Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #429--March 20, 2008

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. US CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: CMS has recently released two sets of tables on Medicare enrollment:

- National Trends 1966 - 2007 (.pdf format).
- Medicare State Enrollment 2004-2006 (.pdf format).


II. Reports and articles:


A. "NCA for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) (CAG-00093R2)," (March 13, 2008).

B. "NCA for Prothrombin Time (INR) Monitor for Home Anticoagulation Management (CAG-00087R)," (March 19, 2008).

C. "NCA for Autologous Blood Derived Products for Chronic Non-Healing Wounds (CAG-00190R2)," (March 19, 2008).

D. "NCA for Positron Emission Tomography (FDG) for Infection and Inflammation (CAG-00382N)," (March 19, 2008).


3. NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING NEWSLETTER: Spotlight on Aging Research (March 2008, HTML format).


4. NORTH DAKOTA STATE DATA CENTER UPDATE: "Total Population Estimates by 5 Year Age Cohorts in North Dakota by County: July 1, 2006 Estimates" (March 2008, .pdf and Microsoft Excel format).




5. AUSTRALIAN SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON COMMUNITY AFFAIRS REPORT: "A decent quality of life; Inquiry into the cost of living pressures on older Australians," (March 2008, .pdf format, 161p.).


6. AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS REPORT: "Retirement and Retirement Intentions, Australia, Jul 2006 to Jun 2007," (January 2008, .pdf format, 54p.).


7. CANADIAN INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH INFORMATION/INSTITUTE CANADIEN D'INFORMATION SUR LA SANTE REPORT: "Caring for Nursing Home Residents With Behavioural Symptoms: Information to Support a Quality Response," (March 2008, .pdf format, 20p.).


8. STATISTICS NETHERLANDS WEB MAGAZINE ARTICLE: "More older people working in the Netherlands and in the EU," by Andre Corpeleijn (Mar. 11, 2008).


9. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING PRESS RELEASE: "Rapid response team to assess elderly people waiting for government assistance," (March 17, 2008, .pdf and HTML format).


10. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE NOTES: "Total Individual Account Retirement Plan Assets, Demographics, 2004," by Craig Copeland (EBRI Notes, Vol. 29, No. 3, March 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).


11. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE ISSUE BRIEF: "When Should Married Men Claim Social Security Benefits?" by Steven Sass, Wei Sun, and Anthony Webb (IB No. 8-4, March 2008, .pdf format, 8p.).


12. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU WEBCAST: "How Older Women Can Shield Themselves From Poverty," by Sandra Yin (March 2008, MP3 and podcast format, running time 13 minutes).



A. "Can Faster Economic Growth Bail Out Our Retirement Programs?" by Rudolph G. Penner (March 2008, .pdf format, 13p.).

B. "Older Americans' Reliance on Assets," by Barbara Butrica (Opportunity and Ownership Facts No. 10, March 2008, .pdf format, 1p.).



A. "Preparing for Their Future: A Look at the Financial State of Gen X and Gen Y," (March 2008, .pdf format, 59p.).

B. "The 2008 Hawaii Health and Long-Term Care Survey," by Joanne Binette and Erica L. Dinger (March 2008, .pdf format, 30p.).


15. LONG TERM CARE PHARMACY ALLIANCE REPORT: "Medicare Part D Plan Formularies Vary Greatly for Dually-Eligible Nursing Home Residents in 2008," (2008, .pdf format, 71p.).


16. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER NEWSLETTER: Key Findings on Health and Disability (2008, .pdf format, 4p.).


17. FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE NEWSLETTER: Caregiving Policy Digest (Vol. 8, No. 6, March 19, 2008, HTML format).


18. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Alzheimer's disease is associated with reduced expression of energy metabolism genes in posterior cingulate neurons," by Winnie S. Liang, Eric M. Reiman, Jon Valla, Travis Dunckley, Thomas G. Beach, Andrew Grover, Tracey L. Niedzielko, Lonnie E. Schneider, Diego Mastroeni, Richard Caselli, Walter Kukull, John C. Morris, Christine M. Hulette, Donald Schmechel, Joseph Rogers, and Dietrich A. Stephan (Vol. 105, No. 11, March 18, 2008, p. 4441-4446).


19. NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Marked differences in differentiation propensity among human embryonic stem cell lines," by Kenji Osafune, Leslie Caron, Malgorzata Borowiak, Rita J. Martinez, Claire S. Fitz-Gerald, Yasunori Sato, Chad A Cowan, Kenneth R Chien, & Douglas A. Melton (Vol. 26, No. 3, March 2008, p. 313-315).



A. "Prescribing for older people," by James C. Milton, Ian Hill-Smith, and Stephen H. D. Jackson (Vol. 336, No. 7644, March 15, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 606-609).

B. "Commentary: controversies in NICE guidance on prostate cancer," by Timothy J. Wilt (Vol. 336, No. 7644, March 15, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 612-614).

C. "Diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer: summary of NICE guidance," by John Graham, Mark Baker, Fergus Macbeth, Victoria Titshall, on behalf of the Guideline Development Group (Vol. 336, No. 7644, March 15, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 610-612).



