Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #431--April 3, 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. CENSUS BUREAU: An update to the International Data Base was released on March 27, 2008. For more information about the release see, in particular data on aging populations, see:


II. Reports and articles:


A. "The 2008 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds," (March 2008, .pdf format, 227p.).

B. "International Update, March 2008" (March 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).



A. "The Geographic Distribution and Characteristics of Older Workers in Colorado: 2004," by Cynthia Taeuber and Matthew R. Graham (LED-OW04-CO, March 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).

B. "The Geographic Distribution and Characteristics of Older Workers in Wisconsin: 2004," by Cynthia Taeuber and Matthew R. Graham (LED-OW04-WI, March 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).


4. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, DIVISION FOR HEART DISEASE AND STROKE PREVENTION COMPENDIUM: Atlas of Stroke Hospitalizations Among Medicare Beneficiaries, by Michele L. Casper, Janet B. Croft, David S. Nilasena, and Isaac A. Nwalse (2008, .pdf format, 192p.). Note: You will need to download the report by chapter.


5. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: "Hospice Beneficiaries' Use of Respite Care," (OEI-02-06-00222, March 2008, .pdf format, 6p.).


Respite care is short-term inpatient care that provides respite for the individual's family or other persons caring for the individual at home. This memorandum report is based on an analysis of Medicare Part A claims for hospice care. We found that 2 percent of all hospice beneficiaries received respite care during 2005 and most of these beneficiaries received the care for a total of 5 days or less.

We also found a number of instances in which the use of respite care may have been inappropriate. Fifty-four beneficiaries received respite care longer than the 5 consecutive days allowed by Federal regulations, and 62 beneficiaries received respite care while residing in nursing facilities, even though respite care is designed to relieve the beneficiary's caregiver. We will provide additional information about these potentially inappropriate cases to CMS. In addition, we note that the information that is available on hospice claims limits CMS's ability to determine whether hospice agencies are complying with the requirement that they may not be reimbursed for more than 5 consecutive days of respite care at a time.



A. "Medicare Program; Modification to the Weighting Methodology Used to Calculate the Low-income Benchmark Amount," (March 2008, .pdf format, 27p.).

B. "Medicare Program; Standards for E-Prescribing Under Medicare Part D and Identification of Backward Compatible Version of Adopted Standard for E-Prescribing and the Medicare Prescription Drug Program (Version 8.1)," (April 2008, .pdf format, 98p.).

C. "Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Conditions for Coverage for End-Stage Renal Disease Facilities," (April 2008, .pdf format, 624p.).


7. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH PRESS RELEASE: "Older Corneas Suitable for Transplantation, Study Shows," (April 1, 2008).


8. UK NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE REPORT: "Pensions Analysis 2007" (March 2008, .pdf format, 1p., which links to several tables in Microsoft Excel format).


9. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING PRESS RELEASE: "Federal Government responds to psycho-geriatric patients," (April 1, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 2p.).


10. AGEING RESEARCH ONLINE [AUSTRALIA] PERIODICAL: Ageing Research Online Newsletter (Vol. 5, No. 1, March 2008, .pdf format, 9p.).



A. "Employment at Older Ages and the Changing Nature of Work," by Richard W. Johnson, Gordon Mermin, and Matthew Resseger (November 2007, .pdf format, 41p.).

B. "Taking Back Our Fiscal Future," by Joseph Antos, Robert Bixby, Stuart Butler, Paul Cullinan, Alison Fraser, William Galston, Ron Haskins, Julie Isaacs, Maya MacGuineas, Will Marshall, Pietro Nivola, Rudolph G. Penner, Robert D. Reischauer, Alice M. Rivlin, Isabel V. Sawhill, and C. Eugene Steuerle (April 2008, .pdf format, 11p.).



A. "Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2008 and Key Changes Since 2006: Summary of Findings," by Jack Hoadley, Elizabeth Hargrave, Juliette Cubanski, and Tricia Neuman (April 2008, .pdf format, 7p.).

B. "Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Low-Income Subsidy Plan Availability," by Jack Hoadley, Elizabeth Hargrave, and Juliette Cubanski (April 2008, .pdf format, 4p.).

C. "Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlight: Ten Most Common Brand-Name Drugs," by Elizabeth Hargrave, Jack Hoadley, Katie Merrell, and Juliette Cubanski (April 2008, .pdf format, 2p.).


