Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #450--August 13, 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:

Note: Next week's CAAR Report will be sent out on Wednesday (Aug. 13), rather then Thurs. (Aug. 14).


NOTE: At the end of this week our Data and Information Services Center will have produced its 3,000th Current Awareness Report. The breakdown:

450 CAAR Reports

2155 CAAR E-Clippings.

218 Current Social Science Research Reports (CSSRR)

167 Current Demographic Research Reports (CSSRR's predecessor).

We thank you all for your interest and are very happy you find them useful.

If you are interested in receiving notification when our Social Science Reports have been loaded on our website, please see:


I. Reports and articles:

1. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS POLICY BRIEF: "Distributional Effects of Increasing the Benefit Computation Period," by Mark Sarney (Policy Brief No. 2008-02, August 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 6p.).





A. "Medicare Evidentiary Priorities" (August 2008, .pdf format, 8p.).

B. "Medicare Pilot Program Will Offer Beneficiaries Choices for Maintaining Their Own Personal Health Records" (Aug. 8, 2008).


3. US CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE REPORT: "Behavioral Economics: Lessons from Retirement Research for Health Care and Beyond," by Peter Orszag (August 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 13p.).


4. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE CORRESPONDENCE: "Schedule and Timing Issues Complicate Withholding Premiums for Medicare Parts C and D from Social Security Payments (GAO-08-816R, July 2008, .pdf format, 89p.).


5. US NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH NEWS RELEASE: "Key Gaps Remain in Understanding Health Effects of Vitamin D" (Aug. 12, 2008).


6. AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND WELFARE REPORT: "Aged care packages in the community 2006-07: a statistical overview," (Aged care statistics series no. 27, August 2008, .pdf format, 132p.).


7. STATISTICS DENMARK FOCUS: "Social security pension payments" (Aug. 12, 2008).


8. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION REPORT: "Examining Sources of Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries: Supplemental Insurance, Medicare Advantage, and Prescription Drug Coverage -- Findings from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, 2006" (August 2008, chartpack, .pdf format, 26p., with an accompanying slideshow in Microsoft PowerPoint and .pdf format).


9. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUE BRIEF: "Do Households Have a Good Sense of Their Retirement Preparedness?" by Alicia H. Munnell, Francesca Golub-Sass, Mauricio Soto, and Anthony Webb (IB#8-11, August 2008, .pdf format, 8p.).


10. EMPLOYEE BENEFIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE ISSUE BRIEF: "Lessons From the Evolution of 401(k) Retirement Plans for Increased Consumerism in Health Care: An Application of Behavioral Research," by Jodi DiCenzo and Paul Fronstin (No. 320, August 2008, .pdf format, 26p.).


11. ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE ISSUE BRIEF: "Social Security: Here today, still here tomorrow; Why todays young workers should be confident about the programs future," by Alexander Hertel (EPI Issue Brief No. 246, August 2008).

More Information About EPI:



A. "Iron Accumulation with Age, Oxidative Stress and Functional Decline," by Jinze Xu, Mitchell D. Knutson, Christy S. Carter, and Christiaan Leeuwenburgh PLoS ONE 3(8): e2865 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002865, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 8p.).

B. "Impaired Adult Neurogenesis in the Dentate Gyrus of a Triple Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease," by Jose J. Rodruez, Victoria C. Jones, Masashi Tabuchi, Stuart M. Allan, Elysse M. Knight, Frank M. LaFerla, Salvatore Oddo, and Alexei Verkhratsky (PLoS ONE 3(8): e2935 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002935, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 8p.).

C. "Concurrence of Danish Dementia and Cataract: Insights from the Interactions of Dementia Associated Peptides with Eye Lens a-Crystallin," by Ira Surolia, Sharmistha Sinha, Debi Prasad Sarkar, P. Yadagiri Reddy, G. Bhanuprakash Reddy, and Avadhesha Surolia (PLoS ONE 3(8): e2927 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002927, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 9p.).


13. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Proteins induced by telomere dysfunction and DNA damage represent biomarkers of human aging and disease," by Hong Jiang, Eric Schiffer, Zhangfa Song, Jianwei Wang, Petra Zurbig, Kathrin Thedieck, Suzette Moes, Heike Bantel, Nadja Saal, Justyna Jantos, Meiken Brecht,Paul Jeno, Michael N. Hall, Klaus Hager, Michael P. Manns, Hartmut Hecker, Arnold Ganser, Konstanze Dohner, Andrzej Bartke, Christoph Meissner, Harald Mischak, Zhenyu Ju, and K. Lenhard Rudolph (Vol. 105, No. 32, Aug. 12, 2008, p. 11299-11304).


14. BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL NEWS EXTRACT: "Over 60s' use of prescription drugs has doubled in past decade in England," by Andrew Cole (BMJ 2008;337:a1132, Aug. 1, 2008).


15. LANCET ARTICLE: Note: Lancet requires free registration before providing content."Prevalence of dementia in Latin America, India, and China: a population-based cross-sectional survey," by Juan J. Llibre Rodriguez, Cleusa P. Ferri, Daisy Acosta, Mariella Guerra, Yueqin Huang, K.S. Jacob, E.S. Krishnamoorthy, Aquiles Salas, Ana Luisa Sosa, Isaac Acosta, Michael E. Dewey, Ciro Gaona, A.T. Jotheeswaran, Shuran, Diana Rodriguez, Guillermina Rodriguez, P. Senthil Kumar, Adolfo Valhuerdi, and Martin Prince (Vol. 372, No. 9637, Aug. 9, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, p. 464-474). The article is linked to a related comment: "The rising tide of dementia worldwide," by Eric B. Larson and Kenneth M. Langa (p. 430-432). These articles are available free of charge.


