Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #438--May 22, 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. INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH DECENNIAL CENSUS DATA ANNOUNCEMENT: "The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and the Michigan Census Research Data Center are pleased to announce the availability of new documentation for the restricted versions of the 1990 and 2000 Decennial Censuses. Working in conjunction with the Center for Economic Studies at the U.S. Census Bureau, ICPSR's Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR) project has created documentation for these restricted data. These datasets are based on the Decennial Long Form Samples and include variables such as age, ancestry, sex, educational attainment, income, household characteristics, migration, commute time to work, occupation, and place of birth. This recently available documentation provides file summaries and variable information and facilitates sorting of the data. Access to the data is available only within the Census Research Data Centers and requires approval by the U.S. Census Bureau. Procedures for accessing these data are available at the U.S. Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies or Michigan Census Research Data Center (MCRDC).

For more information see:

Individual codebooks, are study numbers 21983 (1990) and 21820 (2000).

Search on Study Number.


2. US CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES: "Medicare Enrollment Reports" have been updated for Jul. 1, 2004- Jul. 1, 2007 (May 2008, .zip compressed Microsoft Excel format).






3. MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE TABLE UPDATE: "Tables of Health Insurance Coverage series for all of 2006, MEPS Household Component Survey" (Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, May 2008, HTML and .pdf format).


II. Reports and articles:


A. "Healthy Eating Index Scores Among Adults, 60 Years of Age and Over, by Sociodemographic and Health Characteristics: United States, 1999-2002," by R. Bethene Ervin (Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics No. 395, May 2008, .pdf format, 16p.).

B. "Estimating Healthy Life Expectancies Using Longitudinal Survey Data: Methods and Techniques in Population Health Measures" (Vital and Health Statistics Series 2, No. 146, May 2008, .pdf format, 16p.).


5. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: "Performance Data for the Senior Medicare Patrol Projects: April 2008 Performance Report" (OEI-02-08-00120), May 2008, .pdf format, 91p.).


The objective of this review was to collect and report on performance data and verify documentation of overpayments recovered as a result of the efforts of the Senior Medicare Patrol Projects. The Senior Medicare Patrol Projects receive grants from AoA to recruit retired professionals to serve as educators and resources in assisting beneficiaries to detect and report fraud, waste, and abuse in the Medicare program. In 2007, the 57 projects trained a total of 10,338 active volunteers. These volunteers educated beneficiaries in 6,587 group education sessions and held 131,359 one-on-one counseling sessions. In addition, the projects conducted 13,784 media events and 8,417 community education events. As a result of these training sessions and events, the projects received 69,808 simple inquiries. They also received 17,658 complex issues, of which 4,004 were referred to a Medicare contractor or an investigative agency for further action. Actual Medicare funds recovered attributable to the projects totaled $302,318 and actual savings to the beneficiaries attributable to the projects totaled $140,219.


6. AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND AGEING NEWS RELEASE: "Extra funding for carer support services" (May 20, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 2p.).


7. STATISTICS LATVIA NEWS RELEASE: "Life of pension recipients in the point of view of statisticians" (May 16, 2008). Note: if the news release is in Latvian, click on the "EN" tab at the top right side of the page for an English version.


8. STATISTICS NETHERLANDS WEB MAGAZINE ARTICLE: "Medical care consumption by older people in the low-income brackets," by Marleen Wingen (May 20, 2008).


9. STATISTICS NORWAY NEWS RELEASE: "Inheritance tax survey, 2005" (May 16, 2008). The news release links to 2 topical tables.



A. "Ready for Change: An AARP Survey of Oregonians Age 35+ on Health Care Reform," by Katherine Bridges and Brittne M. Nelson (May 2008, .pdf format, 37p.).

B. "Going from Good to Great: A Livable Communities Survey in Marietta, OH," by Brittne M. Nelson and Terri Guengerich (May 2008, .pdf format, 29p.).

C. "Medicare Premium Support Survey," by William E. Wright (May 2008, .pdf format, 6p.).

D. "Rx Watchdog Report: Trends in Prices of Prescription Drugs Used by Medicare Beneficiaries," by David J. Gross, Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, and Leigh Purvis (May 2008 update, .pdf format, 32p.). The latest update is the 2007 year end update for "Generic Prescription Drugs." Link to full text is at the bottom of the page.

E. The following Prime Time Radio show (RealPlayer format, running time, between 23 and 30 minutes) has been added to the PTR site:

Caregiving: Know More About Benefits: May 20, 2008

Note: this is a temporary address. When new PTR shows are released, these will be available at:


11. THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES KECK FUTURES INITIATIVE HEALTHSPAN STEERING COMMITTEE MONOGRAPH: The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative: The Future of Human Healthspan:Demography, Evolution, Medicine, and Bioengineering, Task Group Summaries (National Academies Press, 2008, OpenBook and .pdf format, 126p.). Note: NAP requires free registration before providing the .pdf version. Ordering information for a print version is available at the site.


12. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH BRIEF: "Why Don't Some States and Localities Pay Their Required Pension Contributions?" by Alicia H. Munnell, Kelly Haverstick, Jean-Pierre Aubry, and Alex Golub-Sass (SLP #7, May 2008, .pdf format, 11p.).

Link to full text is at the bottom of the page.



A. "Older Adults With Sleep Disorder Use More Healthcare Services."

B. "Physical and Emotional Effects of Childhood Abuse Can Linger Through Late Life"

Both summaries are from articles that appeared in the February 2008 issue of Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Volume 56, Issue 2).


14. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE (EBRI) Fast Facts: "Where Do American Workers Expect to Get Retirement Income?" (May 15, 2008,.pdf format, 1p.).


15. MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER PERIODICAL: Newsletter (Vol. 9, No. 2, May 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 9p.).


16. NATIONAL ACADEMY ON AN AGING SOCIETY PERIODICAL: Civic Engagement in an Older America E-Newsletter (May 2008).

More information on NAAS:


17. KING'S FUND REPORT: "Improving Choice at End of Life: A descriptive analysis of the impact and costs of the Marie Curie Delivering Choice Programme in Lincolnshire," by Rachael Addicott and Steve Dewar (April 2008, .pdf format, 45p.).

More information about KF:


18. TIME ARTICLE: "How Healthy Is John McCain?" by Michael Scherer and Alice Park (Vol. 171, No. 21, May 26, 2008).,8599,1779596,00.html


19. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles: "Age at Retirement and Mortality in a General Population Sample," by Christina Bamia, Antonia Trichopoulou, and Dimitrios Trichopoulos (American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 167, No. 5, P. 561-569 via Medscape).



A. "Retromer deficiency observed in Alzheimer's disease causes hippocampal dysfunction, neurodegeneration, and A{beta} accumulation," by Alim Muhammad, Ingrid Flores, Hong Zhang, Rui Yu, Agnieszka Staniszewski, Emmanuel Planel, Mathieu Herman, Lingling Ho, Robert Kreber, Lawrence S. Honig, Barry Ganetzky, Karen Duff, Ottavio Arancio, and Scott A. Small (Vol. 105, No. 20, May 20, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, p. 7327-7332). This article is available free of charge.

B. "Sociality, selection, and survival: Simulated evolution of mortality with intergenerational transfers and food sharing," by Ronald Lee (Vol. 105, No. 20, May 20, 2008, p. 7124-7128).



A. "Falling death rate from prostate cancer suggests that PSA screening may be useful, study says," by Roger Dobson (News extract, Vol. 336, No. 7653, May 17, 2008, p. 1093).

B. "Nuffield Council seeks views on ethics of caring for people with dementia," by Zosia Kmietowicz (News extract, Vol. 336, No. 7653, May 17, 2008, p. 1094).

C. "Effects of different regimens to lower blood pressure on major cardiovascular events in older and younger adults: meta-analysis of randomised trials" (Blood Pressure Lowering Treatment Trialists' Collaboration, Vol. 336, No. 7653, May 17, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1121-1123). This article is available free of charge.


22. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE BOOK REVIEW EXTRACT: The Longevity Revolution: The Benefits and Challenges of Living a Long Life, by Robert N. Butler, reviewed by Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova (Vol. 358, No. 20, May 15, 2008, p. 2187-2188).



A. "Parkinson Disease," by Joan Stephenson (The World in Medicine extract, Vol. 299, No. 19, May 21, 2008, p. 2267).

B. Anemia in the Elderly, edited by L. Balducci, W. B. Ershler, and J. M. Bennett, reviewed by Preeti N. Malani (Book Review extract, Vol. 299, No. 19, May 21, 2008, p. 2331-2332).

C. Global Health & Global Aging, edited by M. Robinson, W. Novellie, C. Pearson, and L. Norris (Book Review extract, Vol. 299, No. 19, May 21, 2008, p. 2333-2334).


III. Working Papers:


A. "Pharmaceutical innovation and the longevity of Australians: a first look," by Frank R. Lichtenberg and Gautier Duflos (w14009, May 2008, .pdf format, 23p.).


