Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #410--November 1, 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. Data:

1. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT STUDY DATA UPDATE: "Biomarker 2006 Data (Early, Version 1.0) release is now available" (Oct. 30, 2007).

HRS Data Access:


2. PANEL STUDY OF INCOME DYNAMICS NEWS: "We wanted to make you aware of a new dataset linking PSID families to indicators of subsidized housing that is now available under restricted contract.

Assisted Housing Match Data

Each PSID family in every year through 1995 has been identified as living in housing units subsidized by HUD, the Farmer's Home Administration, through tax credits administered by the Department of Treasury, or state housing programs. This was accomplished by matching the addresses of PSID families in each year with those in the Assisted Housing Database (AHD). The matching process involved two main components:

1) Standardizing the PSID and AHD addresses;

2) Matching the standardized addresses.

Once all of the matching was completed, final datafiles identify whether a PSID address available for a given year corresponds to an assisted housing address, and, if so, the type of assisted housing (e.g., public housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credit, state subsidy). As the documentation describes, PSID addresses for 1969 were lost. The address-match data, therefore, skips 1969. However, for individuals who did not move to a new location in 1969, it is possible to impute their assisted housing status based on their 1968 or 1970 addresses.

A project is currently underway to update this match for every PSID family in years 1996 through 2007.

If you are interested in learning more about the process of obtaining these data through a restricted contract, please email psidhelp at


3. INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH: ICPSR at the University of Michigan released a new dataset on Oct. 29, 2007 which may be of interest to researchers in aging. Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

County Characteristics, 2000-2007 [United States] (study #20660)

Polish General Social Survey, 1992-2002 (study #20501)


4. UK Data Archive (Essex University, Colchester, UK): The UK Data Archive has recently added the following datasets to its holdings. Note: There maybe charges or licensing requirements on holdings of the UK Data Archive. For more information see:

SN 5725 -British Household Panel Survey Pension Wealth Derived Variable Data, 1991-2001


II. Reports and articles:

5. US CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES STATISTICAL SUPPLEMENT: "Medicare Program Payments: 2007 (Tables 3.1-3.6) (October 2007, .zip compressed Microsoft Excel and .pdf format).


A. "One in Seven Americans Age 71 and Older Has Some Type of Dementia, NIH-Funded Study Estimates" (Oct. 30, 2007).

B. "Scientists Use Shared Genome Data to Confirm SORL1 Gene Linked to Alzheimer's" (Oct. 29, 2007).



A. "Considerations for Potential Proposals to Change the Earliest Eligibility Age for Retirement" (Policy Brief 2007-01, October 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 4p.).



B. "Portfolio Theory, Life-Cycle Investing, and Retirement Income" (Policy Brief 2007-02, October 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 6p.).





A. "Prescription Drugs: FDA Guidance and Regulations Related to Data on Elderly Persons in Clinical Drug Trials" (GAO-07-47R, September 2007,ASCII text and .pdf format, 22p.).

B. "End-Stage Renal Disease: Characteristics of Kidney Transplant Recipients, Frequency ofTransplant Failures, and Cost to Medicare," (GAO-07-1117, September 2007, .pdf format, 27p.).


9. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: "A Comparison of Medicare Program and Consumer Internet Prices for Power Wheelchairs" (OEI-04-07-00160, October 2007, .pdf format, 19p.).


In 2004, OIG found that Medicare and its beneficiaries paid higher prices for power wheelchairs than consumers or suppliers. In November 2006, CMS implemented a revised fee schedule for power wheelchairs as part of a strategy to reform Medicare payments for power wheelchairs. The revised fee schedule was designed to improve the accuracy of Medicare pricing for power wheelchairs. However, the new fee schedule amounts have been criticized by some suppliers of power wheelchairs as too low to cover their cost of providing the power wheelchairs to Medicare beneficiaries.

We collected and analyzed prices of power wheelchairs from the Internet sites of power wheelchair suppliers during the first quarter of 2007. We then compared the median Internet prices of power wheelchairs to the Medicare fee schedule amounts during the same time period. In addition, we calculated the potential savings to Medicare and its beneficiaries during the first quarter of 2007 had power wheelchair claims submitted to Medicare been reimbursed at the median Internet prices we collected.

