Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #39--June 22, 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. ICPSR: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research released eight new studies on Jun. 21, 2000. Of possible interest to researchers in aging is:


>From the Abstract:

This data collection constitutes a portion of the historical data collected by the project "Early Indicators of Later Work Levels, Disease, and Death." With the goal of constructing datasets suitable for longitudinal analyses of factors affecting the aging process, the project collects military, medical, and socioeconomic data on a sample of white males mustered into the Union Army during the Civil War. The surgeons' certificates contain information from examining physicians to determine eligibility for pension benefits. Also included are questions regarding the age, occupation, residence, and military experience of the veterans. These data can be linked to AGING OF VETERANS OF THE UNION ARMY: MILITARY, PENSION, AND MEDICAL RECORDS, 1820-1940 (ICPSR 6837) and AGING OF VETERANS OF THE UNION ARMY: UNITED STATES FEDERAL CENSUS RECORDS, 1850, 1860, 1900, 1910 (ICPSR 6836) using the variable "recidnum." Note: All documentation, data, and SAS and SPSS data definition statements from study #2877 are freely available to the public.

Note: The Internet address above points to this study temporarily. It will always be available from ICPSR's main archive:

Search on the Study Number 2877.


II. Reports and articles:

2. URBAN INSTITUTE RETIREMENT PROJECT RETIREMENT BRIEF: "Employee Stock Ownership Plans: A Status Report," by Pamela Perun (Urban Institute Retirement Brief No. 10, June 2000, HTML and .pdf formats, 8p.).

>From the Introduction:

For the past 25 years, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) have provided employers with a means to transfer substantial ownership interests to their employees. But as the popularity of company stock as an investment for employees increases, employers have some new alternatives to consider. This report reviews the current status of ESOPs and describes the competition. In addition, it speculates about the future role of ESOPs.

Click on "PDF format" for .pdf version.


3. _MLR_ ARTICLE: "Economic and social conditions of children and the elderly," by David Scott Johnson (Bureau of Labor Statistics _Monthly Labor Review_, Vol. 123, No. 4, April 2000, p. 19-25, .pdf format).

>From the Abstract:

Both the elderly and children have experienced improvements in their health status, but do not share the same enhancements in economic well-being; data for the elderly are compared with data from a recent report on indicators of child well-being. This article expands on the previous studies, and provides a wider range of socioeconomic indicators to compare the status of the elderly and children.

4. AARP REPORT: AARP has released "Where There is a Will...Legal Documents Among the 50+ Population: Findings from an AARP Survey" (AARP Research Group, April 2000, .pdf format, 12p.).

>From the Abstract:

Among age 50+ Americans, 60% have a will, 45% have a durable power of attorney, and 23% have a living trust; but 36% have none of these legal documents and only 17% have all three. The proportion of persons having each kind of document increases with age, particularly for wills and durable powers of attorney. While 44% -- or fewer than half -- of persons age 50-54 have a will, 85% of those age 80 or older have one. Both income and education affect the likelihood of having a will. For example, while just 51% of those with a high school education or less have a will, 80% of those with a college degree have one. The proportion having a durable power of attorney also increases with education -- from 39% of those with a high school education or less, to 58% of those with a college degree. The findings were determined by surveying 1,028 adults age 50 and older during December 1999. Previously, similar data were obtained for AARP via a survey of adults age 45 and over in 1991.

Click on "Download or view" for full text.

5. DHHS OEI OIG REPORTS: The Office of Evaluations and Inspections of the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services has released:

A. "Medicare Reimbursement of Albuterol" (OEI-03-00-00311, June 2000, .pdf format, 25p.).

B. "Medicare Reimbursement of End Stage Renal Disease Drugs" (OEI-03-00-00020, June 2000, .pdf format, 26p.).

>From the Abstracts of A. and B.:

The two inspection reports compare Medicare's reimbursement amounts for covered drugs to amounts available through other sources. In the first report we found that Medicare and its beneficiaries would save $120 million a year if albuterol was reimbursed at the amount available to Medicaid, or $209 million a year if albuterol was reimbursed at the amount available to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Furthermore, we found that Medicare and its beneficiaries would save $47 million a year if Medicare reimbursed at prices available at chain pharmacies, or $115 million a year for prices available at Internet pharmacies. In the second report, we found that Medicare allowed amounts would be nearly halved for ESRD drugs if amounts were based on VA acquisition costs. Additionally we found that Medicare would save between 5 percent and 38 percent for five ESRD drugs if its allowed amounts were equal to Medicaid reimbursement including rebates.

C. "The Effect of Financial Screening and Distinct Part Rules on Access to Nursing Facilities" (OEI-02-99-00340, June 2000, .pdf format, 32p.).