16. LANCET NEUROLOGY ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: Lancet Neurology requires free registration before providing content. "Incident dementia and blood pressure lowering in the Hypertension in the Very Elderly Trial cognitive function assessment (HYVET-COG): a double-blind, placebo controlled trial," by Ruth Peters, Nigel Beckett, Francoise Forette, Jaakko Tuomilehto, Robert Clarke, Craig Ritchie, Adam Waldman, Ivan Walton, Ruth Poulter, Shuping, Marius Comsa, Lisa Burch, Astrid Fletcher, and Christopher Bulpitt (Vol. 7, No. 8, August 2008, p. 683-689).


II. Working Papers:

17. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS: "The Out-of-Sample Performance of Stochastic Methods in Forecasting Age-Specific Mortality Rates," by Javier Meseguer (WP 111, July 2008, .pdf format, 61p.).


This paper evaluates the out-of-sample performance of two stochastic models used to forecast age-specific mortality rates: (1) the model proposed by Lee and Carter (1992); and (2)) a set of univariate autoregressions linked together by a common residual covariance matrix (Denton, Feavor, and Spencer 2005). To this aim, death rates from 16 industrialized nations are used to compare observed ex-post mortality rates to the forecasts generated by the models. Several functions of the individual age-specific mortality rates are also entertained, including life expectancy at birth (e0), as well as alternative measures of the age-dependency ratio. The latter are constructed based on how the individual mortality rates enter a population projection, and thus, are meant to gauge the potential impact of mortality alone on public retirement programs. In general, both models are found to produce point forecasts for the individual mortality rates, life expectancy, and the dependency ratios that are fairly close to one another. Typically, the median projections of mortality moderately overpredict the actual death rates, particularly for the oldest age groups (ages 65-95 or older). Conversely, the large majority of the point forecasts of life expectancy at birth and the dependency ratios underestimate their observed values. The models also generate interval forecasts of e0 that are "too wide" as their empirical probability content often exceeds their nominal coverage. However, the Lee-Carter model tends to seriously underpredict the forecast uncertainty associated with both the death rates of the oldest ages and the age-dependency ratios, while the autoregressive approach overpredicts this uncertainty in most cases.


18. INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: "Pension Privatization and Country Risk," by Alfredo Cuevas, Maria Gonzalez, Davide Lombardo, and Arnoldo Lopez-Marmolejo (Working Paper No. 08/195, August 2008, .pdf format, 32p.)

This paper explores how privatizing a pension system can affect sovereign credit risk. For this purpose, it analyzes the importance that rating agencies give to implicit pension debt (IPD) in their assessments of sovereign creditworthiness. We find that rating agencies generally do not seem to give much weight to IPD, focusing instead on explicit public debt. However, by channeling pension contributions away from the government and creating a deficit of resources to cover the current pension liabilities during the reforms transition period, a pension privatization reform may transform IPD into explicit public debt, adversely affecting a sovereigns perceived creditworthiness, thus increasing its risk premium. In this light, accompanying pension reform with efforts to offset its transition costs through fiscal adjustment would help preserve a country's credit rating.


19. INSTITUTE FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (ISER) [UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX, COLCHESTER, UK]: "Poverty persistence among Belgian elderly: true or spurious?" by Marjan Maes (WP 2008-24, August 2008, .pdf format, 58p.).


Based upon a longitudinal administrative dataset merged with the Socio-economic Survey of 2001 and the National Register, the majority of the poor elderly in Belgium appear to be persistently poor. The simultaneous estimation of a multiple, spell discrete, time hazard model shows that dependence in poverty is a true phenomenon. It also shows that besides observable characteristics that reduce poverty exit and increase re-entry there are, in addition, unobserved effects that lead to the same kind of poverty persistence. Controlling for unobserved effects and an initial condition problem significantly improved the fit of the model.


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

20. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 168, No. 4, Aug. 15, 2008).

21. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 56, No. 7, July 2008).

22. Journals of Gerontology (A) Biological and Medical Sciences (Vols. 63, Nos. 7, July 2008). Note: Full text of these journals are available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and these issues.

23, Journals of Gerontology (B) Psychological and Social Sciences (Vols. 63, No. 4, July 2008). Note: Full text of these journals are available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and these issues.


24. 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 Aug. 13, 2008:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Aug. 13, 2008:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Aug. 13, 2008:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Aug. 13, 2008:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Aug. 13, 2008:

F. Ophthalmology Research: Literature for the week of Aug. 13, 2008:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


IV. Funding Opportunities/Employment Opportunities:


A. "Translational Research at the Aging/Cancer Interface (TRACI) (R01)" (PA-08-230, Aug. 8, 2008, National Institute on Aging). For more information see:

B. "Translational Research at the Aging/Cancer Interface (TRACI) (R21)" (PA-08-231, Aug. 8, 2008, National Institute on Aging). For more information see:


26. AGEWORK.COM: AgeWork has updated its employment page with listings through Aug. 12, 2008.


V. Conferences:

27. CONFERENCEALERTS.COM GERONTOLOGY CONFERENCES: The following new conferences have been added to the Gerontology site:

Managing Aging T&D Infrastructure: How to Cost Effectively Manage Aged Assets to Maintain Reliability -- St. Louis, Missouri, Sep. 15, 2008.

A New Age in Dementia Care -- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sep. 17, 2008.

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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