Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #45--August 10, 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:

1. _FEDERAL INTERAGENCY FORUM ON AGING-RELATED STATISTICS_: "Older Americans 2000: Key Indicators of Well-Being," (_Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics_, HTML and .pdf format, August 2000).

>From the Press Release:

This report covers 31 key indicators carefully selected by the Forum to portray aspects of the lives of older Americans and their families. The report is divided into five subject areas: population, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors, and health care.



A. "Health Insurance Status of the Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population: 1998," by Jeffrey A. Rhoades, Erwin Brown, Jr., and Jessica P. Vistnes (_AHRQ_, MEPS Research Findings No. 11. AHRQ Pub. No. 00-0023, .pdf and HTML format, 36 p., 2000).


This report from the 1998 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) provides preliminary estimates of the health insurance status of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population during the first half of 1998, including the size and characteristics of the population with private health insurance, with public insurance, and without any health care coverage. During this period, 84.2 percent of all Americans were covered by private or public health insurance, leaving 15.8 percent of the population, some 42.3 million people, uninsured. Among the non-elderly population, 82.2 percent of Americans had either private or public coverage and 17.8 percent of the population (42 million people) lacked health care coverage. Among the elderly population, there was a significant drop in private health insurance coverage and a significant increase in coverage by only public health insurance when compared to 1997 estimates. The probability that an individual would be uninsured during this period was especially high for young adults aged 19-24 and members of racial and ethnic minorities (especially Hispanic males). Public health insurance continues to play an important role in ensuring that children, black Americans, and Hispanic Americans obtain health care coverage.

Scroll down to the title of the report to get to the .pdf and HTML format.

B. UPDATES TO MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY (MEPS) DATA FILES: On August 1, 2000, AHRQ announced updates to the documentation for the following MEPS data files (HTML format):

MEPS HC-10A: 1996 Prescribed Medicines File

MEPS HC-010B: 1996 Dental Visits File

MEPS HC-010C: 1996 Other Medical Expenses File

MEPS HC-010D: 1996 Hospital Inpatient Stays File

MEPS HC-010E: 1996 Emergency Room Visits File

MEPS HC-010F: 1996 Outpatient Visits File

MEPS HC-010G: 1996 Office-Based Provider Visits File

MEPS HC-010H: 1996 Home Health File

Click on "Current Public Use Data Releases", then scroll to the name of the file in the table to locate information about the file:


3. _NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS_: "Hospitalizations for Injury: United States, 1996," (_NCHS_, Advance Data Report 318, 10 p., .pdf format, August 7, 2000).

Note: To locate this report, scroll down to "Hospitalizations for Injury: United States, 1996" and click on "View/Download PDF".



The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), located at the University of Michigan recently added the following data files to their collection.


To locate information about one of these files, go to the ICPSR recent additions page.

You can also locate information about a file by going to ICPSR's archive page and running a search on the study number (in parenthesis next to the file name). The URL is:

To acquire one of the data files, you will need to contact your organization's ICPSR representative.


II. Reports and articles:

5. _JSTOR--ADDITIONS_: The JSTOR project ("a not-for-profit organization established with the assistance of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation [that] is dedicated to helping the scholarly community take advantage of advances in information technologies"), has increased coverage of electronic full text of two journals that may be of interest. JSTORE journal articles are searchable, browsable, and printable.

A. _Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America_ (Vols. 46-94, 1960-1997). Moving Wall: 2 years. Note: The moving wall "is a fixed period of time ranging, in most cases, from 2 to 5 years, that defines the gap between the most recently published issue and the date of the most recent issues available in JSTOR. In calculating the moving wall, the current, incomplete year is not counted."

B. _Science_ (Vols. 131-266, 1960-1994. Moving Wall: 5 years.)

To see if your organization is a participant in JSTOR (and therefore, provides full text services), see:

Your organization must be part of the General Science Collection to have access to the above journals.

The availability of these journals was originally covered in CAAR Report #36. JSTOR has extended coverage of these journals to include earlier volumes.



A. "Medicare Coverage of Clinical Trials Proposed National Coverage Decision," (_HCFA_, HTML format, August 4, 2000).

B. "Operational Instructions for the Non-renewal of All or a Portion of a Medicare+Choice Contract," (_HCFA_, HTML format, August 7, 2000).


7. _GAO_ REPORT: "Rural Ambulances: Medicare Fee Schedule Payments Could Be Better Targeted," (_GAO_, GAO/HEHS-00-115, .pdf format, 40 p., July 17, 2000).


8. _NATURE_ ABSTRACT OF A LETTER TO NATURE: "Telomere dysfunction promotes non-reciprocal translocations and epithelial cancers in mice," by Steven E. Artandi, Sandy Chang, Shwu-Luan Lee, Scott Alson, et. al. (_Nature_, Vol. 406, No. 6796, 641-645 p., August 10, 2000).

Note: Your organization may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) of this article. Check your organization's library.



"Smoking, smoking cessation, and lung cancer in the UK since 1950: combination of national statistics with two case-control studies," by Richard Peto, Sarah Darby, Harz Deo, Paul Silcocks, Elise Whitley, and Richard Doll (_BMJ Papers_, Vol. 321, No. 7257, 323-329 p., August 3, 2000). Note: You may be able to obtain the electronic full-text of the article (PDF or HTML format),check with your organization's library for availability.


