Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #40--June 29, 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:


A. The Social Security Administration has provided more statistical tables from the forthcoming _Annual Statistical Supplement 2000_ (discussed in CAAR #30, April 21, 2000

item #4).

Tables are available in HTML and .pdf formats. Interested users should bookmark the site and return periodically. The following tables have been added as of June 23, 2000: Insured Workers 4C1-6; Beneficiary Families 5H1-4 1998 and 1999; and Black Lung Benefits 9D1-3. _Annual Statistical Supplements_ for 1999 and 1998 are also available at the site.

B. SSA Current Operating Statistics (.pdf format only at this time). SSA has begun releasing tables for the _2000 Social Security Bulletin, Current Operating Statistics_. Presently available are tables 1B1-2 and 1B4-7 (Currently Payable Benefits), 1C1-5 (Awards), and 3A1 (Black Lung Benefits).

2. HRS/AHEAD DATA ALERT: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study/Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old (HRS/AHEAD) website announced a Data Alert for the AHEAD Wave 2 [1995] Public Release on June 23, 2000: "Data Corrections for Five Variables in Sections D, F and J." For more information see:

3. CELADE: The Latin American & Caribbean Demographic Centre (CELADE) has released the following tables from its "Demographic Situation" section. Note: These tables are in Spanish):

A. Latin America: Life Tables (1950-2050) (Microsoft Excel Format).

B. Latin America: Population By Calendar Years and Single Ages (1950-2050) (.zip compressed Microsoft Excel format).


II. Reports and articles:

4. EXPRESS-SCRIPTS REPORT: "Express Scripts 1999 Drug Trend Report" (June 2000, .pdf format, 134p.). Express Scripts, of St. Louis, Missouri, is the "nation's largest independent pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), with 38.5 million members." This report is the fourth of a series of annual reports produced by Express Scripts since 1996.

Click on "View Online Now" for full text. Note that users must register before downloading the report and should save the report to their desktop if they do not want to have to re-register in order to view the report a second time.

5. UK AUDIT COMMISSION REPORT: "The Way to Go Home: Rehabilitation and Remedial Services for Older People" (UK Audit Commission, June 2000, .pdf format, 113p.). "The Audit Commission oversees the external audit of local authorities and the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales. As part of this function, the Commission is required to undertake studies to enable it to make recommendations for improving the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of services provided by these bodies."

>From the Preface:

Over the last two years, the Commission has been reviewing rehabilitation services for older people, and its findings are set out in this report. This is the fourth in a series of reports with the common theme of promoting independence for older people. The other reports in the series have looked at services for older people with mental health problems ("Forget Me Not"), the provision of disability equipment to older or disabled people ("Fully Equipped"), and charging arrangements for home care by local authorities ("Charging with Care").

Click on PDF icon "full National Report" at the bottom of the page for full text.

6. CENSUS BUREAU REPORT: The US Census Bureau has released "Employee-Retirement Systems of State and Local Governments" (1997 Census of Governments, Vol. 4, No. 6, Government Finances, June 2000, .pdf format, 64p.).

>From the Abstract:

This report... provides statistics on the financial transactions and characteristics of state and local government retirement systems. The tables present data on the revenues, benefit payments, cash and security holdings, and membership of these employee retirement systems. They aggregate the data by state area and level of government and also display data for large individual retirement systems.

7. GAO REPORT: "Medicare Quality of Care: Oversight of Kidney Dialysis Facilities Needs Improvement (General Accounting Office Report GAO/HEHS-00-114, June 2000, .pdf format, 42p.).

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.

8. 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 Losses Resulting from Early Payments for Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (OEI-03-99-00620, June 2000, .pdf format, 9p.).

>From the Abstract:

In an inspection on Medicare losses resulting from early payments for durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies, OEI found that Medicare could have earned an estimated $7.2 million in interest on 1998 payments for claims that were billed before the end of the service period. This report recommended that HCFA require providers to submit claims at the end of the service period with accurate start and end dates of service; and require a Common Working File or contractor system edit to reject claims submitted prior to the end of the service period. The HCFA did not concur with our recommendation; however, we believe that paying for claims at the end of the service period is still a viable option.

B. "Blood Glucose Test Strips: Inappropriate Medicare Payments (OEI-03-98-00230, June 2000, .pdf format, 25p.).

>From the Abstract:

Medicare allowed $79 million for blood glucose test strip claims with missing or flawed documentation. Orders for 25 percent of the sampled claims failed to establish beneficiaries' eligibility for the supplies. These claims represented $33 million in allowances. An additional $46 million of the $79 million in test strip claims had incomplete orders or no supplier delivery records. We found that suppliers submit claims for test strips at irregular intervals. This can make it difficult to identify overlapping claims, claims without correct supporting documentation, and claims for excessive numbers of test strips. This report recommended several steps that could be taken to promote compliance with Medicare guidelines for blood glucose test strips and HCFA concurred with our recommendations.

