Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #453--September 4, 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. MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY: AHQR has released three new MEPS data files (US Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, August 2008, data in .zip or self decompressing [.exe] ASCII text and SAS Transport format, with documentation in HTML and .pdf format, and SAS programming statements in ASCII format).

- HC-102H 2006 Home Health

- HC-102C 2006 Other Medical Expenses

- HC-102B 2006 Dental Visits


2. INTER-UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM FOR POLITICAL AND SOCIAL RESEARCH: ICPSR at the University of Michigan released several new datasets as of Sept. 1, 2008. Of particular interest to researchers in aging may be: "Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS II): Milwaukee African American Sample, 2005-2006," (#22840). Note: Some ICPSR studies are available only to ICPSR member institutions. To find out whether your organization is a member, and whether or not it supports ICPSR Direct downloading, see:

Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS II): Milwaukee African American Sample, 2005-2006

New and updated data:

All new and updated data in the last 90 days can be found at:


II. Reports and articles:


A. "Annual Statistical Report on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program, 2007," (September 2008, .pdf, Excel, and HTML format, 173p.).

B. "Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2008," (September 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 36p.).


4. CENSUS BUREAU REPORT: "The Geographic Distribution and Characteristics of Older Workers in South Carolina: 2004," by Cynthia Taeuber and Matthew R. Graham (LED-OW04-SC, Sept. 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).


5. CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES REPORT: "Medicare Contractor Provider Satisfaction Survey: A Report of the 2008 Survey Results," by Joshua Rubin, Lauren Shrader, Russ Mardon, Pamela Giambo and Vasudha Narayanan (August 2008, .pdf format, 26p.).


6. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: "Marketing Materials for Medicare Prescription Drug Plans," (OEI-01-06-00050, September 2008, .pdf format, 36p.).


This report assesses CMS's oversight of marketing materials for stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans (PDP) and determines the extent to which marketing materials for PDPs meet CMS guidelines. CMS defines marketing materials as materials that promote a PDP; provide enrollment information; or explain its benefits, rules, and covered services. Marketing materials include advertisements, comprehensive formularies, enrollment forms, pharmacy directories, and summaries of benefits. CMS's Medicare Marketing Guidelines (the guidelines) specify what marketing materials must include when describing PDP coverage. To help ensure accuracy and expedite the review process for certain marketing materials, CMS created model documents, which are uniform texts that contain required information. Before PDP sponsors distribute marketing materials, they must submit them to CMS under one of its review processes: standard review or file & use. The guidelines also outline oversight activities for CMS to monitor marketing materials, such as requiring identification numbers on materials.

OIG found that CMS's oversight for PDP marketing materials is limited. For example, CMS did not complete a retrospective review of file & use marketing materials from 2006 until April 2008. Furthermore, although CMS completed standard reviews of marketing materials on a timely basis, the reviews lack consistency across regions. Additionally, identification numbers from 45 percent of the materials we reviewed failed to match the numbers in CMS's system. Because the identification numbers do not uniformly identify which materials are written in non-English languages or alternative formats, CMS lacks a systematic way to track these materials. OIG also found that CMS's model documents are not consistent with its guidelines, resulting in problems with PDP marketing materials. Lastly, OIG found that overall, PDP marketing materials did not meet the guidelines. Eighty-five percent of marketing materials failed to meet at least one element of CMS's guidelines. The elements not met comprise omissions from the model documents as well as problems with the language created by sponsors. These elements reflected the array of requirements in the guidelines, which ranged from details about PDP benefits and rules to requirements for font size for footnotes.


7. PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY [AUSTRALIA] REPORT: "Superannuation 2008-09," by Leslie Nielson (No. 6, August 2008, .pdf format, 29p.).


8. JAPAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH, LABOUR, AND WELFARE REPORT: "Abridged Life Tables For Japan 2007" (September 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 9p.).


9. AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS PRESS RELEASE: "Population Projections, Australia, 2006 to 2101," (September 2008).

Use the "Downloads" tab to view the projection tables (Excel format).



A. "$3 Million Boost to Support Carers of People With Dementia," (September 2, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 2p.).

