Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #393--June 28, 2007

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. Reports and articles:


A. "Defined Benefit Pensions: Conflicts of Interest Involving High Risk or Terminated Plans Pose Enforcement Challenges," (GAO-07-703, June 2007, .pdf format, 61p.).

B. "Medicare Ultrasound Procedures: Consideration of Payment Reforms and Technician Qualifications Requirements," (GAO-07-734, June 2007, .pdf format, 65p.).

C. "Nursing Homes: Federal Actions Needed to Improve Targeting and Evaluation of Assistance by Quality Improvement Organizations, (GAO-07-373, May 2007, .pdf format, 69p.).

Note: These are temporary addresses. GAO reports are available at:


2. US NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS REPORT: "Ambulatory Medical Care Utilization Estimates for 2005," by Catharine W. Burt, Linda F. McCaig, and Elizabeth A. Rechtsteiner (Advance Data Number 386, June 2007, .pdf format, 15p.).


3. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASE: "Funding boost for Home and Community Care in WA (Western Australia)" (Jul. 2, 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 1p.).


4. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT: "Hospitalisation due to falls in older people, Australia 2003-04," (Injury research and statistics series no. 32, July 2007, .pdf format, 81p.).


5. STATISTICS NETHERLANDS WEB MAGAZINE ARTICLE: "Nearly 1,400 centenarians" (Jun. 28, 2007).


6. UK NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE REPORT: "Improving services and support for people with dementia" (July 2007, .pdf format, 72p.).

Below the links to full text is a news release with topical information.



A. "The Brain Changes as it Ages, Sometimes in Surprising Ways," by D'Vera Cohn (June 2007).

B. "New Research Findings May Help Older People Make Better Decisions," by D'Vera Cohn and Marlene Lee (June 2007).


8. AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY 2007 VIRTUAL ANNUAL MEETINGS: This page links to "free online CME Opportunities that capture educational sessions that took place at the recent AGS Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington." Note: free registration is required before content is provided.

System requirements:


9. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE ISSUE BRIEF: "Why Are Widows So Poor?" by Nadia Karamcheva and Alicia H. Munnell (IB No. 7-9, June 2007, .pdf format, 6p.).


10. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH PERIODICAL: NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health (Spring 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 6p.).



A. "Interactive effects of age and estrogen on cognition and pyramidal neurons in monkey prefrontal cortex," by Jiandong Hao, Peter R. Rapp, William G. M. Janssen, Wendy Lou, Bill L. Lasley, Patrick R. Hof, and John H. Morrison (Vol. 104, No. 27, July 3, 2007, p. 11465-11470).

B. "Impaired dopamine release and synaptic plasticity in the striatum of PINK1-deficient mice," by Tohru Kitada, Antonio Pisani, Douglas R. Porter, Hiroo Yamaguchi, Anne Tscherter, Giuseppina Martella, Paola Bonsi, Chen Zhang, Emmanuel N. Pothos, and Jie Shen (Vol. 104, No. 27, July 3, 2007, p. 11441-11446). This article is available free of charge.

C. "Ceramide transfer protein function is essential for normal oxidative stress response and lifespan," by Raghavendra Pralhada Rao, Changqing Yuan, Jeremy C. Allegood, Satinder S. Rawat, Michael Beth Edwards, Xin Wang, Alfred H. Merrill, Jr., Usha Acharya, and Jairaj K. Acharya (Vol. 104, No. 27, July 3, 2007, p. 11364-11369). This article is available free of charge.


12. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION BOOK REVIEW: The Art of Aging: A Doctor's Prescription for Well-Being, by Sherwin B. Nuland, reviewed by Preeti N. Malani (Vol. 298, No. 1, Jul. 4, 2007, p. 99-100).



A. "Lawyers claim "concession" over drug prescribing for Alzheimer's disease," by Clare Dyer (News extract, Vol. 335, No. 7609, Jul. 7, 2007, p. 11).

B. "Court lets BMA challenge government decision on GP pensions," by Clare Dyer News extract, Vol. 335, No. 7609, Jul. 7, 2007, p. 15).

C. NICE's (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence decision on dementia drugs was "irrational)," High Court is told," by Clare Dyer (News extract, Vol. 334, No. 7608, June 30, 2007, p. 1337).

D. "Driving and dementia," by David A Breen, David P Breen, John W Moore, Patricia A Breen, and Desmond O'Neill (Clinical Review extract, Vol. 334, No. 7608, June 30, 2007, p. 1365-1369).


14. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles: "Association Between Body Mass Index and Mortality in an 80-Year-Old Population," by Yutaka Takata, Toshihiro Ansai, Inho Soh, Sumio Akifusa, Kazuo Sonoki, Kiyoshi Fujisawa, Shuji Awano, Shuntaro Kagiyama, Tomoko Hamasaki, Ikuo Nakamichi, Akihiro Yoshida, and Tadamichi Takehara (Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 55, No. 6, 2007, p. 913-917 via Medscape).


15. WEEKLY STANDARD ARTICLE: "Death on Demand," by Wesley J. Smith (Jul. 5, 2007).


II. Working Papers:

16. PRINCETON UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF POPULATION RESEARCH: "Are Life Satisfaction and Optimism Protective of Health Among Older Adults?" by Amy Love Collins, Noreen Goldman, and German Rodríguez (Working Paper No. 2007-02, 2007, .pdf format, 25p.).


This study examined associations among life satisfaction, optimism and mobility restrictions in a population based sample of 3,363 older persons from the Survey of Health and Living Status of the Near Elderly and Elderly in Taiwan. Zero-inflated Poisson regression was used to determine if life satisfaction and optimism were independently related to the number of mobility restrictions that developed during an approximately 8-year period. We adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, health status and depressive symptoms at baseline. Life satisfaction and optimism were both associated with the development of fewer mobility restrictions during follow-up, but only for those participants who had zero mobility restrictions at baseline. The results suggest a protective relationship between aspects of psychological well-being and physical decline in later life.


17. WHARTON SCHOOL (UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA) PENSION RESEARCH COUNCIL: Note: PRC requires free registration before providing working papers. "Reform of the Tax on Reversions of Excess Pension Assets," by Gaobo Pang and Mark Warshawsky (WP2007-15, June 2007, .pdf format, 33p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:



A. "Does Age Structure Forecast Economic Growth?" by David E. Bloom, David Canning, Guenther Fink, and Jocelyn E. Finlay (w13221, July 2007, .pdf format, 42p.).


Increases in the proportion of the working age population can yield a "demographic dividend" that enhances the rate of economic growth. We estimate the parameters of an economic growth model with a cross section of countries over the period 1960 to 1980 and investigate whether the inclusion of age structure improves the model's forecasts for the period 1980 to 2000. We find that including age structure improves the forecast, although there is evidence of parameter instability between periods with an unexplained growth slowdown in the second period. We use the model to generate growth forecasts for the period 2000 to 2020.

B. "The Welfare Cost of Asymmetric Information: Evidence from the U.K. Annuity Market," by Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, and Paul Schrimpf (w13228, July 2007, .pdf format, 58p.).


Much of the extensive empirical literature on insurance markets has focused on whether adverse selection can be detected. Once detected, however, there has been little attempt to quantify its importance. We start by showing theoretically that the efficiency cost of adverse selection cannot be inferred from reduced form evidence of how "adversely selected" an insurance market appears to be. Instead, an explicit model of insurance contract choice is required. We develop and estimate such a model in the context of the U.K. annuity market. The model allows for private information about risk type (mortality) as well as heterogeneity in preferences over different contract options. We focus on the choice of length of guarantee among individuals who are required to buy annuities. The results suggest that asymmetric information along the guarantee margin reduces welfare relative to a first-best, symmetric information benchmark by about £127 million per year, or about 2 percent of annual premiums. We also find that government mandates, the canonical solution to adverse selection problems, do not necessarily improve on the asymmetric information equilibrium. Depending on the contract mandated, mandates could reduce welfare by as much as £107 million annually, or increase it by as much as £127 million. Since determining which mandates would be welfare improving is empirically difficult, our findings suggest that achieving welfare gains through mandatory social insurance may be harder in practice than simple theory may suggest.

C. "The Age of Reason: Financial Decisions Over the Lifecycle," by Sumit Agarwal, John C. Driscoll, Xavier Gabaix, and David Laibson (w13191, July 2007, .pdf format, 51p.).


The sophistication of financial decisions varies with age: middle-aged adults borrow at lower interest rates and pay fewer fees compared to both younger and older adults. We document this pattern in ten financial markets. The measured effects cannot be explained by observed risk characteristics. The sophistication of financial choices peaks around age 53 in our cross-sectional data. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that financial sophistication rises and then falls with age, although the patterns that we observe represent a mix of age effects and cohort effects.

