Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #38--June 15, 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. HRS: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study has announced "1996 HRS Preliminary Special Release of Modules Data Available."

Health and Retirement Study:

2. WHO HEALTHY LIFE EXPECTANCY COUNTRY RANKINGS: The World Health Organization has released Healthy Life Expectancy Country Rankings for 191 countries (overall and by sex). Rankings are a available in HTML and Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format.

3. AOA: The US Administration on Aging has released two tables created from US Census Bureau data:

A. 1999 Census Estimates of the Older Population, for States: The 60+ Population for US States and Territories

B. 1999 Census Estimates of the Older Population, for States: Older Population by Age Group (50+, etc.) (Rank Based on Percentages)


II. Reports and articles:

4. US SUPREME COURT OPINION: REEVES v. SANDERSON PLUMBING PRODUCTS, INC. (No.99-536. Argued March 21, 2000 -- Decided June 12, 2000). Syllabus, Opinion, and Concurrence are available in HTML and .pdf formats at the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University:

Syllabus, Opinion, and Concurrence (HTML format only) with hyperlinks to other relevant opinions are available at FindLaw:

Click on "2000 Decisions," then scroll to "REEVES v. SANDERSON PLUMBING PRODUCTS, INC."

5. NEC/DPC REPORT: The US National Economic Council/Domestic Policy Council has released "Prescription Drug Coverage & Rural Medicare Beneficiaries: A Critical Unmet Need (June 2000, .pdf format, 12p.). Note: "The National Economic Council was created by a presidential executive order which was released January 25, 1993. The principal functions of the Council are: to coordinate the economic policy-making process with respect to domestic and international economic issues; to coordinate economic policy advice to the President; to ensure that economic policy decisions and programs are consistent with the President's stated goals, and to ensure that those goals are being effectively pursued; and to monitor implementation of the President's economic policy agenda."

6. COMMONWEALTH FUND REPORT: "Malnutrition and Dehydration in Nursing Homes: Key Issues in Prevention and Treatment," by Sarah Greene Burger, Jeanie Kayser-Jones, and Julie Prince Bell (June 2000, .pdf format, 55p.). Note: The Commonwealth Fund is a philanthropic foundation.

>From the Executive Summary:

Studies using a variety of measurements and performed over the last five to 10 years on different nursing home subgroups have shown that from 35 percent to 85 percent of US nursing home residents are malnourished. Thirty to 50 percent are substandard in body weight. Specific components of The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 (NHRA) address the prevention of both malnutrition and dehydration: these include provisions for resident assessment, individualized care planning, physician oversight, standards for sufficient nurse staffing, and the provision of quality of life, care, and service. This law mandates that facilities meet residents nutrition and hydration needs. Yet the level of malnutrition and dehydration in some American nursing homes is similar to that found in many poverty-stricken developing countries where inadequate food intake is compounded by repeated infections. Four issues are key to the prevention and treatment of malnutrition and dehydration: inadequate staffing, poor environment, insufficient data collection, and lack of enforcement. Finding solutions that address these issues will require understanding and cooperation from all involved residents and their families, nursing home directors, geriatricians and nursing home staff, and government regulators.

7. DHHS OAS OIG REPORT: The Office of Audit Services of the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Social Services has released: "Medicare Program; Expanded Coverage of Outpatient Diabetes Self-Management Training Services, (A-14-99-00207, June 2000, .pdf format, 28p.).

>From the Abstract:

This final report points out that proposed payment rates established for diabetes self-management training (DSMT) for both individual and group sessions are inflated because the proposed rates include calculation errors. In addition, it appears the group session payment rate is substantially higher than that being charged in the marketplace. As a result, Medicare could make improper payments for DSMT training totaling $50 million for Fiscal Years 2000 through 2003. Also, Medicare beneficiaries could be adversely affected by the inflated payment rates in the amount of $12.5 million for co-payments during the same period. We recommended that the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) further review the rates contained in the proposed rule. At a minimum, the rates should be adjusted downward to correct the calculation errors noted by our review. We plan to expand our work in this area into a national study of the training services being rendered. If HCFA finalizes the proposed rates before our work is completed, then we suggest that HCFA acknowledge in the final rule that the Office of Inspector General is performing additional work and the rates may be modified at a later date.