B. "Australian Government acts to protect residents at Melbourne nursing home," (September 3, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 2p.).


11. STATISTICS NORWAY PRESS RELEASE: "Municipal nursing and care statistics. Preliminary figures, 2007," (August 29, 2008).



A. "Improving Access to Care Among Medicare Beneficiaries with Limited English Proficiency: Can Medicare Do More?" by Lynda Flowers (August 2008, .pdf format, 19p.).

B. "Increasing Home Access: Designing for Visitability," by Jordana L. Maisel, Eleanor Smith, and Edward Steinfeld (August 2008, .pdf format, 109p.).


13. ALZHEIMER'S ASSOCIATION REPORT: "Voices of Alzheimers Disease: Summary Report on the Nationwide Town Hall Meetings for People with Early Stage Dementia," (August 2008, .pdf format, 33p.).


14. HOPE FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH ON AGEING [NEW ZEALAND] REPORT: "The New Zealand Health of Older People Strategy - An Evaluation of District Health Board implementation and service alignment," by Lisa Stewart (August 2008, .pdf format, p.).

More information about the Foundation:



A. "Identification of two major types of age-associated CD8 clonal expansions with highly divergent properties," by Eric T. Clambey, Janice White, John W. Kappler, and Philippa Marrack (Vol. 105, No. 35, September 2, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 12997-13002). Note: PNAS is providing open access to the full-text of this article.

B. "The amyloid {beta}-peptide is imported into mitochondria via the TOM import machinery and localized to mitochondrial cristae," by Camilla A. Hansson Petersen, Nyosha Alikhani, Homira Behbahani, Birgitta Wiehager, Pavel F. Pavlov, Irina Alafuzoff, Ville Leinonen, Akira Ito, Bengt Winblad, Elzbieta Glaser, and Maria Ankarcrona (Vol. 105, No. 35, September 2, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 13145-13150). Note: PNAS is providing open access to the full-text of this article.

C. "NGF and BDNF signaling control amyloidogenic route and A-{beta} production in hippocampal neurons," by Carmela Matrone, Maria Teresa Ciotti, Delio Mercanti, Roberta Marolda, and Pietro Calissano (Vol. 105, No. 35, September 2, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, p. 13139-13144). Note: PNAS is providing open access to the full-text of this article.



A. "Changes in Cognition and Mortality in Relation to Exercise in Late Life: A Population Based Study," by Laura E. Middleton, Arnold Mitnitski, Nader Fallah, Susan A. Kirkland, and Kenneth Rockwood (PLoS ONE 3(9): e3124. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003124, .pdf, HTML, and XML format, 7p.).

B. "Chronic Cigarette Smoke Causes Oxidative Damage and Apoptosis to Retinal Pigmented Epithelial Cells in Mice," by Masashi Fujihara, Norihiro Nagai, Thomas E. Sussan, Shyam Biswal, and James T. Handa (PLoS ONE 3(9): e3119. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003119, .pdf, HTML, and XML format, 7p.).

C. "N-Acetylcholinesterase-Induced Apoptosis in Alzheimer's Disease," by Debra Toiber, Amit Berson, David Greenberg, Naomi Melamed-Book, Sophia Diamant, and Hermona Soreq (PLoS ONE 3(9): e3108. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003108, .pdf, HTML, and XML format, 12p.).

D. "Identification of a 5-Protein Biomarker Molecular Signature for Predicting Alzheimer's Disease," by Mart Gez Ravetti and Pablo Moscato (PLoS ONE 3(9): e3111. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003111, .pdf, HTML, and XML format, 12p.).

E. "Mechanisms of Hybrid Oligomer Formation in the Pathogenesis of Combined Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases," by Igor F. Tsigelny, Leslie Crews, Paula Desplats, Gideon M. Shaked, Yuriy Sharikov, Hideya Mizuno, Brian Spencer, Edward Rockenstein, Margarita Trejo, Oleksandr Platoshyn, Jason X.-J. Yuan, Eliezer Masliah (PLoS ONE 3(9): e3135. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003135, .pdf, HTML, and XML format, 15p.).