10. _JAMA_ ARTICLE: "Smoking Cessation and Risk of Age-Related Cataract in Men," by William G. Christen, et. al. (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 6, HTML and .pdf format, August 9, 2000).


11. _HEALTH AFFAIRS_ ARTICLE: "American Health Care and the Law -- We Need to Talk!" by Clark C. Havighurst (_Health Affairs_ [via Medscape Health], Vol. 19, No. 4, 86-114 p., 2000). Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.


III. Working Papers:


"Social Security and Retirement," by Courtney Coile, Jonathan Gruber (_NBER_, W7830, .pdf format, 55 p., August 2000).


A critical question for Social Security policy is how program incentives affect retirement behavior. We use the wealth of new data available through the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS) to examine the impact of Social Security incentives on male retirement. We implement forward-looking models of retirement whereby individuals consider not just the incentives to work in the next year but in all future years as well. We find that such forward looking incentive measures for Social Security are significant determinants of retirement decisions. Our findings suggest that Social Security policies which increase the incentives to work at older ages can significantly reduce the exit rate of older workers from the labor force.

Click on "PDF" to view full electronic text.


13. _University of Michigan Population Studies Center Elderly in Asia Reports_:

"Ageing in Asia: Facing the Crossroads," by Albert I. Hermalin (Elderly in Asia Report 00-55, August 2000, .pdf format, 54p.).

>From the Abstract:

Three broad factors bring Asia to an interesting crossroads with regard to population aging: the magnitude and speed of the demographic trends; the concurrent social and economic changes ongoing throughout much of the region; and the awareness of policymakers to potential threats to the well-being of the elderly. As a result, policymakers are interested in fashioning programs that address emerging needs which are not excessively costly and which do not undermine traditional social arrangements. The paper reviews the key demographic changes and contrasts them with Europe; and then highlights three research perspectives-cohort succession, family accommodations, and older life course transitions-which can provide essential insights for policy and program development in the areas of health services, social welfare programs, and retirement provisions. The paper is a slightly revised version of one presented at the Annual Conference of the British Society for Population Studies, September 6-8, 1999 at University College, Dublin.



"Endogenous Fertility, Endogenous Growth and Public Pension System: Should We Switch from a PAYG to a Fully-Funded System?" by Yeopil Yoon and Gabriel Talmain (_Department of Economics Discussion Papers_, 00/31 .pdf format, 23 p., July 28, 2000).

Abstract: This paper studies the implications of state pension plan reform on fertility and on growth. It extends the Grossman and Yanagawa (1993) endogenous growth framework by incorporating altruism, making fertility endogenous. We investigate the effect on long-run growth of a switch from a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) pension system to a fully- funded system. We show that a PAYG pension system is associated with a lower fertility rate than a fully-funded system. This lower fertility in turn increases the rate of growth. Hence, switching from a PAYG system to a fully-funded system may be harmful, especially for developing countries in which limited resources are heavily stressed by high fertility rates. In addition, we propose a hypothetical pension system, the Saving Subsidy Program (SSP), which would yield a higher growth rate than the PAYG system. The SSP consists of a minimum benefit level for each retiree and of a subsidy to private savings.

Note: To locate this paper scroll down to "00/31".


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

15. 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

Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology (Vol. 15, No. 1, 2000).

Omega (Vol. 40, No. 2, 1999).


V. Program Announcements:


A. "Quality of Life for Individual's at the End-of-Life," (_National Institute of Nursing Research and six other ICs_, PA-00-127, HTML format, August 2, 2000).

Purpose: The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) and 6 other ICs seek research grant applications that will generate scientific knowledge to improve the quality of life for individuals who are facing end-of-life issues and for their families. Research applications may include basic, clinical or care delivery studies focused on management of physical and psychological symptoms, patient-provider and patient-family communication, ethics and clinical decision-making, caregiver support, or the context of care delivery for those facing life-limiting illnesses. In a broad sense the purpose of this program announcement is to enhance the quality of life remaining for individuals who are nearing the end of their lives.

B. "National Institute on Aging Support of Scientific Meetings as Cooperative Agreements," (_National Institute on Aging_, PA-00-128, HTML format, August 2, 2000).


The purpose of the program announcement (PA) is to inform the scientific community that the National Institute on Aging (NIA) will now support scientific meetings as cooperative agreements in addition to the current practice of supporting them through the traditional grant mechanism. This document provides guidelines for when it is appropriate to request support of a meeting as a cooperative agreement and explains procedures for preparing and submitting such applications.


VI. Conference Announcments:


"America's Families Care: Voices from the Community," (_AOA and Kansas Dept. on Aging_, HTML format, August 10, 2000).

The roundtable is one of a series across the country to provide the AoA with the opportunity to hear from family caregivers, community service providers, aging experts, and citizens about the kinds of service, support, and critical assistance needed to better deal with daily burdens and challenges of caregiving.

The roundtable event will be held Thursday, August 24, 2000 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. at the Bradbury-Thompson Center on the Washburn University Campus in Topeka, Kansas. Contact information is provided on the Web page.




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
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Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400