C. "Blood Glucose Test Strips: Marketing to Medicare Beneficiaries (OEI-03-98-00231, June 2000, .pdf format, 24p.).

>From the Abstract:

Some diabetic supply advertisements offer inducements and can be misleading in their marketing. Coinsurance information in diabetic supply advertisements can be especially misleading and we found that some suppliers did not always collect coinsurance from beneficiaries. We also found that many beneficiaries received test strips automatically in the mail even after guidelines were issued prohibiting automatic shipping. This report recommended that HCFA take several steps to increase supplier and beneficiary awareness of fraudulent and abusive practices relating to blood glucose test strips. The HCFA concurred with our recommendations


9. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH "JUST THE FACTS." "Household Borrowing from 401(k) Plans," by Annika Sunden and Brian Surette (Just the Facts #1, June 2000, .pdf format, 4p.).

10. RAND CORPORATION REPORT: "Patterns of Dissaving in Retirement: A Report Prepared for the AARP Public Policy Institute," by Steven Haider, Michael D. Hurd, Elaine Reardon, and Stephanie Williamson (Rand Labor and Population Report DRU-2212-AARP, 2000, 80p.). This document is not available in electronic full text at this time. It can be ordered free of charge from the below listed website.

11. NIA NEWS RELEASE--ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE RESEARCH UPDATE: "Study Suggests ERT Stimulates Blood Flow To Key Memory Centers In The Brain" (National Institute on Aging News Release, June 27, 2000).


A. "Maternal age and fetal loss: population based register linkage study," by Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Jan Wohlfahrt, Peter Christens, Jorn Olsen, and Mads Melbye (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 320, No. 7251, June 24, 2000, p. 1708-1712, HTML and .pdf formats).

B. "The risks of having children in later life," by Zena Stein and Mervyn Susser (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 320, No. 7251, June 24, 2000, p. 1681-1682, HTML and .pdf formats). Note: This is a _BMJ_ editorial.

C. "Website of the week: Older parents," by Douglas Carnall (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 320, No. 7251, June 24, 2000, p. 1738, HTML format).

13. THE _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS: Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text of these articles. Check your organization's library. Note 2: The _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content of any kind.

A. "Inhibitors of hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase and risk of fracture among older women," by K. Arnold Chan, Susan E. Andrade, Myde Boles, Diana S.M. Buist, Gary A. Chase, James G. Donahue, Michael J. Goodman, Jerry H. Gurwitz, Andrea Z. LaCroix, and Richard Platt (The _Lancet_, Vol. 355, No. 9222, June 24, 2000, p. 2185-2188).

B. "War and mortality in Kosovo, 1998-99: an epidemiological testimony," by Paul B Spiegel and Peter Salama (The _Lancet_, Vol. 355, No. 9222, June 24, 2000, p. 2204-2209).

C. "Oral statins and increased bone-mineral density in postmenopausal women," by C.J. Edwards, D.J. Hart and T.D. Spector (The _Lancet_, Vol. 355, No. 9222, June 24, 2000, p. 2218-2219).


A. "HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors and the Risk of Fractures," by Christoph R. Meier, Raymond G. Schlienger, Marius E. Kraenzlin, Brigitta Schlegel, and Hershel Jick (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 24, Jun. 28, 2000, p. 3205-3210, HTML and .pdf formats).

B. "HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors and the Risk of Hip Fractures in Elderly Patients," by Philip S. Wang, Daniel H. Solomon, Helen Mogun, and Jerry Avorn (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 24, Jun. 28, 2000, p. 3211-3216, HTML and .pdf formats).

C. "Treating Nondementia Illnesses in Patients With Dementia," by Daniel J. Brauner, J. Cameron Muir, and Greg A. Sachs (_Journal of the American Medical Association_ Special Communication, Vol. 283, No. 24, Jun. 28, 2000, p. 3230-3235, HTML and .pdf formats).

D. "Do Statins Prevent Both Cardiovascular Disease and Fracture?" by Steven R. Cummings and Douglas C. Bauer (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 283, No. 24, Jun. 28, 2000, p. 3255-3257, HTML and .pdf formats).

15. _NATURE GENETICS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Gene-expression profile of the ageing brain in mice," by Cheol-Koo Lee, Richard Weindruch, and Tomas A. Prolla (_Nature Genetics_, Vol. 25, No. 3, July 2000, p. 294-297). Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this article. Check your organization's library.

16. _NATURE_ NEWS: Note: _Nature_ requires free registration before providing articles. Note 2: Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this article. Check your organization's library.

A. "Patent suit on Alzheimer's mouse rejected...," by Rex Dalton (_Nature_, Vol. 405, No. 6790, Jun. 29, 2000, p. 989).

B. "...but controversy over rights lingers on," by Rex Dalton (_Nature_, Vol. 405, No. 6790, Jun. 29, 2000, p. 989).

17. _US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT ARTICLE_: "The estrogen question: more than one answer for women at menopause," by Susan Brink (_US News and World Report_, Jul. 3, 2000).

