Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #463--November 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:


I. Data:

1. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN DATA AND INFORMATION SERVICES CENTER/UW CENTER FOR DEMOGRAPHY OF HEALTH AND AGING/UW CENTER FOR DEMOGRAPHY AND ECOLOGY/GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH OF THE MEDICAL SCIENCES CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO: The Puerto Rican Elderly Health Conditions (PREHCO2), 2004-2006 data and documents are now available at CDHA's BADGIR site. PREHCO2 interviewed survivors of the sample interviewed in PREHCO1. It collected information on changes in health, functional limitations, depression, cognition and mortality as well as on family and residential arrangement transitions, familial and non familial transfers, fluctuations in income and assets and, finally, labor force status changes. PREHCO data provides a rich source to examine these areas of research: 1. investigation of uniformly high age and sex-specific prevalence of obesity and self-reported diabetes (type II); 2. investigation of race differentials in measures of health and functional status, 3. assessment of conjectures posing a relation between health and functional limitations of older cohorts and their early childhood experiences of malnutrition and disease; 4. health, functional status and mortality differentials across socioeconomic levels and among individuals with and without migrant experiences in the US. NOTE!!! This is a premlinary release of the PREHCO2 data. At present, all variable descriptions are in Spanish. Free registration is required before accessing BADGIR data. Users may browse data documentation without registering.


2. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT STUDY: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research HRS announces the release of several data sets and changes to documentations (November, 2008).

- 2005 Prescription Drug Study (Final, Version 1.0) (Nov. 12, 2008).

- 2006 Internet Survey (Final, Version 1.0) (Nov. 12, 2008).

Data Access:

- When the HTML versions of the HRS 2006 Core and Exit data sets were created, the 2-character level name value was used instead of the 1-character level value, resulting in inconsistent linkage values that produced 404 errors for certain Concordance queries. New HTML files have now been created to correct this problem.

- Additional (minor) changes have been made to the Online Concordance related to the level - levelname changes mentioned above.


3. NATIONAL EYE INSTITUTE: "Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS)" (2008, XML format). "The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) was initially designed as a long-term multi-center, prospective study of the clinical course of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and age-related cataract. In addition to collecting natural history data, AREDS included a clinical trial of high-dose vitamin and mineral supplements for AMD and a clinical trial of high-dose vitamin supplements for cataract. AREDS participants were 55 to 80 years of age at enrollment and had to be were free of any illness or condition that would make long-term follow-up or compliance with study medications unlikely or difficult. On the basis of fundus photographs graded by a central reading center, best-corrected visual acuity and ophthalmologic evaluations, over 4,700 participants were enrolled in one of several AMD categories, including persons with no AMD." Registration is required to access individual level data (see link to dbGaP Authorized Access).

Related Press Release:


II. Reports and articles:

4. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFIC OF POLICY REPORT: "Estimated Retirement Benefits in the Social Security Statement," by Glenn R. Springstead, David A. Weaver, and Jason J. Fichtner (Research and Statistics Note No. 2008-05, November 2008, HTML and .pdf format, 84p.).




5. US CENSUS BUREAU REPORT: "The Geographic Distribution and Characteristics of Older Workers in Virginia: 2004," by Cynthia Taeuber and Matthew R. Graham (LED-OW04-PA, October 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).

Scroll to "Virginia".


6. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: "Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Audits of Medicare Part D Bids," (OEI-05-07-00560, November 2008, .pdf format, 34p.).


We found that one-quarter of all bid audits completed for plan years 2006 and 2007 identified at least one material finding. The largest number of bid audits with material findings identified nonpharmacy costs and methodology errors.

Bid amounts are the basis for payments to Part D plan sponsors. CMS currently uses bid audits as part of its oversight of Medicare Part D bidding. In addition, according to CMS staff, CMS intends to supplement its oversight with information gathered from financial audits.

We found that CMS has not adjusted plan sponsors' bid amounts based on bid audit material findings. Instead, CMS uses bid audits to influence the submission, review, and audit of future bid amounts. We also found that as of April 2008, only 4 percent of the required financial audits of plan year 2006 had begun. Without financial audits, CMS will not be able to ensure the accuracy of the base period data used as the foundation of the bid amount.

To improve CMS's oversight of Part D bid amounts, we recommend that CMS modify the bid audit process to hold plan sponsors more accountable for material findings identified in bid audits. We also recommend that CMS conduct the required number of financial audits in a timely manner.

CMS stated that it will carefully consider our recommendation to modify the bid audit process to hold Part D sponsors more accountable for material findings. In addition, CMS agreed that it should conduct the required financial audits in a timely manner. OIG continues to recommend that CMS strengthen its oversight and enforcement approach to hold Part D sponsors accountable for their bid submissions.