>From the Abstract:

This inspection report examines the extent to which financial screening and distinct part rules limit access to nursing facilities for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. Overall, we found that distinct part rules do not appear to limit access for Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. As for financial screening, we found that nursing facilities commonly request financial information as part of the admissions process. However, when financial screening occurs, it primarily affects access for Medicaid beneficiaries. At this time, any potential effects of distinct part rules and financial screening are being tempered by a bed supply that generally exceeds demand and by States' initiatives that promote access. The dynamics of nursing home bed supply, however, could change in the future.

D. "Chiropractic Care: Comparison of Medicare Managed Care and Fee-for-Service" (OEI-04-97-00495), June 2000, .pdf format, 22p.).

>From the Abstract:

OEI compared Medicare beneficiary use of chiropractic services in managed care risk plans to that in fee-for-service. Chiropractic utilization in managed care risk plans was lower than in fee- for-service. Chiropractic utilization was higher in managed care risk plans when direct access was allowed versus primary care physician referral, but it was still lower than in fee-for-service. However, we saw no indication that managed care risk plans used Medicare co-payments to limit access to the service. Chiropractors provided most of the chiropractic treatments to beneficiaries in managed care risk plans.

6. _NEJM_ EDITORIAL: "The Pharmaceutical Industry -- To Whom Is It Accountable?" by Marcia Angell (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 342, No. 25, June 22, 2000, HTML format).


A. "Views of elderly people on living wills: interview study," by Rebekah Schiff, Chakravarthi Rajkumar, and Christopher Bulpitt, (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 320, No. 7250, Jun. 17, 2000, p. 1640-1641, HTML and .pdf formats).

B. "How living wills can help doctors and patients talk about dying," by Linda Emanuel (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 320, No. 7250, Jun. 17, 2000, p. 1618-1619, HTML and .pdf formats). Note: This is a _BMJ_ editorial.


A. "Recommendations for the Establishment of Primary Stroke Centers," by Mark J. Alberts, George Hademenos, Richard E. Latchaw, Andrew Jagoda, John R. Marler, Marc R. Mayberg, Rodman D. Starke, Harold W. Todd, Kenneth M. Viste, Meighan Girgus, Tim Shephard, Marian Emr, Patti Shwayder, and Michael D. Walker (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 23, June 21, 2000, p. 3102-3109, HTML and .pdf formats).

B. "The Imperative to Develop Dedicated Stroke Centers," by H.J.M. Barnett, and Alastair M. Buchan (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 23, June 21, 2000, p. 3125-3126, HTML and .pdf formats). Note: This is a _JAMA_ editorial.


A. "Neurobiology: Self-repair in the brain," by Anders Bjorklund and Olle Lindvall (_Nature_ News and Views, Vol. 405, No. 6789, June 22, 2000, p. 892-895, HTML and .pdf formats).

B. "Induction of neurogenesis in the neocortex of adult mice," by Sanjay S. Magavi, Blair R. Leavitt and Jeffrey D. Macklis (_Nature_, Vol. 405, No. 6789, June 22, 2000, p. 951-955). Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this article. Check your organization's library.


10. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS: Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of these articles. Check your organization's library.

A. "In vivo detection of amyloid plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease," by Daniel M. Skovronsky, Bin Zhang, Mei-Ping Kung, Hank F. Kung, John Q. Trojanowski, and Virginia M.-Y. Lee (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_ USA, Vol. 97, No. 13, June 20, 2000, p. 7609-7614).

B. "Biosynthesis of a major lipofuscin fluorophore in mice and humans with ABCR-mediated retinal and macular degeneration," by Nathan L. Mata, Jian Weng, and Gabriel H. Travis (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_ USA, Vol. 97, No. 13, June 20, 2000, p. 7154-7159).

11. MEDSCAPE ARTICLES: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting in the Elderly," by Hitoshi Hirose, Atushi Amano, Shigehiko Yoshida, Akihito Takahashi, Naoko Nagano, and Takushi Kohmoto (_Chest_ via Medscape, Vol. 117, No. 5, May 2000, p. 1262-1270).


B. "The Influence of Ethnicity on Use of Herbal Remedies in Elderly Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites," by Ernest J. Dole, Robert L. Rhyne, Carla A. Zeilmann, Betty J. Skipper, Melvina L. McCabe, and Tieraona Low Dog (_Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association_ via Medscape, Vol. 40, No. 3, May/June 2000, p. 359-365).



A. "Motorized fountains of youth: The Me Generation is driving the market for fun, sleek cars," by William J. Holstein (_US News and World Report_, Jun. 26, 2000).