18. _FORBES_ CHARTICLE: "Jobless White Males," by Peter Brimelow (_Forbes_, Jul. 3, 2000).


III. Working Papers:

19. NBER WORKING PAPERS: "Allocating Payroll Tax Revenue to Personal Retirement Accounts to Maintain Social Security Benefits and the Payroll Tax Rate," by Martin Feldstein, and Andrew Samwick (National Bureau of Economic Research W7767, June 2000, .pdf format, 22p.).

>From the Abstract:

In an earlier paper we analyzed a method of combining traditional tax financed pay-as-you-go Social Security benefits with annuities financed by Personal Retirement Accounts. We showed that such a combination could maintain the level of retirement income projected in current Social Security law while avoiding a future increase in the payroll tax rate. The current paper extends the earlier analysis in four ways: (1) We now specify that the funds deposited in the Personal Retirement Accounts come from allocating 2 percent of the 12.4 percent payroll tax instead of being additional funds provided from outside the system. (2) We discuss the effects of the uncertain return on investment based annuities. (3) We provide estimates of the cost of permitting bequests if individuals die either before retirement or during the first twenty years after retirement. (4) We update the statistical basis for our estimates to be consistent with the 2000 Social Security Trustees Report. Our analysis shows that a program of Personal Retirement Accounts funded by allocating 2 percent of the 12.4 percent payroll tax collections can maintain the retirement income projected in current law while avoiding any increase in the 12.4 percent payroll tax. The combination of the higher return on the assets in the Personal Retirement Accounts and the use of the additional corporate profits taxes that result from the increased national saving in Personal Retirement Accounts is sufficient to maintain the solvency of the Social Security Trust Fund even though the tax payments to the fund are reduced from 12.4 percent of taxable payroll to 10.4 percent of taxable payroll. Although there is a period of years when the Trust Fund must borrow, it is able to repay this borrowing with interest out of future tax collections. In the long run, the Trust Fund becomes very large, implying that it would be possible to reduce the payroll tax further or to increase retirement incomes above the levels projected in current law.

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


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

20. 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. 12, Jun. 15, 2000).

Omega: Journal of Death and Dying (Vol. 40, No. 1, 1999). Note: This is a special issue on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

Research on Aging (Vol. 22, No. 4, July 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.


V. Funding Opportunities:

21. NIH: The US National Institutes of Health have released: "Self-Management Strategies Across Chronic Diseases" (PA-00-109). "The purpose of this Program Announcement (PA) is to solicit applications to expand research on established self-management interventions to multiple chronic diseases across the life-course." For more information see:


VI. Conferences:

22. Symposium on Organisms with Slow Aging, Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles California, September 22-23, 2000. "On September 22-23, 2000 (Fri-Sat), Caleb E. Finch and Robert E. Ricklefs will convene a Symposium on Organisms with Slow Aging (SOSA) at the Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California in Los Angles, California. SOSA will critically examine emerging evidence that some multi-cellular organisms have evolved very slow rates of aging with anti-aging mechanisms that are pertinent to human aging processes. Examples from long-lived vertebrates, invertebrates, and vascular plants show a range of life spans, which overlap with, or exceed, those of humans. The complex biology of long-life spans will be discussed in terms of evolutionary theory. Speakers will identify sources of data and availability of biological specimens to stimulate research and to attract new researchers and trainees. The program includes a volunteer poster session." For more information see:

23. Symposium on Aging and Health, Harvard University, Cambridge Massachussetts, September 14-15, 2000. "The Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health will host 'Aging and Health: An International Symposium' at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts on September 14-15, 2000. Designed to stimulate discussion among researchers, practitioners, and students concerned with safe and healthy aging, this important event will recognize the fastest growing segment of our society - our elderly - by presenting key scientific research in healthy aging. Our goal is to develop a new paradigm for healthy aging for the 21st century and publish recommendations for innovative approaches to promote healthy aging. Registration is required. Seating is limited. There will be no cost for the Symposium; however, there will be a fee for meals. For more information see:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

24. US HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE SUBCOMMITTEE ON SOCIAL SECURITY: Processing of Attorney Fees by the Social Security Administration, a hearing held Jun. 14, 2000.

Hearing Testimony:

25. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING: Kidney Dialysis Patients: A Population At Undue Risk?, a hearing held Jun. 26, 2000.

Hearing Testimony:

26. US HOUSE COMMERCE COMMITTEE SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH & ENVIRONMENT: Medicare's Mismanagement: Is HCFA's Complexity Threatening Patient Access to Quality Care?, a hearing held Jun. 27, 2000.

Hearing Testimony:

Click on "June 27, 2000 (Medicare's Mismanagement...)


VIII. Websites of Interest:

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

item #16).

Membership Organizations for Seniors:

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