We examine the impact of pharmaceutical innovation on the longevity of Australians during the period 1995-2003. Due to the government's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Australia has much better data on drug utilization than most other countries. We find that mean age at death increased more for diseases with larger increases in mean drug vintage. The estimates indicate that increasing the mean vintage of drugs by 5 years would increase mean age at death by almost 11 months. The estimates also indicate that using newer drugs reduced the number of years of potential life lost before the ages of 65 and 70 (but not before age 75). During the period 1995-2003, mean age at death increased by about 2.0 years, from 74.4 to 76.4. The estimates imply that, in the absence of any increase in drug vintage, mean age at death would have increased by only 0.7 years. The increase in drug vintage accounts for about 65% of the total increase in mean age at death. We obtain a rough estimate of the cost per life-year gained from using newer drugs. Under our assumptions, using newer drugs (increasing drug vintage) increased life expectancy by 1.23 years and increased lifetime drug expenditure by $12,976; the cost per life-year gained from using newer drugs is $10,585. An estimate made by other investigators of the value of a statistical Australian life-year ($70,618) is 6.7 times as large as our estimate of the cost per life-year gained from using newer drugs. We discuss several reasons why our estimate of the cost per life-year gained from using newer drugs could be too high or too low.

B. "Making Sense of the Labor Market Height Premium: Evidence From the British Household Panel Survey," by Anne Case, Christina Paxson, and Mahnaz Islam (w14007, May 2008, .pdf format, 11p.).


We use nine waves of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) to investigate the large labor market height premium observed in the BHPS, where each inch of height is associated with a 1.5 percent increase in wages, for both men and women. We find that half of the premium can be explained by the association between height and educational attainment among BHPS participants. Of the remaining premium, half can be explained by taller individuals selecting into higher status occupations and industries. These effects are consistent with our earlier findings that taller individuals on average have greater cognitive function, which manifests in greater educational attainment, and better labor market opportunities.


25. US BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: "State Retirement Income Estimates and an Alternative Measure of State Personal Income," by David G. Lenze (WP 2008-01, April 2008, .pdf format, 40p.).


This paper proposes a more complete presentation of pension transactions in state personal income data tables by adapting the System of National Accounts' (SNA) pension framework for use in the State Personal Income Accounts. It proposes a definition of retirement income and presents some experimental estimates of retirement income by state for 1997-2002. In addition, it proposes and estimates a new aggregate income concept, tentatively called cash income. The proposed concepts and estimates are offered as supplementary information for BEA's State Personal Income Accounts.


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

26. Ageing International (Vol. 32, No. 1, March 2008).

27. Alzheimer's and Dementia (Vol. 4, No. 3, May 2008).

28. The Gerontologist (Vol. 48, No. 2, April 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

29. International Journal of Aging and Human Development (Vol. 67, No. 1, 2008).

Search for "International Journal of Aging and Human Development" (without the quotes) using "Exact Phrase", and returning "Publications".

30. Journal of Aging and Social Policy Call for Papers: "Older Workers and Aging Policy." "Interested authors should submit a prospectus of no more than two pages in length by September 30, 2008. Manuscripts will be due in January, 2009." For more information (.pdf format, 2p.) see:


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 May 21, 2008:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of May 21, 2008:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of May 21, 2008:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of May 21, 2008:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of May 21, 2008:

F. Ophthalmology Research: Literature for the week of May 21, 2008:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities/Employment Opportunities:

32. AGEWORK.COM: AgeWork has updated its employment page with listings through May 20, 2008.


VI. Conferences:

33. AARP ONLINE GLOBAL FORUM: "World Elder Abuse Awareness 2008" (Jun. 1-16, 2008). For more information see:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:



35. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Seniors at Risk: Improving Medicare for Our Most Vulnerable," a hearing held May 22, 2008 (.pdf format).


VIII. Websites of Interest:

36. US CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES SEARCH TOOLS UPDATE: The following search tools were updated on May 22, 2008:

Nursing Home Compare

Dialysis Facility Compare

Participating Physician Directory

Medicare Options Compare

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder


37. UNdata: "The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has launched a new internet-based data service for the global user community. It brings UN statistical databases within easy reach of users through a single entry point from which users can now search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN System. Useful features like Country Profiles, Advanced Search and Glossaries are also provided to aid research. Currently, there are 14 databases and 6 glossaries containing over 55 million data points and covering a whole range of statistics including Population, Industry, Energy, Trade and National Accounts. Whilst this initial version of UNdata is fully equipped with all the functionalities for data access, the development team is continuously adding new databases and features to further enhance the usefulness to users. When fully developed, UNdata will have a comprehensive array of international and national databases providing the world instant access to a wealth of statistical information."


IX. Bibliography Updates:

38. PANEL STUDY OF INCOME DYNAMICS BIBLIOGRAPHY UPDATE: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research PSID has recently added the following item to its bibliography. The entire bibliography can be searched or browsed in various ways at:

Brown, Sarah and Taylor, Karl. Household Debt and Financial Assets: Evidence From Germany, Great Britain, and the USA. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. 2008; 171(Part 3):615-643.

Hughes, Patricia and Luksetich, William. Income Volatility and Wealth: The Effect on Charitable Giving. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 2008; 37(2):264-280.

Lynch, Scott M. Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Health in Life-Course Perspective: Introduction to the Special Issue. Research on Aging. 2008; 30(2):127-136.

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