We found that Medicare fee schedule amounts for power wheelchairs were 45 percent higher than median Internet prices available to consumers in the first quarter of calendar year 2007. Medicare and its beneficiaries could have achieved savings during the first quarter of 2007 had power wheelchairs been reimbursed at median Internet prices available to consumers. On average, each beneficiary could have saved $233 of his or her power wheelchair copayment. The most frequently ordered procedure code (K0823) accounted for 68 percent of total potential savings to Medicare and its beneficiaries.

We concluded that consumers were able to purchase most power wheelchairs over the Internet at lower prices than the Medicare fee schedule amounts for the same power wheelchairs.

We recommend that CMS consider performing additional reviews to determine whether the current Medicare power wheelchair fee schedule amounts for certain groups and procedure codes are too high. CMS concurred with our recommendation. OIG work is continuing in this area. We plan to conduct further evaluations to compare Medicare fee schedule amounts to actual prices paid by suppliers.


10. US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FACT SHEET: "Older Women Workers, ages 55 and over, 2006" (October 2007).



A. "Election Issues Surveys: View from the Early States" (November 2007, .pdf format). The latest issue survey is for New Hampshire, by Jeffrey Love and Gretchen Straw (November 2007, .pdf format, 22p.).

B. "AARP Poll of Arkansans Age 40+ on Retirement and Investment: Summary of Top-line Findings," by Jennifer H. Sauer (October 2007, .pdf format, 18p.).

C. "Comparing Long-Term Care in Germany and the United States," by Mary Jo Gibson and Donald L. Redfoot (October 2007, .pdf format, 68p.).

D. "2007 AARP Online Survey of Employers in Florida," by Scott Melton, Prantik Baruah, and Terri Guengerich (October 2007, .pdf format, 14p.).

E. "AARP Bulletin Poll on Financial Literacy," by Dawn V. Nelson (October 2007, Executive Summary, .pdf format, 7p.).

F. "African Americans Age 65 and Older: Their Sources of Retirement Income in 2005," by Ke Bin Wu (Fact Sheet, October 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

G. "Long-Term Care," by Ari N. Houser (Fact Sheet, October 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

H. "Nursing Homes," by Ari N. Houser (Fact Sheet, October 2007, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).

I. "AARP Releases Myths & Facts about Medicare Advantage" (Oct. 23, 2007).

J. AARP Bulletin (October and November 2007). Selected articles from the latest _Bulletins_ are now available.




12. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU PERIODICAL: Today's Research on Aging: Program and Policy Implications (No. 8, October 2007, .pdf format, 5p.).


13. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUE BRIEF: "A Gradual Exit May Not Make for a Happier Retirement," by Esteban Calvo, Kelly Haverstick, and Steven A. Sass (IB#7-16, October 2007, .pdf format, 6p.).



A. "What Today's Women Need to Know: A Retirement Journey" (May 2007, .pdf format, 29p.).

B. "MetLife Market Survey of Adult Day Services and Home Care Costs 2007" (September 2007, .pdf format, 14p.).

C. "MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home and Assisted Living Costs 2007" (October 2007, .pdf format, 18p.).


15. ILCUSA REPORT: "ILC Policy Report" (International Longevity Center, USA, October 2007, .pdf format, 5p.). The ILC Policy Report is "a monthly compilation of longevity news and trends in the U.S. and abroad".


16. NATIONAL ACADEMY ON AN AGING SOCIETY NEWSLETTER: "Civic Engagement in an Older America E-Newsletter" (November 2007).

More information on NAAS:


17. MEDICARE RIGHTS CENTER/CONSUMER UNION REPORT: "The Best Medicine: A Drug Coverage Option Under Original Medicare" (October 2007, .pdf format, 23p.).

Click on title, at the beginning of the fourth paragraph, for link to full text.