13. AARP REPORT: "Healthy @ Home," by Linda L. Barrett (March 2008, .pdf format, 140p.).


14. CENTER ON WORK AND AGING AT BOSTON COLLEGE ISSUE BRIEF: "21st Century Age Demographics: Opportunities for Visionary State Leadership," by Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Sandee Shulkin, Chelsea Lettieri, Michelle Wong, Tay McNamara & Michael A. Smyer (March 2008, .pdf format, 44p.).


15. WATSON WYATT WORLDWIDE REPORT: "2008 Global Pension Assets Study," (January 2008, .pdf format, 33p.). Note: Watson Wyatt requires free registration prior to providing content.


16. EUROPEAN CENTRE FOR SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY AND RESEARCH POLICY BRIEF: "Happiness Across the Life Cycle: Exploring Age-Specific Preferences," by Orsolya Lelkes (Policy Brief March (2) 2008, .pdf format, 16p.).



A. "Stabilization of a {beta}-hairpin in monomeric Alzheimer's amyloid-{beta} peptide inhibits amyloid formation," by Wolfgang Hoyer, Caroline Grönwall, Andreas Jonsson, Stefan Ståhl, and Torleif Härd (Vol. 105, No. 13, April 1, 2008, p. 5099-5104).

B. "Distinct nuclear and cytoplasmic functions of androgen receptor cofactor p44 and association with androgen-independent prostate cancer," by Yi Peng, Fei Chen, Jonathan Melamed, Luis Chiriboga, Jianjun Wei, Xiangtian Kong, Maureen Mcleod, Yirong Li, Caihong X. Li, Alice Feng, Michael J. Garabedian, Zhengxin Wang, Robert G. Roeder, and Peng Lee (Vol. 105, No. 13, April 1, 2008, p. 5236-5241).



A. "Sirt1 contributes critically to the redox-dependent fate of neural progenitors," by Timour Prozorovski, Ulf Schulze-Topphoff, Robert Glumm, Jan Baumgart, Friederike Schröter, Olaf Ninnemann, Elise Siegert, Ivo Bendix, Oliver Brüstle, Robert Nitsch, Frauke Zipp and Orhan Aktas (Vol. 10, No. 4, April 2008, p. 385-394).

B. "Lamin A-dependent misregulation of adult stem cells associated with accelerated ageing," by Paola Scaffidi & Tom Misteli (Vol. 10, No. 4, April 2008, p. 452-459).


19. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION COMMENTARY EXTRACT: "Osteoporosis and Fractures: Missing the Bridge?" by Angela M. Cheung and Allan S. Detsky (Vol. 299, No. 12, March 26, 2008, p. 1468-1470).


III. Working Papers:

20. MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY: "Estimated Effects of Increased Coverage on Prescription Drug Expenditures among Seniors," by Merrile Sing, Edward Miller, and Jessica S. Banthin (Working Paper No. 8005, March 2008, .pdf format, 32p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:



A. "The Impact of Medicare Part D on Pharmaceutical R&D," by Margaret E. Blume-Kohout and Neeraj Sood (w13857, March 2008, .pdf format, 17p.).


Recent evidence suggests that Medicare Part D has increased prescription drug use among the elderly, and earlier studies have indicated that increasing market size induces pharmaceutical innovation. This paper assesses the impact of Medicare Part D on pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), using time-series data on the number of drugs in preclinical and clinical development by therapeutic class. We demonstrate that the passage of Medicare Part D was associated with significant increases in pharmaceutical R&D, especially for classes with high elderly market share.

B. "The Other Ex-Ante Moral Hazard in Health," by Jay Bhattacharya and Mikko Packalen (w13863, March 2008, .pdf format, 50p.).


It is well known that public or pooled insurance coverage can induce a form of ex-ante moral hazard: people make inefficiently low investments in self-protective activities. This paper points out another ex-ante moral hazard that arises through an induced innovation externality. This alternative mechanism, by contrast, causes people to devote an inefficiently high level of self-protection.

As an empirical example of this externality, we analyze the innovation induced by the obesity epidemic. Obesity is associated with an increase in the incidence of many diseases. The induced innovation hypothesis is that an increase in the incidence of a disease will increase technological innovation specific to that disease. The empirical economics literature has produced substantial evidence in favor of the induced innovation hypothesis.

We first estimate the associations between obesity and disease incidence. We then show that if these associations are causal and the pharmaceutical reward system is optimal the magnitude of the induced innovation externality of obesity roughly coincides with the Medicare-induced health insurance externality of obesity. The current Medicare subsidy for obesity therefore appears to be approximately optimal. We also show that the pattern of diseases for obese and normal weight individuals are similar enough that the induced innovation externality of obesity on normal weight individuals is positive as well.

