Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #479 -- March 19, 2009

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. CENSUS.AC.UK SAMPLES OF ANONYMISED RECORDS: "1991 and 2001 SARS are now available for download free of charge to non-profits." Note: registration is required for access to this data. Rules vary between UK and non-UK users. For more information, including links to access information, see:




II. Reports and articles:

2. US SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF POLICY REPORT: "International Update, March 2009" (Marcy 2009, HTML and .pdf format, 3p.).



A. "Medicare: Improvements Needed to Address Improper Payments in Home Health," (GAO-09-185, February 2009, .pdf format, 53p.).

B. "Medicare and Medicaid Participating Facilities: CMS Needs to Reexamine Its Approach for Funding State Oversight of Health Care Facilities," (GAO-09-64, February 2009, .pdf format, 90p.).


4. MEDICAL EXPENDITURE PANEL SURVEY STATISTICAL BRIEF: "Health Insurance Coverage of Near Elderly Individuals, Ages 55-64, 2006," by Jessica Vistnes (Statistical Brief No. 239, March 2009, .pdf format, 5p.).


5. CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE REPORT: "Medicare Primer," (R40425, March 2009, .pdf format, 22p.).


6. NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING PRESS RELEASE: "Scientists Report Important Step in Biomarker Testing for Alzheimers Disease," (March 17, 2009).


7. NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH PRESS RELEASE: "U.S. Cancer Screening Trial Shows No Early Mortality Benefit from Annual Prostate Cancer Screening," (March 18, 2009).


8. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES PRESS RELEASE: "Vice President Biden Announces Release of Nearly $100 Million in Recovery Act Funding to Support Senior Nutrition Programs," (March 18, 2009).


9. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICE, OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT: "Comparison of Prices for Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Pumps," (OEI-02-07-00660, March 2009, .pdf format, 23p.).


Suppliers paid an average of $3,604 for new negative pressure wound therapy pump models, compared to Medicare's purchase price of $17,165. Medicare reimbursed suppliers for these pumps based on this purchase price, which is more than four times the average price paid by suppliers. On a monthly basis, Medicare reimbursed suppliers $1,716 for these pumps for the first 3 months. At this rate, suppliers recouped the average cost of a new pump model in about 2 months. Moreover, if a beneficiary were to rent the pump for all of the 13 months allowed by Medicare, the beneficiary's coinsurance alone ($3,599) would cover almost the entire average cost of a new pump model. These pumps are portable or stationary devices used for the treatment of ulcers or wounds that have not responded to traditional wound treatment methods. When Medicare first started covering pumps in 2001, it covered only one pump model, which was both manufactured and supplied by a single manufacturer. Since then, a number of manufacturers have introduced new pump models in the market and are charging substantially less for them.

Our review also found that suppliers purchased three-quarters of the pumps that they provided to beneficiaries, while the remaining one-quarter were leased, rented, or exchanged. Finally, we found that suppliers reported not communicating as required with almost one-quarter of beneficiaries' clinicians. In the absence of clinician input, suppliers cannot determine whether there is a continued medical need for a pump. Suppliers generally reported meeting other requirements, such as providing delivery, education, as well as maintenance and repairs when needed.

Based on the findings of this report, we recommended that CMS reduce Medicare's reimbursement amount for pumps. CMS should consider the following methods to reduce the reimbursement amount: use its inherent reasonableness authority to reduce the reimbursement amount for pumps; and include pumps in the second round of the Competitive Bidding Acquisition Program. In addition, CMS should continue to monitor the growth of the new pump market. Lastly, CMS should educate suppliers of new pump models on the importance of communication with beneficiaries' treating clinicians and follow up on the claims that we identified that may be inappropriate. CMS concurred with four of our recommendations and will consider the remaining recommendation about including pumps when designing the second round of the competitive bidding program.


10. US EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION TABLE: "Age Discrimination in Employment Act, FY 1997-2008," (March 2009, HTML format).


11. STATISTICS CANADA/STATISTIQUE CANADA ARTICLE: "Medication use among senior Canadians," by Pamela L. Ramage-Morin (Health Reports, Vol. 20, No. 1, March 2009, .pdf and HTML format, p. 37-43).


PDF (full issue):


12. UK DEPARTMENT OF WORK AND PENSIONS REPORT: "Attitudes towards investment choice and risk within the personal accounts scheme: Report of a qualitative study," by Sharon Collard and Zoey Breuer (Research Report No. 565, March 2009, .pdf format, 128p.).


13. WELSH ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT/LLYWODRAETH CYNULLIAD CYMRU FIRST RELEASE: "Statistical Focus on Age in Wales, 2009" (March 2009, .pdf format, 2p.).