A. "Relationship of Paraoxonase 1 (PON1) Gene Polymorphisms and Functional Activity With Systemic Oxidative Stress and Cardiovascular Risk," by Tamali Bhattacharyya, Stephen J. Nicholls, Eric J. Topol, Renliang Zhang, Xia Yang, David Schmitt, Xiaoming Fu, Mingyuan Shao, Danielle M. Brennan, Stephen G. Ellis, Marie-Luise Brennan, Hooman Allayee, Aldons J. Lusis, and Stanley L. Hazen (Vol. 299, No. 11, March 19, 2008, p. 1265-1276).

B. "Large-Scale Analysis of Association Between LRP5 and LRP6 Variants and Osteoporosis," by Joyce B. J. van Meurs, Thomas A. Trikalinos, Stuart H. Ralston, Susana Balcells, Maria Luisa Brandi, Kim Brixen, Douglas P. Kiel, Bente L. Langdahl, Paul Lips, Östen Ljunggren, Roman Lorenc; Barbara Obermayer-Pietsch, Claes Ohlsson, Ulrika Pettersson, David M. Reid, Francois Rousseau, Serena Scollen, Wim Van Hul, Lidia Agueda, Kristina Åkesson, Lidia I. Benevolenskaya, Serge L. Ferrari, Göran Hallmans, Albert Hofman, Lise Bjerre Husted; Marcin Kruk; Stephen Kaptoge, David Karasik, Magnus K. Karlsson, Mattias Lorentzon, Laura Masi, Fiona E. A. McGuigan, Dan Mellström, Leif Mosekilde, Xavier Nogues, Huibert A. P. Pols, Jonathan Reeve, Wilfried Renner, Fernando Rivadeneira, Natasja M. van Schoor, Kurt Weber, John P. A. Ioannidis, and André G. Uitterlinden; for the GENOMOS Study (Vol. 299, No. 11, March 19, 2008, p. 1277-1290).


22. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Primary Care Physicians' Assessments of Older Patients' Health and Psychological Status and Recommendation of Mammography," by Marsha N. Wittink and Hillary R. Bogner (Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2008, p. 17-23, via Medscape).


23. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Quality of Life and Satisfaction with Outcome among Prostate-Cancer Survivors," by Martin G. Sanda, Rodney L. Dunn, Jeff Michalski, Howard M. Sandler, Laurel Northouse, Larry Hembroff, Xihong Lin, Thomas K. Greenfield, Mark S. Litwin, Christopher S. Saigal, Arul Mahadevan, Eric Klein, Adam Kibel, Louis L. Pisters, Deborah Kuban, Irving Kaplan, David Wood, Jay Ciezki, Nikhil Shah, and John T. Wei (Vol. 358, No. 12, March 20, 2008, p. 1250-1261).


III. Working Papers:

24. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH ON POVERTY: "Childlessness and the Economic Well-Being of Elders," by Robert D. Plotnick (Discussion Paper No. 1336-08, March 2008, .pdf format, 33p.).


Using the Health and Retirement Survey, this study examines the relationship between childlessness and four indicators of elders' economic well-being: income, receipt of disability and income-tested benefits, and wealth. The study estimates separate models for currently married persons, currently single women, and currently single men using standard OLS and logit, quantile regression, linear and logit random effects, and two propensity score models. Compared to married parents, childless married couples tend to have slightly more income and about 5 percent more wealth. Unmarried childless men enjoy no income advantage over unmarried fathers, but have 24-35 percent more wealth. Childlessness has the strongest relationship with unmarried women's economic well-being. Compared to elderly unmarried mothers, unmarried childless women have, on average, 13-31 percent more income and about 35 percent more wealth. The strength of these relationships tends to increase as one moves up the distribution of income or wealth, especially for unmarried women. Childless unmarried men are more likely to use income-tested benefits while childless unmarried women are less likely to do so.



A. "The More the Better? Characteristics and Efficiency of 401(k) Investment Menus," by Ning Tang (WPS 08-02, March 2008, .pdf format, 30p.).


Few previous studies have explored whether defined contribution retirement saving plans offer sufficiently diversified investment menus, though it is likely that these menus significantly shape workers' accumulations of retirement wealth. This paper assesses the efficiency and performance of 401(k) investment options offered by a large group of US employers. We show that the majority of plans is efficient compared to market benchmark indexes. Three performance measures underscore the fact that these plans tend to offer a sensible investment menu, when measured in terms of the menus' mean-variance efficiency, diversification, and participant utility. The key factor contributing to plan efficiency and performance is the particular set of funds offered, rather than the total number of investment options provided. We conclude that, in 401(k) arena, "more" is not necessarily "better."

B. "A Randomized Controlled Trial of Financial Incentives for Weight Loss," by Kevin G. Volpp, Leslie K. John, Andrea B. Troxel, Laurie Norton, Jennifer Fassbender, and George Loewenstein (WPS 08-01, March 2008, .pdf format, 14p.). No abstract available for this paper.