8. _BMJ_ ARTICLE: "Socioeconomic variation in hysterectomy up to age 52: national, population based, prospective cohort study," by Sarah F. Marshall, Rebecca J.J Hardy, and Diana Kuh (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 320, No. 7249, Jun. 10, 2000, HTML and .pdf formats, p. 1579).

9. _NEJM_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Genetic and Environmental Factors in Age-Related Nuclear Cataracts in Monozygotic and Dizygotic Twins," by Christopher J. Hammond, Harold Snieder, Tim D. Spector, and Clare E. Gilbert (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 342, No. 24, Jun. 15, 2000, p. 1786-90). Note: Full text of _NEJM_ is restricted to subscribers to the print edition.


A. "Implications of an Aging Registered Nurse Workforce," by Peter I. Buerhaus, Douglas O. Staiger, and David I. Auerbach (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 22, Jun. 14, 2000, p. 2948-2954, HTML and .pdf formats).

B. "Physical Activity and Risk of Stroke in Women," by Frank B. Hu, Meir J. Stampfer, Graham A. Colditz, Alberto Ascherio, Kathryn M. Rexrode, Walter C. Willett, and JoAnn E. Manson (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 22, Jun. 14, 2000, p. 2961-2967, HTML and .pdf formats).

11. THE _LANCET_ DISPATCH: "Survey finds most Germans in support of assisted euthanasia," by Nigel Glass (The _Lancet_, Vol. 355, No. 9220, Jun. 10, 2000, p. 2057, HTML and .pdf formats). Note: The _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content.

Scroll to "Dispatches" and click on "Survey Finds Most Germans..."

12. _SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL_ (VIA MEDSCAPE) ARTICLE: "Income Inequality and All-Cause Mortality in the 100 Counties of North Carolina," by Paul H. Brodish, Mark Massing, and Herman A. Tyroler (_Southern Medical Journal_, Vol. 93, No. 5, May 2000, p. 386-391). Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.


13. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Stress: The Invisible Hand in Eastern Europe's Death Rates," by Richard Stone (_SCIENCE_, Vol. 288, No. 5472, Jun. 9, 2000, p. 1732-1733). Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this article. Check your organization's library.


A. "A universal pattern of mortality decline in the G7 countries," by Shripad Tuljapurkar, Nan Li, and Carl Boe (_Nature_, Vol. 406, No. 6788, Jun. 15, 2000, p. 789-792). Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this article. Check your organization's library.

Click on "News and Views" on the left side of the screen for the next listed article:

B. Demography: "Greater lifetime expectations," by Shiro Horiuchi (_Nature_ News and Views, Vol. 406, No. 6788, June 15, 2000, p. 744-745, HTML and .pdf formats).

Click on "News and Views" on the left side of the screen.

C. "Living proof" (_Nature_ Feature of the Week, June 15, 2000). This feature of the week contains links to the above two articles as well as two other articles and a book review from previous issues of the magazine. Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this content. Check your organization's library.


III. Working Papers:

15. NBER PAPERS IN AGING: "Participation and Investment Decisions in a Retirement Plan: The Influence of Colleagues' Choices," by Esther Duflo and Emmanuel Saez (National Bureau of Economic Research W7735, June 2000, .pdf format, 32p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper investigates whether peer effects play an important role in retirement savings decisions. We use individual data from the staff of a university to study whether individual decisions to enroll in a Tax Deferred Account plan sponsored by the university (and the choice of the mutual fund vendor for people who choose to enroll) are affected by the decisions of other employees in the same department. To overcome the identification problems, we separate the departments into sub-groups (along gender, status, age, and tenure lines) and we instrument the average participation of each peer group by the salary or tenure structure in this group. Our results suggest that peer effects are important. We find significant own-group peer effect on participation and on vendor's choice, but no cross-group peer effects.