D. "Wisdom and Creativity in Old Age: Lessons from the Impressionists," by David W. Galenson (w13190, June 2007, .pdf format, 36p.).


Psychologists have not considered wisdom and creativity to be closely associated. This reflects their failure to recognize that creativity is not exclusively the result of bold discoveries by young conceptual innovators. Important advances can equally be made by older, experimental innovators. Yet we have had no examination of why some experimental artists have remained creative much later in their lives than others. Considering the major artists who worked together during the first decade of Impressionism, this paper compares the attitudes and practices of two important experimental innovators who made significant contributions after the age of 50 with two of their colleagues whose creativity failed to persist past 50. Unlike Pissarro and Renoir, who reacted to adversity in mid-career by attempting to emulate the methods of conceptual artists, Cezanne and Monet adopted elements of other artists' approaches while maintaining their own experimental methods and goals. For both Cézanne and Monet, recognizing how they themselves learned was a key to turning experience into wisdom. Their greatness in old age appears to have been a product of their understanding that although the improvement in their art might be painstaking and slow, over long periods its cumulative effect could be very great.


19. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF AN AGING POPULATION (SEDAP) [MCMASTER UNIVERSITY]: SEDAP has recently released several working papers that may be of interest to researchers in aging. Links to abstracts and full text can be found at:

Papers of interest are nos. 183, 185, 186, 187, 188, 198, 199 and 200


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

20. Aging and Mental Health (Vol. 11, No. 4, 2007).

21. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias (Vol. 22, No. 3, June/July 2007).

22. Journal of Aging Studies (Vol. 21, No. 3, August 2007). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issues.

23. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 55, No. 7, July 2007).

24. Journal of Aging, Humanities and the Arts (Vol. 1, No. 1/2, 2007).

25. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying (Vol. 55, No. 2, 2007).

Search for "Omega" (without the quotes), Return Publications


26. 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 Jul. 4, 2007:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Jul. 4, 2007:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Jul. 4, 2007:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Jul. 4, 2007:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Jul. 4, 2007:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Jul. 4, 2007:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


IV. Books:

27. Policy Press: Critical perspectives on ageing societies, edited by Miriam Bernard and Thomas Scharf (2007, 200p., IBSN: cloth: 9781861348913; paper: 9781861348906). For more information see:


V. Funding Opportunities/Employment Opportunities:


A. "Cost Effective Health Promotion Interventions/Programs for Older Workers (SBIR [R43/44])," (RFA-AG-08-005, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, June 28, 2007).

B. "Neurotechnology Research, Development, and Enhancement (SBIR [R43/R44])," (PA-07-389, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, June 29, 2007).

C. "Neurotechnology Research, Development, and Enhancement (STTR [R41/R42])," (PA-07-390, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, June 29, 2007).



A. "Multigenerational and Civic Engagement Projects," (HHS-2007-AoA-FR-0706, AoA Center for Planning and Policy Development, July 2007, Microsoft Word format.).

B. "National Center on Elder Abuse" (HHS-2007-AoA-AB-0717, July 2007, Microsoft Word format).

C. "Advanced Performance Outcome Measurement Project (POMP)" (HHS-2006-AoA-PO-0716, AoA Center: Office of Evaluation, July 2007, Microsoft Word format).

For more information on both opportunities:

and scroll to the titles of the opportunities.


30. AARP INTERNSHIPS: "AARP Fall 2007 internship listings are available at the AARP website (.pdf format, 4p.). Contact information is available in the .pdf document.

Click on "Fall 2007 internships" for link to full text.


VI. Conferences:

31. CENTER FOR HEALTHY AGING, MINISTRIES, PROGRAMS AND SERVICES [UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-OMAHA]: "Aging with Passion and Purpose," a conference to be held October 21-22, 2007. in Omaha, Nebraska). For more information see:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

32. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON THE BUDGET HEARING TESTIMONY: "Medicare Advantage and the Federal Budget," a hearing held June 28, 2007 (.pdf format).

Scroll down to "June 28".


VIII. Websites of Interest:

33. ADMINISTRATION ON AGING: "Gateway to the Older Americans Act Amendments of 2006" (2007). At present the website contains:An outline summary of 2006 Amendments to the Act; Statutory text for each new provision of the Act (new/revised language only); Technical Assistance (TA)/resource links; and An unofficial compilation of the OAA as amended in 2006."

Jack Solock
Director--Data and Information Services Center
Social Sciences Research Services
3313 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
http: //
http: //
http: //