14. PENSIONS INSTITUTE [CASS BUSINESS SCHOOL, LONDON] REPORT: "An Unreal Number. How Company Pension Accounting Fosters an Illusion of Certainty," by David Blake, Zaki Khorasanee, John Pickles, and David Tyrrall (January 2009, .pdf format, 85p.).


15. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION WEBCAST: "Medicare 101," (March 16, 2009). Note: A transcript of this webcast will be available soon.



A. "Effect of the Economy on Housing Choices," by Jean Koppen (February 2009, .pdf format, 26p.).

B. "Social Security Financing: Automatic Adjustments to Restore Solvency," by John A. Turner (February 2009, .pdf format, 32p.).

C. "Taking the Long View: Investing in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Is Cost-Effective," by Robert L. Mollica, Enid Kassner, Lina Walker, and Ari N. Houser (March 2009, .pdf format, 8p.).


17. POPULATION REFERENCE BUREAU PERIODICAL: _Population Bulletin_ (Vol. 64, No. 1, March 2009, .pdf format). The title of this issue is "20th Century U.S. Generations."


18. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE ISSUE BRIEF: "Strange But True: Free Loan From Social Security," by Alicia H. Munnell, Alex Golub-Sass, and Nadia Karamcheva (IB No. 9-6, March 2009, .pdf format, 8p.).


19. METLIFE MATURE MARKET INSTITUTE REPORT: "Broken Trust: Elders, Family, and Finance," (March 2009, .pdf format, 38p.).


20. FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE PERIODICAL: Caregiving PolicyDigest (Vol. 9, No. 6, Mar. 18, 2009).

More information about FCA:



A. "A Recessive Mutation in the APP Gene with Dominant-Negative Effect on Amyloidogenesis," by Giuseppe Di Fede, Marcella Catania, Michela Morbin, Giacomina Rossi, Silvia Suardi, Giulia Mazzoleni, Marco Merlin, Anna Rita Giovagnoli, Sara Prioni, Alessandra Erbetta, Chiara Falcone, Marco Gobbi, Laura Colombo, Antonio Bastone, Marten Beeg, Claudia Manzoni, Bruna Francescucci, Alberto Spagnoli, Laura Cant Elena Del Favero, Efrat Levy, Mario Salmona, and Fabrizio Tagliavini (Vol. 323, No. 5920, March 13, 2009, p. 1473-1477).

B. "Spinal Cord Stimulation Restores Locomotion in Animal Models of Parkinson's Disease," by Romulo Fuentes, Per Petersson, William B. Siesser, Marc G. Caron, and Miguel A. L. Nicolelis (Vol. 323, No. 5921, March 20, 2009, p. 1578-1582).



A. "Functional basis of protection against age-related macular degeneration conferred by a common polymorphism in complement factor B," by Tamara Montes, Agustin Tortajada, B. Paul Morgan, Santiago Rodriguez de Cordoba, and Claire L. Harris (Vol. 106, No. 11, March 17, 2009, p. 4366-4371).

B. "Intracerebroventricular amyloid-{beta} antibodies reduce cerebral amyloid angiopathy and associated micro-hemorrhages in aged Tg2576 mice," by Deepak R. Thakker, Marcy R. Weatherspoon, Jonathan Harrison, Thomas E. Keene, Deanna S. Lane, William F. Kaemmerer, Gregory R. Stewart, and Lisa L. Shafer (Vol. 106, No. 11, March 17, 2009, .pdf and HTML format, p. 4501-4506). Note: _PNAS_ is providing "open access" to the full-text of this article.



A. "Exposure to secondhand smoke and cognitive impairment in non-smokers: national cross sectional study with cotinine measurement," by David J. Llewellyn, Iain A. Lang, Kenneth M. Langa, Felix Naughton, and Fiona E. Matthews (BMJ 2009;338:b462, March 14, 2009).

B. "Effect of tobacco smoking on survival of men and women by social position: a 28 year cohort study," by Laurence Gruer, Carole L. Hart, David S. Gordon, and Graham C. M. Watt (BMJ 2009;338:b480, March 14, 2009).

C. "Combined effect of health behaviours and risk of first ever stroke in 20,040 men and women over 11 years follow-up in Norfolk cohort of European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC Norfolk): prospective population study," by Phyo K. Myint, Robert N. Luben, Nicholas J. Wareham, Sheila A. Bingham, and Kay-Tee Khaw (BMJ 2009;338:b349, March 14, 2009).

D. "The National Dementia strategy in England," by Alistair Burns and Philippe Robert (BMJ 2009;338:b931, March 14, 2009).

E. "Risk of stroke and lifestyle," by Matthew F. Giles (BMJ 2009;338:b14, March 14, 2009).

F. "Passive smoking and cognitive impairment," by Mark D. Eisner (BMJ 2009;338:a3070, March 14, 2009).



A. "Two-Dimensional Electrophoresis of Tau Mutants Reveals Specific Phosphorylation Pattern Likely Linked to Early Tau Conformational Changes," by Alexis Bretteville, Kunie Ando, Antoine Ghestem, Anne Loyens, Serine Bard, Jean-Claude Beauvillain, Nicolas Sergeant, Malika Hamdane, and Luc Buee (PLoS ONE 4(3): e4843. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004843, .pdf, XML, and HTML format, 6p.).