A. "CMS Issues Agent Compensation Requirements for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Programs," (November 2008).

A copy of the Federal Register announcement can be found at the end of the release.

B. Ask Medicare (November/December 2008, .pdf format, 2p.).


8. UK DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS REPORT: "The information people may require to support their decision to remain in, or opt out of, a workplace pension," by Claire McAlpine, Helen Marshall and Andrew Thomas (Research Report No. 540, November 2008, .pdf format, 84p.).


9. STATISTICAL OFFICE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA BROCHURE: "Slovenia's Population is Ageing - New Solidarity Relations between Generations are Needed," (November 2008, .pdf format, 72p.).

Related Press Release:


10. STATISTICS NEW ZEALAND/TATAURANGA AOTEROA REPORT: "New Zealand Period Life Tables: 2005-07," (November 10, 2008, .pdf, Excel, and HTML format, 15p.).


11. NATIONAL BOARD OF HEALTH AND WELFARE (SOCIALSTYRELSEN) [STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN] REPORT: "Developments in the care of the elderly in Sweden in 2007," (October 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).{1F26D9DD-A5F4-4359-AF2D-60B38403139F}



A. "Transition Care Places: Helping Older People Recover and Return to Their Homes," (November 7, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 3p.).

B. "Independent review of workforce issues in NT Indigenous aged care," (November 13, 2008, .pdf and HTML format, 1p.).


13. NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC MODELLING [UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA]: "Distribution of Expenditure on Health Goods and Services by Australian Households," by Laurie Brown, Alicia Payne, Sharyn Lymer and Andrew Armstrong (October 2008, .pdf format, 102p.).


14. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUE BRIEF: "The Financial Crisis and State/Local Defined Benefit Plans," by Alicia H. Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry, and Dan Muldoon (IB No. 8-19, November 2008, .pdf format, 9p.).



A. "Opinions of AARP Nebraska Members on Long-Term Care," by Katherine Bridges (October 2008, .pdf format, 8p.).

B. "Consumer Fraud: A 2008 Survey of AARP Colorado Members Experiences and Opinions," by Cassandra Cantave Burton (October 2008, .pdf format, 25p.).

C. "The Costs of Doing Nothing: What's at Stake Without Health Care Reform," by Shelly-Ann Sinclair (November 2008, .pdf format, 31p.).

D. "Perceptions Regarding the Quality of Patient Care in South Carolina: An AARP Member Survey," by Joanne Binette and Erica L. Dinger (November 2008, .pdf format, 25p.).


16. LANCET WORLD REPORT ABSTRACT: "Drug abuse in older US adults worries experts," by David Boddiger (Vol. 372, No. 9650, November 8, 2008, p. 1622).


17. NATURE MEDICINE LETTER ABSTRACT: "The miR-15a-miR-16-1 cluster controls prostate cancer by targeting multiple oncogenic activities," by Dir Bonci, Valeria Coppola, Maria Musumeci, Antonio Addario, Raffaella Giuffrida, Lorenzo Memeo, Leonardo D'Urso, Alfredo Pagliuca, Mauro Biffoni, Catherine Labbaye, Monica Bartucci, Giovanni Muto, Cesare Peschle & Ruggero De Maria (Vol. 14, No. 11, November 2008, p. 1271-1277).


18. PLOS (PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE) ONE ARTICLE: "Food Inequality Negatively Impacts Cardiac Health in Rabbits," by Fatemeh Heidary, Mohammad Reza Vaeze Mahdavi, Farshad Momeni, Bagher Minaii, Mehrdad Rogani, Nader Fallah, Roghayeh Heidary, and Reza Gharebaghi (PLoS ONE 3(11): e3705. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003705, XML, PDF, and HTML format, 3p.).



A. "Vitamins E and C in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Men: The Physicians' Health Study II Randomized Controlled Trial," by Howard D. Sesso, Julie E. Buring, William G. Christen, Tobias Kurth, Charlene Belanger, Jean MacFadyen, Vadim Bubes, JoAnn E. Manson, Robert J. Glynn, and J. Michael Gaziano (Vol. 300, No. 18, November 12, 2008, p. 2123-2133).

B. "Nonfasting Triglycerides and Risk of Ischemic Stroke in the General Population," by Jacob J. Freiberg, Anne Tybjaerg-Hansen, Jan Skov Jensen, and Borge G. Nordestgaard (Vol. 300, No. 18, November 12, 2008, p. 2142-2152).


20. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "New melanic pigments in the human brain that accumulate in aging and block environmental toxic metals," by Luigi Zecca, Chiara Bellei, Patrizia Costi, Alberto Albertini, Enrico Monzani, Luigi Casella, Mario Gallorini, Luigi Bergamaschi, Alberto Moscatelli, Nicholas J. Turro, Melvin Eisner, Pier Raimondo Crippa, Shosuke Ito, Kazumasa Wakamatsu, William D. Bush, Weslyn C. Ward, John D. Simon, and Fabio A. Zucca (Vol. 105, No. 45, November 11, 2008, p. 17567-17572).


III. Working Papers:

21. NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH: "The Rise of Retirement Among African Americans: Wealth and Social Security Effects," by Dora L. Costa (w14462, November 2008, .pdf format, 46p.).


I examine the effects of an unearned income transfer on the retirement rates and living arrangements of a very poor population by studying the effects of pensions on the decisions of black Union Army veterans. I find that blacks were 2 to 5 times as responsive as whites to income transfers in their retirement decisions and 6 to 8 times as responsive in their choice of independent living arrangements. I argue that blacks' greater poverty explains their responsiveness to pensions. My findings have implications for understanding racial differences in trends in retirement and independent living. I show that the retirement rates of both blacks and whites rose between 1900 and 1930 but that convergence in black and white rates and in living arrangements only occurred between 1930 and 1950. I argue that income effects from the institution of Social Security explain up to half of the convergence in black-white retirement rates and in living arrangements.


22. RAND CORPORATION: "Changes in Consumption at Retirement," by Emma Aguila, Orazio P. Attanasio, and Costas Meghir (WR-621, October 2008, .pdf format, 27p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


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

23. Age and Ageing (Vol. 37, No. 6 & Suppl. 3, November 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

No. 6:

Suppl. 3:

24. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association (Vol. 4, No. 6, November 2008).

25. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 98, No. 12, December 2008). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for availability of these databases and this issue.

26. Dementia (Vol. 7, No. 4, November 2008).

27. Journal of Aging Studies (Vol. 22, No. 4, December 2008). Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issues.

28. Omega: Journal of Death and Dying (Vol. 58, No. 1, 2008-2009).


29. 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 Nov. 11, 2008:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Nov. 11, 2008:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Nov. 11, 2008:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Nov. 11, 2008:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Nov. 11, 2008:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Nov. 11, 2008:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

30. WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REGIONAL OFFICE FOR EUROPE: Home care in Europe. The solid facts, edited by Rosanna Tarricone and Agis D. Tsouros (2008, ISBN 978 92 890 4281 9, .pdf format, 36p.).


VI. Funding Opportunities:

31. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING: "Disaster Assistance for State Units on Aging (SUAs) and Title VI Tribal Organizations in National Disasters Declared by the President," (HHS-2009-AOA-DA-0902, deadline for applications is Sept. 18, 2009).


32. MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL [UK]: "Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Phase 2.""Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) is a major cross-council initiative supporting multi-disciplinary research addressing factors across the life course that influences healthy ageing and wellbeing in later life." The deadline for application is Feb. 12, 2009. For more information about the program, and links to application materials, go to:


VII. Conferences:

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

NAPGCM Florida Chapter Annual Conference--West Palm Beach, Florida, Jan. 9-10, 2009

Aging in Wisconsin--Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, Mar. 12-13, 2009

2009 International Conference on Ageing and Spirituality--Auckland, New Zealand, Aug. 30-Sep. 2, 2009

Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS), 4th Conference--Cambridge, Kent, UK, Sep. 3-7, 2009


VIII. Websites of Interest:

34. NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS: NCHS has recently replaced its' Trends in Health and Aging and Health Data for All Ages web sites with a single web site (Health Data Interactive). The new site is available at:


35. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU: "Interview with Ron Lee on What Are the Financial Implications of Aging in the United States? " (November 2008, HTML format).


36. NATIONAL CENTER ON SENIOR TRANSPORTATION: NCST is making available and online seminar entitled "Mobility Equals Independence: Creating Greater Transportation Options for Older Adults" (November 2008). The seminar can be downloaded, and viewed using Windows Media Player, or viewed online. Note: Free registration is required prior to accessing the seminar.


37. US CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES MEDICARE.GOV SITE UPDATES: The following websites were updated on Nov. 12, 2008:

Medicare Options Compare (Nov. 12, 2008).

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder (Nov. 12, 2008).

Dialysis Facility Compare (Nov. 12, 2008).

Scroll to "Search Tool."




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Data and Information Services Center
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Phone: (608) 265-9240
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