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

16. NBER WORKING PAPERS: "The Effects of Investing Social Security Funds in the Stock Market When Fixed Costs Prevent Some Households from Holding Stocks," by Andrew B. Abel (National Bureau of Economic Research W7739, June 2000, .pdf format, 44p.).

>From the Abstract:

With fixed costs of participating in the stock market, consumers with high income will participate in the stock market, but consumers with lower income will not participate. If a fully-funded defined-contribution social security system tries to exploit the equity premium by selling a dollar of bonds per capita and buying a dollar of equity per capita, consumers who save but do not participate in the stock market will increase their consumption, thereby reducing saving and capital accumulation. Calibration of a general equilibrium model indicates that this policy could reduce the aggregate capital stock substantially, by about 50 cents per capita.

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


A. "Patterns of Time Use of People Age 55 to 64 Years Old: Some Cross-National Comparisons," by Anne H. Gauthier and Timothy M. Smeeding (Working Paper No. 20, March 2000, .pdf format, 31p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper examines the patterns of time use of adults age 55 to 64 years old in six countries: Austria, Canada, Finland, Italy, Sweden, and the United States. It examines the discontinuity in daily activities by employment status and gender. The paper uses nationally representative samples from time use surveys carried out in each country. We compute aggregate patterns of time use by employment status and gender for seven categories of activities: personal activities, paid work, unpaid work, housework, social leisure, active leisure, and passive leisure. We also compute dissimilarity indices to measure the degree of discontinuity in patterns of time use by employment status and gender. We find that the pattern of time use of non-employed adults resembles that of full-time employed people on their non-workdays. We also find evidence that the transition out of the labor force is associated with a convergence in pattern of time use of men and women in the USA, Canada, and Finland, but not in other countries. There appear to be continuities in the way people use their time as they grow older and retire from the labor force. We, however, raise the possibility that these results may hold only for the "young-old." Decreasing health and physical endurance at older ages may introduce significant discontinuities in patterns of time use at a later stage of the life-cycle. Our future work will examine the impact of health and daily limitation on patterns of time use at older ages.

Click on "Click here for the Adobe Acrobat version of Aging Studies Program Paper 20" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

B. "Association between Body Size and Mortality in Later Life," by Christine L. Himes (Working Paper No. 21, June 2000, .pdf format, 24p.).

>From the Abstract:

Rising prevalence of obesity in the United States has focused attention on the health consequences of excess weight. Obesity is linked to many of the major causes of death in the United States, including heart disease, some types of cancer, strokes, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. However, the effects of body size on mortality and health among the elderly are much less clear. This paper extends our current understanding of the relationship between body size and mortality by using two nationally representative, longitudinal datasets of individuals at older ages. These analyses indicate that obesity may not contribute greatly to increased mortality risks after age 70. In fact, obesity may be somewhat protective and lower the risk of death. At younger ages, however, the effects of obesity tend to operate in the opposite direction. Women especially appear to be at greater risk of death in their 50s and 60s if they are overweight.

Click on "Click here for the Adobe Acrobat version of Aging Studies Program Paper 21" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

18. SANTA FE INSTITUTE: Note: "The Santa Fe Institute is a private, non-profit, multidisciplinary research and education center, founded in 1984. Since its founding SFI has devoted itself to creating a new kind of scientific research community, pursuing emerging science."

"A Stochastic Overlapping Generations Economy with Inheritance," by I. Karatzas, M. Shubik, and W. Sudderth (WP 00-04-23, June 2000, .pdf, PostScript and gzipped PostScript formats, 25p.).

>From the Abstract:

An overlapping generations model of an exchange economy is considered, with individuals having a finite expected life-span. As the model is designed to be a fully playable game, conditions concerning birth, death, inheritance and bequests are fully specified.