A. "Effect of Physical Activity on Cognitive Function in Older Adults at Risk for Alzheimer Disease: A Randomized Trial," by Nicola T. Lautenschlager, Kay L. Cox, Leon Flicker, Jonathan K. Foster, Frank M. van Bockxmeer, Jianguo Xiao, Kathryn R. Greenop, and Osvaldo P. Almeida (Vol. 300, No. 9, September 3, 2008, p. 1027-1037).

B. "Physical Activity for Older Adults at Risk for Alzheimer Disease," by Eric B. Larson (Vol. 300, No. 9, September 3, 2008, p. 1077-1079).


18. BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL ARTICLE: "What oncologists tell patients about survival benefits of palliative chemotherapy and implications for informed consent: qualitative study," by Suzanne Audrey, Julian Abel, Jane M. Blazeby, Stephen Falk, and Rona Campbell (BMJ 2008;337:a752, August 30, 2008).


19. LANCET NEUROLOGY ARTICLE, REVIEW ABSTRACTS: Note: Lancet requires free registration prior to providing access to content.

A. "Safety, efficacy, and biomarker findings of PBT2 in targeting A-{beta} as a modifying therapy for Alzheimer's disease: a phase IIa, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial," by Lars Lannfelt, Kaj Blennow, Henrik Zetterberg, Stellan Batsman, David Ames, John Harrison, Colin L. Masters, Steve Targum, Ashley I. Bush, Ross Murdoch, Janet Wilson, and Craig W. Ritchie on behalf of the PBT2-201-EURO study group (Vol. 7, No. 8, September 2008, p. 779-786).

B. "Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia in developing countries: prevalence, management, and risk factors," by Raj N. Kalaria, Gladys E. Maestre, Raul Arizaga, Robert P. Friedland, Doug Galasko, Kathleen Hall, Jose A. Luchsinger, Adesola Ogunniyi, Elaine K. Perry, Felix Potocnik, Martin Prince, Robert Stewart, Anders Wimo, Zhen-Xin Zhang, and Piero Antuono for the World Federation of Neurology Dementia Research Group (Vol. 7, No. 8, September 2008, p. 812-826).

C. "Amyloid-{beta} immunisation for Alzheimer's disease," by Thomas Wisniewski and Uwe Konietzko (Vol. 7, No. 8, September 2008, p. 805-811).


20. LANCET ONCOLOGY ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: Lancet requires free registration prior to providing access to content. "MRI with a lymph-node-specific contrast agent as an alternative to CT scan and lymph-node dissection in patients with prostate cancer: a prospective multicohort study," by Roel A.M. Heesakkers, Anke M. Helsb, Gerrit J. Jager, Harrie C.M. van den Bosch, Prof. J. Alfred Witjes, Hein P.J. Raat, Prof. Johan L. Severens, Eddy M.M. Adang, Christina Hulsbergen van der Kaa, Jurgen J. Fterer, and Prof. Jelle Barentsz (Vol. 9, No. 9, September 2008, p. 850-856).



A. "Prognostic Importance of Defibrillator Shocks in Patients with Heart Failure," by Jeanne E. Poole, George W. Johnson, Anne S. Hellkamp, Jill Anderson, David J. Callans, Merritt H. Raitt, Ramakota K. Reddy, Francis E. Marchlinski, Raymond Yee, Thomas Guarnieri, Mario Talajic, David J. Wilber, Daniel P. Fishbein, Douglas L. Packer, Daniel B. Mark, Kerry L. Lee, and Gust H. Bardy (Vol. 359, No. 10, September 4, 2008, p. 1009-1017).

B. "Quality of Life with Defibrillator Therapy or Amiodarone in Heart Failure," by Daniel B. Mark, Kevin J. Anstrom, Jie L. Sun, Nancy E. Clapp-Channing, Anastasios A. Tsiatis, Linda Davidson-Ray, Kerry L. Lee, Gust H. Bardy, for the Sudden Cardiac Death in Heart Failure Trial Investigators (Vol. 359, No. 10, September 4, 2008, p. 999-1008).


22. NEWSWEEK ARTICLE: "Is Medicare Healthy?" by Mary Carmichael (September 8, 2008).


III. Working Papers:

23. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH: "Is American Health Care Uniquely Inefficient?" by Alan M. Garber and Jonathan Skinner (w14257, August 2008, .pdf format, 40p.).