A. "Validating the Collection of Separately Billed Doctor Expenditures for Hospital Services: Results from the Medicare-MEPS Validation Study," by Samuel Zuvekas and Gary Olin (Working Paper 8004, March 2008, .pdf format, 21p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

B. "Medicare-MEPS Validation Study: A Comparison of Hospital and Physician Expenditures," by Gary Olin, Samuel Zuvekas, Virender Kumar, Pat Ward, Kitty Williams, and Diana Wobus (Working Paper 8003, March 2008, .pdf format, 24p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


27. INSTITUTE DE RECHERCHE ET DOCUMENTATION EN ECONOMIE DE LA SANTE (INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH AND INFORMATION IN HEALTH ECONOMICS) [PARIS, FRANCE]: "Working Conditions and Health of European Older Workers," by Thierry Debrand and Pascale Lengagne (WP No. 8, February 2008, .pdf format, 21p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:



A. "Beyond the Kannisto-Thatcher Database on Old Age Mortality: an assessment of data quality at advanced ages," by Dmitri A. Jdanov, Domantas Jasilionis, Eugeny Soroko, Roland Rau, and James W. Vaupel (WP-2008-013, March 2008, .pdf format, 55p.).


The old age population in developed countries has been increasing remarkably, yet internationally comparable high quality data on oldest-old mortality remain relatively scarce. The Kannisto-Thatcher Old Age Mortality Database (KTD) is a unique source providing uniformly recalculated old-age mortality data for 35 countries. Our study addresses a number of data quality issues relevant to population and death statistics at the most advanced ages. Following previous studies by Väinö Kannisto, we apply the same set of measures. This allows us to identify dubious or irregular mortality patterns. Deviations such as this often suggest that the data quality has serious problems. We update previously published findings by extending the analyses made so far to thirty five countries and by adding data on longer historical periods. In addition, we propose a systematic classification of country- and period-specific data, thus simultaneously accounting for each indicator of data quality. We apply conventional procedures of hierarchical cluster analysis to distinguish four data quality clusters (best data quality, acceptable data quality, conditionally acceptable quality, and weak quality). We show that the reliability of old-age mortality estimates has been improving in time. However, the mortality indicators for the most advanced ages of a number of countries, such as Chile, Canada, and the USA should be treated with caution even for the most recent decade. Canada, Ireland, Finland, Lithuania, New Zealand (Non-Maori), Norway, Portugal, Spain, and the USA have particular problems in their historical data series. After having compared the KTD with official data, we conclude that the methods used for extinct and almost extinct generations produce more accurate population estimates than those published by national statistical offices. The most reliable official data come from the countries with fully functioning population registers.

B. "Regularities and deviations in mortality trends of the developed world," by Elsabetta Barbi (WP-2008-014, March 2008, .pdf format, 10p.).


By the second half of the 20th century, mortality patterns in industrialized countries showed a continuous tendency of reduction at all ages, even at the oldest ones. However, the pace of mortality decline considerably varies depending on the country. Furthermore, in a few cases, stagnation and even an unexpected reversed pattern have been observed in more recent years. In this paper a comparative analysis of mortality trends in several developed countries is performed. The aim of the paper is to locate deviations from expected mortality patterns, and to understand the reasons for these deviations. As a first step of the analysis, a new two-dimensional relational model is applied to mortality surfaces of the selected developed countries, between 1960 and 1999, for the age range 50-99. In the second step, mortality by cause of the countries with particular structural features is analyzed through the surfaces of leading causes of death.


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

29. Age and Ageing (Vol. 37, No. 2 & Supp. No. 2, March 2008).

Issue No. 2:

Supp. No. 2:

30. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association (Vol. 4, No. 2, March 2008).

31. Experimental Aging Research (Vol. 34, No. 2, 2008). Note: Full electronic text of these journals is available in the EbscoHost database. Check your library for the availability of this database and these issues.

32. Journal of Applied Gerontology (Vol. 27, No. 2, March 2008).

33. Journal of Gerontological Social Work (Vol. 50, No. 3/4, 2008).


34. 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 March 19, 2008:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of March 19, 2008:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of March 19, 2008:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of March 19, 2008:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of March 19, 2008:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of March 19, 2008:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:


A. "Brain Disorders in the Developing World: Research Across the Lifespan (R01)," (PAR-08-112, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, March 18, 2008).

B. "Brain Disorders in the Developing World: Research Across the Lifespan (R21)," (PAR-08-113, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, March 18, 2008).

C. "NINDS Institutional Center Core Grants to Support Neuroscience Research (P30)," (PAR-08-116, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, March 19, 2008).


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

36. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING PUBLICATION: "Paid to Prescribe?: Exploring the Relationship Between Doctors and the Drug Industry," a hearing held June 27, 2007 (S.Hrg. 110-253, .pdf format, 179p.).


VII. Websites of Interest:

37. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER: "Cancer Health Disparities Initiative's Spring 2008 Visiting Scholars Series." "The CHDI invites national experts in health disparities to participate in Visiting Scholars Program. While on campus, the Scholars were involved in public presentations as well as work groups and individual meetings." For more on the schedule of speakers, go to:




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