 2802-2809, HTML and .pdf formats).

B. "The Public Health Model for Mental Health Care for the Elderly," by Ira R. Katz and James C. Coyne (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 21, June 7, 2000, p. 2844-2845, HTML and .pdf formats). Note: This is a _JAMA_ editorial.

11. DHHS OIG OAS REPORT: The Office of Audit Services of the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services has released "Audit of Medicare Part B Services Billed by California's Developmental Centers and State Hospitals for the Period January 1, 1993 through June 30, 1997, (A-09-98-00072, May 2000, .pdf format, 104p.).

>From the Abstract:

This final report discloses that California's Department of Developmental Services (DDS) was overpaid for 73 of 100 statistically sampled services. The point estimate of the overpayments was $13,046,880 for the 4 1/2 year period ended June 30, 1997. Fifty-nine of the sampled services were denied, and 14 were allowed but at lesser amounts. We recommend that the carrier develop with the Health Care Financing Administration's guidance a monitoring plan to ensure that DDS' future claims are brought into compliance with Medicare's rules. We also recommended that the identified overpayment not be recovered at this time pending further review by the OIG.

12. MEDPAC REPORT: "June 2000, Report to the Congress: Selected Medicare Issues," (Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, June 2000, .pdf format, 239p.). "The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is an independent federal body established by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 10533) to advise the U.S. Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program. The Commission's statutory mandate is quite broad: In addition to advising the Congress on Choice program and providers in Medicare's traditional fee-for-service program, MedPAC is also tasked with analyzing access to care, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare. The Commission's 17 members bring diverse expertise in the financing and delivery of health care services. Commissioners are appointed to three-year terms (subject to renewal) by the Comptroller General and serve part time. Appointments are staggered; the terms of five or six Commissioners expire each year. The Commission is supported by an executive director and a staff of analysts, who typically have backgrounds in economics, health policy, public health, or medicine."

13. _CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR_ SPECIAL: "Lives of a Century," by David Holmstrom (_Christian Science Monitor_ Homefront Special). "Ten Americans, born before 1900, look back on a century that spanned the Depression, world wars, and the advent of airplanes and automobiles." Note: Parts of this special contain audio. The RealPlayer plug-in or helper application is required to listen to these parts.


A. "Twilight Of The Boomers," By Daniel Okrent (_Time_, Vol. 155, No. 24, June 12, 2000).,3266,46439,00.html

B. "A Delicate Subject: How do you tell your aging mom and dad that they're going to have to move out of the house?" by Michelle Slatalla (_Time_, Vol. 155, No. 23, June 5, 2000).,5392,46133,00.html

15. _NEWSWEEK ARTICLE: "Grandma Knows Best," by Lynette Clemetson (_Newsweek_, June 12, 2000).


III. Working Papers:


A. "A Framework for Analyzing and Managing Retirement Risks," by Olivia S. Mitchell, and Zvi Bodie (PRC WP 2000-4, 2000, .pdf format, 27p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper provides an overview of new approaches and products to help people assess and meet their old-age security goals. We first examine retirement planning models and conclude that many do not yet incorporate key types of uncertainty deemed essential to economists and finance experts, including cross-asset correlations. Many financial planners also fall short of using the full range of tools of risk management hedging, insurance, and diversification to guide those making retirement plans. Turning to innovation, we examine several financial products that appear to offer new opportunities to protect against old-age risk. These products include inflation-linked annuities, survivor bonds, long-term care insurance, and reverse annuity mortgages. Some of the innovations arise from bundling existing insurance products. We also suggest that the arrival of new products to market that could protect retirement income have been slowed by market failures and institutional rigidities as well as information barriers; these have limited international diversification in investments, among other outcomes. There remains a profoundly important role for additional economic and financial research to better inform stakeholders on the costs and benefits of developing innovative products for retirement security.

B. "A Benefit of One's Own: Older Women's Retirement Entitlements Under Social Security," by Phillip B. Levine, Olivia S. Mitchell, and John W. Phillips (PRC WP 2000-5, 2000, .pdf format, 14p.).

>From the Abstract:

Under the US Social Security system, retired men on average receive higher benefits than do women. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) along with linked administrative records to explore differences by sex attributable due to differences in length of worklife, pay, eligibility and benefit rules. We examine the distribution of work histories and earnings of wives compared with their husbands to determine how much more women would have to work to become eligible for benefits on their own account. Among the eligible, we also estimate how much higher women's wages would have to be to collect benefits based on their own work records, rather than their spouses. We find that wives ineligible for benefits would have to work substantially more before becoming eligible. Among the eligible, just a modest increase in pay would enable them to receive higher benefits based on their own work records rather than as a spouse. These findings indicate that future increases in female market work will not yield large gains in benefit receipt for all women, but further increases in women's pay will enhance married women's retirement benefits.

C. "Implications of Changing Retirement Patterns and Policies in Higher Education," by Robert L. Clark and P. Brett Hammond (PRC WP 2000-6, 2000, .pdf format, 37p.).


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

17. Age and Ageing (Vol. 29, No. 2, March 2000). Note: Full electronic text (.pdf format) of this journal may be available. Check your library for more information.

18. Journal of Health Economics (Vol. 19, No. 4, July 2000). Note: Full electronic text (.pdf format) of this journal may be available. Check your library for more information.

Click on Tables of Contents in the left frame for table of contents.

19. CARL Uncover Journal Tables of Contents. Follow the instructions below to access tables of contents. CARL Uncover provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "Search Uncover"
C. click on "Search Uncover Now"
D. Type the Journal Name in the search box and click the radio button "Journal Title Browse"
E. click on the journal name
F. click on "journal issues"
G. click on the issues identified below

American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 90, No. 6, June 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full text in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database and the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

Demography (Vol. 37, No. 2, May 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.


V. Funding Opportunities:

20. NIH: International Studies On Health and Economic Development. "This Request for Applications (RFA) solicits projects that examine the effects of health on microeconomic agents (individuals, households and enterprises) and aggregate growth (cross-country growth analysis), as well as explores how health finance and delivery systems are a source of variation in health outcomes. Studies pursued must be relevant to populations in low- and middle-income nations and should preferably be either hypothesis testing or hypothesis generating. Letter of Intent Receipt Date: June 23, 2000; Application Receipt Date: August 29, 2000." For more information including funding availability see:


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

21. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING: "The Cash Balance Conundrum: How to Promote Pensions Without Harming Participants," a hearing held June 5, 2000.

Hearing Testimony:

Video Transcript of Hearing Testimony (RealPlayer, Running Time: 2 hours 23 minutes):


VII. Websites of Interest:

22. RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS ON THE ECONOMICS AND DEMOGRAPHY OF AGING: The National Institute on Aging produces, and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan maintains this site, which is the archive of this irregular periodical, which highlights ongoing research activity at the ten NIA sponsored research centers on the demography and economics of aging (University of California-Berkeley, University of Chicago, Duke University, University of Michigan, National Bureau of Economic Research, University of Pennsylvania, Rand Corporation, Stanford University, University of Southern California/University of California-Los Angeles, and the University of Wisconsin.). Issue No. 7 (May 2000), "The Health and Retirement Study Part I - History and Overview," has recently been released. All issues are in .pdf format.

23. INTERNET INFORMATION NOTES ADDITION: The Administration on Aging National Aging Information Center has added the following new sections to its Internet Information Notes metasite (discussed in CAAR #1, Sep. 16, 1999

item #16).

A. Careers in Aging

B. Gambling and Older Adults

C. Hearing Loss and Older Adults

Internet Information Notes:

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