More information on CU:

More information about MRC:


18. HEALTH AFFAIRS ARTICLE: "How Much 'Skin In The Game' Do Medicare Beneficiaries Have? The Increasing Financial Burden Of Health Care Spending, 1997-2003, by Patricia Neuman, Juliette Cubanski, Katherine A. Desmond and Thomas H. Rice (Vol. 26, No. 6, November/December 2007, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1692-1701). This article is available free of charge.


19. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Defined DNA sequences promote the assembly of a bacterial protein into distinct amyloid nanostructures," by Rafael Giraldo (Vol. 104, No. 44, Oct. 30, 2007, p. 17388-17393).


20. NEURO-EPIDEMIOLOGY ARTICLE: "Prevalence of Dementia in the United States: The Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study," by B.L. Plassman, K.M. Langa, G.G. Fisher, S.G. Heeringa, D.R. Weir, M.B. Ofstedal, J.R. Burke, M.D. Hurd, G.G. Potter, W.L. Rodgers, D.C. Steffens, R.J. Willis, and R.B. Wallace (Vol. 29, No. 1-2, 2007, .pdf format, p. 125-132). This article is available free of charge.

Related US National Institute on Aging Press Release:


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

A. "Finasteride and High-Grade Prostate Cancer in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial," by M. Scott Lucia, Jonathan I. Epstein, Phyllis J. Goodman, Amy K. Darke, Victor E. Reuter, Francisco Civantos, Catherine M. Tangen, Howard L. Parnes, Scott M. Lippman, Francisco G. La Rosa, Michael W. Kattan, E. David Crawford, Leslie G. Ford, Charles A. Coltman, Jr, and Ian M. Thompson (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 99, No. 18, 2007, p. 1375-1383, via Medscape).

B. "Discussing End-of-Life Care With Older Patients: What Are You Waiting For?" by Mary Anne Huggins and Laura Brooks (Geriatrics Aging, Vol. 10, No. 7, 2007, p. 461-464, via Medscape).



A. "Zoledronic Acid and Clinical Fractures and Mortality after Hip Fracture," by Kenneth W. Lyles, Cathleen S. Colon-Emeric, Jay S. Magaziner, Jonathan D. Adachi, Carl F. Pieper, Carlos Mautalen, Lars Hyldstrup, Chris Recknor, Lars Nordsletten, Kathy A. Moore, Catherine Lavecchia, Jie Zhang, Peter Mesenbrink, Patricia K. Hodgson, Ken Abrams, John J. Orloff, Zebulun Horowitz, Erik Fink Eriksen, and Steven Boonen (Vol. 357, No. 18, Nov. 1, 2007, p. 1799-1809).

B. "Zoledronic Acid and Secondary Prevention of Fractures," by Karim Anton Calis and Frank Pucino (Editorial, Vol. 357, No. 18, Nov. 1, 2007, p. 1861-1862).


23. US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT ARTICLE: "Heading Back to College: Universities are doing more than ever to attract older students," by Kim Clark (Oct. 26, 2007).


24. THE WEEKLY STANDARD ARTICLE: "Generation Vex: The (really) long goodbye of the Baby Boomers," by P.J. O'Rourke (Vol. 13, No. 8, Nov. 5, 2007).


III. Working Papers:


A. "Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation," by Maarten van Rooij, Annamaria Lusardi, and Rob Alessie (w13565, October 2007, .pdf format, 46p.).


Individuals are increasingly put in charge of their financial security after retirement. Moreover, the supply of complex financial products has increased considerably over the years. However, we still have little or no information about whether individuals have the financial knowledge and skills to navigate this new financial environment. To better understand financial literacy and its relation to financial decision-making, we have devised two special modules for the DNB Household Survey. We have designed questions to measure numeracy and basic knowledge related to the working of inflation and interest rates, as well as questions to measure more advanced financial knowledge related to financial market instruments (stocks, bonds, and mutual funds). We evaluate the importance of financial literacy by studying its relation to the stock market: Are more financially knowledgeable individuals more likely to hold stocks? To assess the direction of causality, we make use of questions measuring financial knowledge before investing in the stock market. We find that, while the understanding of basic economic concepts related to inflation and interest rate compounding is far from perfect, it outperforms the limited knowledge of stocks and bonds, the concept of risk diversification, and the working of financial markets. We also find that the measurement of financial literacy is very sensitive to the wording of survey questions. This provides additional evidence for limited financial knowledge. Finally, we report evidence of an independent effect of financial literacy on stock market participation: Those who have low financial literacy are significantly less likely to invest in stocks.