B. "Transcriptome Analysis of Synaptoneurosomes Identifies Neuroplasticity Genes Overexpressed in Incipient Alzheimer's Disease," by Celia Williams, Ruty Mehrian Shai, Yongchun Wu, Ya-Hsuan Hsu, Traci Sitzer, Bryan Spann, Carol McCleary, Yi Mo, and Carol A. Miller (PLoS ONE 4(3): e4936. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004936, pdf, XML, and HTML format, 13p.).



A. "Religious Coping and Use of Intensive Life-Prolonging Care Near Death in Patients With Advanced Cancer," by Andrea C. Phelps, Paul K. Maciejewski, Matthew Nilsson, Tracy A. Balboni, Alexi A. Wright, M. Elizabeth Paulk, Elizabeth Trice, Deborah Schrag, John R. Peteet, Susan D. Block, and Holly G. Prigerson (Vol. 301, No. 11, March 18, 2009, p. 1140-1147).

B. "ACAT Inhibition and Progression of Carotid Atherosclerosis in Patients With Familial Hypercholesterolemia: The CAPTIVATE Randomized Trial," by Marijn C. Meuwese, Eric de Groot, Rapha Duivenvoorden, Mieke D. Trip, Leiv Ose, Frans J. Maritz, Dick C. G. Basart, John J. P. Kastelein, Rafik Habib, Michael H. Davidson, Aeilko H. Zwinderman, Lee R. Schwocho, and Evan A. Stein; for the CAPTIVATE Investigators (Vol. 301, No. 11, March 18, 2009, p. 1131-1139).


III. Working Papers:

26. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY]: "Ageing, Health and Life Satisfaction of the Oldest Old: An Analysis for Germany," by Wencke Gwozdz and Alfonso Sousa-Poza (Discussion Paper No. 4053, March 2009, .pdf format, 37p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


27. PENSIONS INSTITUTE [CASS BUSINESS SCHOOL, LONDON]: "On Stochastic Mortality Modeling," by Richard Plat (Discussion Paper PI-0908, March 2009, .pdf format, 23p.).


The last decennium a vast literature on stochastic mortality models has been developed. However, as far as we know, none of the existing models meet most of the criteria an insurer or pension fund would set for stochastic mortality models. All well known models have nice features but also disadvantages. In this paper a new stochastic mortality model is proposed that aims at combining the nice features from existing models, while eliminating the disadvantages. More specifically, the model fits historical data very well, is applicable to a full age range, captures the cohort effect, has a non-trivial (but not too complex) correlation structure and has no robustness problems, while the structure of the model remains relatively simple. Also, the paper described how to incorporate parameter uncertainty in the model. Furthermore, a risk neutral version of the model is given, that can be used for pricing.


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

28. Journal of Aging, Humanities, and the Arts (Vol. 3, No. 1, 2009).

29. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity (Vol. 17, No. 2, April 2009).


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 March 18, 2009:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of March 18, 2009:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of March 18, 2009:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of March 18, 2009:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of March 18, 2009:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of March 18, 2009:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:

31. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING: "National Resource Centers on Older Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians," (HHS-2009-AoA-OI-0905, Word format). The deadline for applications is April 30, 2009.



A. "NIA Announces Changes in the Eligibility Criteria for use of the NIA Aged Rodent Colony," (NOT-AG-09-003, National Institute on Aging, March 9, 2009).

B. "Solicitation of Assays for High Throughput Screening (HTS) in the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network (MLPCN) (R03)," (PAR-09-129, a reissue of PAR-08-035, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, March 12, 2009).


VI. Conferences:

33. US ADMINISTRATION ON AGING CONFERENCE UPDATES: The AoA conference page has been updated with the following conferences and events. Scroll to data and place for more information:

Sept. 15-16, 2009 -- Chapel Hill, NC


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

34. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS, SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH HEARING TESTIMONY: "Hearing on MedPACs Annual March Report to the Congress on Medicare Payment Policy," a hearing held March 17, 2009.


VIII. Bibliography Update:

35. 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:

Case, Anne and Paxson, Christina. Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes. Journal of Political Economy. 2008; 116(3):499-532.

Dave, Dhaval and Saffer, Henry. Alcohol Demand and Risk Preference. Journal of Economic Psychology. 2008; 29(6):810-.

Willson, Andrea E. 'Fundatmental Causes' of Health Disparities: A Comparative analysis of Canada and the United States. International Sociology. 2009; 24(93):93-113.





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