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

19. Age and Ageing (Vol. 29, No. 3, May 2000). Note: This journal may be available in full electronic text (.pdf format) to your organization. Check your organization's library.

20. Experimental Aging Research (Vol. 26, No. 3, July 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full text in the EBSCO Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue. It may also be available in full text from the website below. Check your library for availability.

Click on page numbers for abstracts and possible full text.

21. Health and Social Work (Vol. 25, No. 2, May 2000) is available in electronic full text via the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database.

22. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences (A) Vol., 55A, No. 7, July 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.

23. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences (A) (Vol. 55A, No. 7, July 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.

24. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences (B) (Vol. 55B, No. 4, July 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.

25. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences (B) (Vol. 55B, No. 4, July 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.

26. 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 Epidemiology (Vol. 151, No. 11, Jun. 1, 2000).


V. Books:

27. NBER: _The Distributional Effects of Social Security Reform_, edited by Martin Feldstein and Jeffrey Liebman (National Bureau of Economic Research, forthcoming conference volume from a conference held October 21-23, 1999, .pdf format). At present, nine of the ten chapters are available online.


VI. Funding Opportunities:

28. NIH ANNOUNCEMENT: "Required Education in the Protection of Human Research Participants." "Beginning on October 1, 2000, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) will require education on the protection of human research participants for all investigators submitting NIH applications for grants or proposals for contracts or receiving new or non-competing awards for research involving human subjects." For more information see:


VII. Employment Opportunities:

29. AOA: The US Administration on Aging has announced several employment opportunities. For more information see:


VIII. Conferences:

30. MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER WORKSHOP: "The Michigan Retirement Research Center (MRRC) is presenting a three-day course, 'Stochastic Population Forecasts and their Use in Long-run Budgetary Projections,' in Washington, DC at George Washington University, July 26-28, 2000. A full course description can be found at the website. This course is organized by Ronald Lee, Professor of Demography and Economics at U.C. Berkeley, and Mountain View Research (Shripad Tuljapurkar and Michael Anderson). Those who are interested in the course must apply by July 12. Early application is encouraged, as classroom and computer lab space is limited to about 40 students." For more information see:


IX. Legislation Information Updates:

31. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING PUBLICATIONS: Note: These publications are available in print only, but can be ordered, free of charge from the website listed below.

A. "HCFA Regional Offices: Inconsistent, Uneven, Unfair" (106-19)

B. "Funerals, Burials and Consumers, Forums held in Clinton, Iowa and Cedar Rapids, Iowa" (106-21)

C. "The Right Medicine? Examining the Breaux-Frist Prescription for Saving Medicare" (106-22)

D. "Colon Cancer: Greater Use of Screenings Would Save Lives" (106-23)

32. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HEARING: "Legislation to Cover Prescription Drugs under Medicare," a hearing held June 13, 2000. Note: The Ways and Means Committee website has provided this testimony in a rather eccentric way. For opening statements, users simply click on the name of the presenter for the statement. For testimony, users must click on participants names or "PANEL", which will lead to a picture of of the panel. Then users must click on the picture of the person or the person's name for the testimony.

Hearing Testimony:


X. Websites of Interest:

33. NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING EPIDEMIOLOGY, DEMOGRAPHY, AND BIOMETRY PROGRAM (EDBP) RESOURCES: Highlight of the US National Institutes of Health National Institute on Aging EDBP Resources website is a five year bibliography of EDBP Publications. The bibliography runs from Fiscal Year 1993-1998, and is arranged alphabetically, by author, by year. At present it can only be browsed. The EDBP "plans, conducts, and directs epidemiology, demography, and biometry programs relevant to the mission of the NIA; collects and analyzes data regarding the distribution of the aged by such categories as sex, race, socioeconomic, and demographic characteristics and serves as a focal point for these data; and plans, initiates, coordinates, and analyzes national and international epidemiologic longitudinal studies and studies of special populations."

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