B. "The American Dream tax: Congress finds surprising support for ending the levy on estates," by Jodie T. Allen (_US News and World Report_, Jun. 26, 2000).

C. "Getting a grip by revving the brain: Promising therapies for victims of stroke," by Nancy Shute (_US News and World Report_, Jun. 26, 2000).

13. _FORBES_ ARTICLE: "Age Will Be Served: The old jazz masters have improved with age," by Mike Zwerin (_Forbes_, Jul. 3, 2000).


III. Working Papers:

14. NBER WORKING PAPERS: "Financial Crisis, Health Outcomes and Aging: Mexico in the 1980s and 1990s," by David M. Cutler, Felicia Knaul, Rafael Lozano, Oscar Mendez, and Beatriz Zurita (National Bureau of Economic Research W7746, June 2000, .pdf format, 57p.).

>From the Abstract:

We study the impact of economic crisis on health in Mexico. There have been four wide-scale economic crises in Mexico in the past two decades, the most recent in 1995-96. We find that mortality rates for the very young and the elderly increase or decline less rapidly in crisis years as compared with non-crisis years. In the late 1995-96 crisis, mortality rates were about 5 to 7 percent higher in the crisis years compared to the years just prior to the crisis. This translates into a 0.4 percent increase in mortality for the elderly and a 0.06 percent increase in mortality for the very young. We find tentative evidence that economic crises affect mortality by reducing incomes and possibly by placing a greater burden on the medical sector, but not by forcing less healthy members of the population to work or by forcing primary caregivers to go to work.

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


A. "Worldwide Population Aging: Endogenous Policy Formation and Capital Market Transmissions in the Presence of Symmetric Demographic Shocks," by Mehmet Serkan Tosun (No. 27, June 2000, .pdf format, 40p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper examines the transition effects of population aging in more developed regions that is also expected to occur in developing regions in the near future. We address these effects by exploring the influences of internationally mobile capital and a politically responsive fiscal policy in a two-country overlapping generations model. Our results show that the combination of capital mobility and endogenous fiscal policy play an important role in how economies respond to population aging. Capital mobility has consumption smoothing effects but endogenous fiscal policy is the key factor in creating asymmetries between countries. The interaction of the two may even account for a change in the pattern, in addition to a change in the size, of the effects of population aging on economic growth and welfare when compared to closed economy and exogenous fiscal policy models. We find that even when the demographic shock in the two regions is symmetric, reaction to this shock depends on the timing of the shock. Overall, the late, developing country demographic shock produces relatively more favorable economic outcomes worldwide. Finally, our analysis of the timing of developing country aging indicates that an early aging scenario is more beneficial for both regions.

Click on "Click here for the Adobe Acrobat version of CPR Working Paper 27" for full text.

B. "Generational Conflict, Human Capital Accumulation, and Economic Growth," by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Mary E. Lovely, and Mehmet S. Tosun, (No. 28, June 2000, .pdf format, 34p.)

>From the Abstract:

Worldwide, dependency ratios are forecast to increase dramatically in the next 50 years. A great deal of attention has been devoted to understanding the changes in fiscal policies that "must" take place to accommodate these changes. In contrast, less effort has been concentrated on studying the fiscal shifts that will endogenously result from demographic pressures. An example of particular interest is the degree to which a more elderly population will support public spending for education. We use an overlapping-generations model to investigate the effect of this demographic transition on the endogenous determination of public spending for education. A demographic transition alters the identity of the median voter, leading to a preference for less education spending. If the public sector is inefficiently small, demographic transition exacerbates the underprovision of human capital. Alternatively, such a shift may trim an inefficiently large government, reduce tax rates and raise capital per worker enough to raise education spending. Thus, there is no automatic link between demographic transition and reduced support for those programs whose benefits are concentrated among the young.

Click on "Click here for the Adobe Acrobat version of CPR Working Paper 28" for full text.


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

16. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Vol. 30, No. 3, June 2000).

Click on Volume 30, Issue 3.

17. 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 Economic Review (Vol. 90, No. 2, May 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.

Canadian Journal on Aging (Vol. 19, No. 1, Spring 2000).

Journal of Aging and Identity (Vol. 5, No. 2, June 2000).

Journal of Aging and Social Policy (Vol. 11, No. 1, 1999).

Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Vol. 41, No. 2, June 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:

18. NIH: The US National Institutes of Health have announced the following funding opportunities:

A. Basic and Translational Research in Emotion (R01)

B. Basic and Translational Research in Emotion - Small Grants


VI. Websites of Interest:


A. Current Status of the Older Americans Act Reauthorization 106th Congress, 2nd (Current) Session has been updated as of June 16, 2000.

B. Older Americans Act Appropriation Information has also been updated as of June 16, 2000.

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