B. "Labor Market Status and Transitions during the Pre-Retirement Years: Learning from International Differences," by Arie Kapteyn, James P. Smith, Arthur van Soest, James Banks (w13536, October 2007, .pdf format, 47p.).


Many western industrialized countries face strong budgetary pressures due to the aging of the baby boom generations and the general trends toward earlier ages of retirement. We use the American PSID and the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) to explain differences in prevalence and dynamics of self-reported work disability and labor force status. To that end we specify a two-equation dynamic panel data model describing the dynamics of labor force status and self-reported work disability. When we apply the U.S. parameters to the equations for the thirteen European countries we consider, the result is generally that work disability is lower and employment is higher. Furthermore, measures of employment protection across the different countries suggest that increased employment protection reduces reentry into the labor force and hence is a major factor explaining employment differences in the pre-retirement years.


26. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE OF DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH: "Aging of a giant: a stochastic population forecast for China, 2001-2050," by Qiang Li, Mieke Reuser, Cornelia Kraus, and Juha Alho (WP-2007-032, October 2007, .pdf format, 44p.).


This paper presents a stochastic population forecast for China with a special emphasis on population aging. Stochastic forecasting methods have the advantage of producing a projection of the future population including a probabilistic prediction interval. The so called scaled model for error was used to quantify the uncertainty attached to the population predictions in this study. Data scarcity was a major problem in the specification of the expected error of the population forecast. Therefore, the error structures estimated for European countries were employed with some modifications taking the large size and heterogeneity of the Chinese population into account. The stochastic forecast confirms the expectation of extremely rapid population aging during the first half of the 21st century in China. The old age dependency ratio (OADR) will increase with certainty. By mid-century, with 80% probability, the OADR will lie between 0.41 and 0.56, with the median of the predictive distribution being 0.48, nearly five-fold its current value of 0.1. In particular, the oldest-old population will grow faster than any other age group. This development has major implications for China: to smoothly adjust current birth control policies to less restrictive ones, strengthen the family support system, and improve the social security system for the elderly.


27. INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: "Policy Challenges of Population Aging in Ireland," by Dennis P.J. Botman and Dora M. Iakova (Working Paper 07/247, October 2007, .pdf format, 15p.). Links to a summary and full text are available at:


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

28. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Vol. 15, No. 11, November 2007).

29. Journal of the American Geriatric Society (Vol. 55, No. 11, November 2007).

30. Journal of Pension Economics and Finance (Vol. 6, No. 3, November 2007).


31. 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 Oct. 31, 2007:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Oct. 31, 2007:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Oct. 31, 2007:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Oct. 31, 2007:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Oct. 31, 2007:

F. Ophthalmology Research: Literature for the week of Oct. 31, 2007:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

32. SPRINGER PUBLISHING: Essentials of Gerontological Nursing, by Meredith Wallace (2007, 352p., ISBN: 0826120520). For more information see:


VI. Funding Opportunities:

33. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING: "Grants for Native Americans and Native American Caregiver Support Program," (HHS-2008-AoA-TitleVI-0802, AoA Center for Wellness and Community Based Services, Oct. 23, 2007).


34. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: "Extension of the NRSA Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31) Funding Opportunity Announcement (PA-07-002)" (NOT-OD-08-011, Oct. 26, 2007, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with several other agencies). For more information see:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

35. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS HEARING TESTIMONY: "Hearing on the Appropriateness of Retirement Plan Fees," a hearing held October 30, 2007 (HTML or .pdf format),


VIII. Websites of Interest:

36. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING: "AoA has established a new website for the National Center on Elder Abuse. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) serves as a resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment. Among the resources on the redesigned website, users will find information about: How to find help if you are worried about a senior in your community; Definitions, signs, and risks of elder mistreatment; and Resources for caregivers." For more information see:

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