C. "Deconstructing Lifecycle Expenditure," by Mark Aguiar and Erik Hurst (w13893, April 2008, .pdf format, 56p.).


In this paper we revisit two well-known facts regarding lifecycle expenditures. The first is the familiar "hump" shaped lifecycle profile of nondurable expenditures. We document that the behavior of total nondurables masks surprising heterogeneity in the lifecycle profile of individual sub-components. We find, for example, that while food expenditures decline after middle age, expenditures on entertainment continue to increase throughout the lifecycle. These patterns pose a challenge to models that emphasize inter-temporal substitution or movements in income, including standard models of precautionary savings, myopia, and limited commitment, to explain the lifecycle profile of expenditures. Second, we document that the increase in the cross-sectional dispersion of expenditure over the lifecycle is not greater for luxuries. In particular, the dispersion in entertainment expenditure declines relative to food expenditures as households become older, casting further doubt on theories that emphasize (exclusively) shocks to permanent income to explain the rising cross sectional expenditure dispersion over the lifecycle. We propose and test a Beckerian model that emphasizes intra-temporal substitution between time and expenditures as the opportunity cost of time varies over the lifecycle. We find this alternative model successfully explains the joint behavior of food and entertainment expenditures in the latter half of the lifecycle. The model, however, is less successful in explaining expenditure patterns early in the lifecycle.


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

22. Aging and Mental Health (Vol. 12, No. 2, 2008).

23. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 167, No. 7, Apr. 1, 2008).

24. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Vol. 16, No. 4, April 2008).

25. The Gerontologist (Vol. 48, No. 1, February 2008).

26. Health Economics, Policy, and Law (Vol. 3, No. 2, 2008).

27. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 56, No. 4, April 2008).

28. Journals of Gerontology (A): Biological and Medical Sciences (Vols. 63A, Nos. 3, March 2008). Note: Full text of these journals are available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for availability of these databases and these issues.

29. Research on Aging (Vol. 30, No. 3, May 2008).


30. 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 April 2, 2008:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of April 2, 2008:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of April 2, 2008:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of April 2, 2008:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of April 2, 2008:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of April 2, 2008:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding/Employment Opportunities:


A. "Symptom Interactions in Cancer and Immune Disorders (R01)," (PA-08-121, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, March 28, 2008).

B. "Symptom Interactions in Cancer and Immune Disorders (R21)," (PA-08-122, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, March 28, 2008).

C. "Exploratory/Developmental Grant for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Studies of Humans (R21)," (PAR-08-135, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, April 3, 2008).

D. "Request for Information Related to Planned Funding Opportunities for Cognitive Aging Research," (NOT-AG-08-001, National Institute on Aging, March 27, 2008).


32. HARRY AND JEANETTE WEINBERG FOUNDATION: "Family and Informal Caregiver Funding Program," (April 2007). The deadline for LOI is June 12, 2008.


33. US NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING: "Health Scientist Administrator (NIA) - DE," (job announcement no. NIA-08-239915-CR-DE). Note: NIA has 2 vacancies (Bethesda, Maryland).


VI. Conferences:

34. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING: AoA has added the following conferences to its listings. Scroll to the date and place for more information about the conference.

May 14 - 16: Mesa AZ

May 19 - 21: Baltimore, MD

November 4 - 7: Albuquerque, NM


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

35. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Scrambling for Health Insurance Coverage: Health Security for People in Late Middle Age," a hearing held April 3, 2008 (.pdf format).


36. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH HEARING TESTIMONY: "Hearing on the 2008 Medicare Trustees Report," a hearing held April 1, 2008.


37. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE HEARING TESTIMONY: "Outside the Box on Estate Tax Reform: Reviewing Ideas to Simplify Planning," a hearing held April 3, 2008 (.pdf format).


VIII. Websites of Interest:

38. AARP/NATIONAL COUNCIL ON AGING: "Stimulus Payment Tool," (March 2008). "The Stimulus Payment Tool is for people who normally don't have to file a tax return, but need to do so this year to get a Stimulus Payment."


39. CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: "The Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), today posted new survey information at the Hospital Compare consumer Web site offering consumers more insight about the hospitals in their communities." (March 2008). See the DHHS press release at:

Hospital Compare site:


40. CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING: "Caring for Your Parents," is a program developed by PBS to highlight the issues that face children who are caring for their aging parent. The program is available in QuickTime and RealPlayer format. The show is available online starting April 3, 2008.


41. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH NIH SENIORHEALTH UPDATE: A section on "Kidney Disease" has been added to NIHSeniorHealth.





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