The U.S. health system has been described as the most competitive, heterogeneous, inefficient, fragmented, and advanced system of care in the world. In this paper, we consider two questions: First, is the U.S. health care system productively efficient relative to other wealthy countries, in the sense of producing better health for a given bundle of hospital beds, physicians, nurses, and other factor inputs? Second, is the U.S. allocatively efficient relative to other countries, in the sense of providing highly valued care to consumers? For both questions, the answer is most likely no. Although no country can claim to have eliminated inefficiency, the U.S. has fragmented care, high administrative costs, and stands out with regard to heterogeneity in treatment because of race, income, and geography. The U.S. health care system is also more likely to pay for diagnostic tests, treatments, and other forms of care before effectiveness is established and with little consideration of the value they provide. A number of proposed reforms that are designed to ameliorate shortcomings of the U.S. health care system, such as quality improvement initiatives and coverage expansions, are unlikely by themselves to reduce expenditures. Addressing allocative inefficiency is a far more difficult task but central to controlling costs.



A. "Pension Fund Performance," by Pablo Antolin (OECD Working Paper on Insurance and Private Pensions No. 20, August 2008, .pdf format, 19p.).


This report provides an analysis of aggregate investment performance by country on a risk adjusted basis using relatively standard investment performance measures. The report also describes privately managed pension funds around the world and the regulatory environment they face. It compares pension funds across countries according to total assets under management and asset allocation, and briefly discusses certain issues surrounding the data reported by pension funds and regulators on investment returns.

B. "National Annuity Markets: Features and Implications," by Rob Rusconi (OECD Working Paper on Insurance and Private Pensions No. 24, September 2008, .pdf format, 59p.).


This paper describes a number of national annuity markets, the types of products typically available, the demand for these products, the value for money on offer and the dynamics of the supply side. It explores supply and demand characteristics, asking what the main forces are that drive these dynamics and how they might be recognised and responded to by policymakers.


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

25. Aging and Mental Health (Vol. 12, No. 3, May 2008).

26. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Vol. 16, No. 9, September 2008).

27. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying (Vol. 57, No. 4, 2008).

Search for "Omega" (without the quotes), return Publications.

28. Journal of Aging and Health (Vol. 20, No. 6, September 2008). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

29. Journal of the American Geriatric Society (Vol. 56, No. 9, September 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 Sept. 3, 2008:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Sept. 3, 2008:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Sept. 3, 2008:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Sept. 3, 2008:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Sept. 3, 2008:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Sept. 3, 2008:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

31. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO PRESS: The Gender Impact of Social Security Reform by Estelle James, Alejandra Cox Edwards, and Rebeca Wong (2008, ISBN: 9780226392004, 216p.).


VI. Funding Opportunities:

32. US NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: "NIA Clinical Research Study Investigator's Toolbox," (NOT-AG-08-008, National Institute on Aging, Aug. 28, 2008).


33. AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY: "2009 Dennis W. Jahnigen Career Development Scholars Awards," (deadline for applications is December 9, 2008). "The Jahnigen Career Development Awards Scholars Program offers two-year career development awards to support junior faculty in anesthesiology, emergency medicine, general surgery, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, thoracic surgery and urology.. The award allows individuals to initiate and ultimately sustain a career in research and education in the geriatrics aspects of their discipline."


34. BROOKDALE FOUNDATION: "Leadership in Aging Fellowship Program," (deadline for application is November 6, 2008). "The Leadership in Aging Fellowship provides two years of support to junior academics to focus on a project that will help establish them in an area of aging research. The Fellowship is open to a broad range of disciplines including, but not limited to, medical, biological and basic sciences, nursing, social sciences, the arts and humanities."


VII. Websites of Interest:

35. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU: "Disability, Elderly Health, and Obesity," (August 2008, Windows Media Player, podcast, and MP3 format, running time 15 minutes). Note: This webcast is an interview with "Jay Bhattacharya, an assistant professor of medicine and a faculty member of the Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care Outcomes Research at Stanford University."




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