Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #49--September 7, 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. WHO: _1997-1999 World Health Statistics Annual_ (World Health Organization). "This 1997-1999 online version of the _World Health Statistics Annual_ contains all data which have been received since the publication of the 1996 edition, in early 1998. While this 1999 edition follows the same format, the 1996 edition was the last to appear in printed form. The need for cause of death statistics by a broad range of users has been one of the principal reasons why mortality data are now disseminated by WHO online, rather than in printed form. This should greatly facilitate their use for monitoring and assessing health status." Included at the site are interactive query access to four tables: Number of deaths and death rates, by cause, sex and age; Infant deaths, by cause, sex and age; Life expectancy, number of survivors, and chances per 1000 of eventually dying from specified causes, at selected ages, by sex; and Age-standardized death rates for selected causes, by sex. "Important note: a new WHO standard population for computing these age-standardized death rates has been introduced. The data which appear here thus cannot be compared to the rates published in Table 4 of previous editions of the Annual.",whsa&language=english


A. The Social Security Administration has provided more statistical tables from the forthcoming _Annual Statistical Supplement 2000_ (discussed in CAAR #30, April 21, 2000 item #4). Tables are available in HTML and .pdf formats. Interested users should bookmark the site and return periodically. The following tables have been added as of Aug. 31, 2000: SSA Offices and Staff - Tables 2.F1-2.F3; Claims Workloads - Tables 2.F4-2.F6; Service Delivery - Table 2.F7; Hearings and Appeals - Tables 2.F8-2.F11; Disabled Workers - Section 6C; Benefits Withheld - Section 6E; and Benefits Terminated - Section 6F.

B. _Fast Facts & Figures About Social Security, 2000_ (.pdf format, 41p.). "This chartbook highlights the most significant data in the _Annual Statistical Supplement_. It answers the most frequently asked questions about the Social Security and SSI programs: how many people receive benefits, what is the average benefit amount, what are the characteristics of the beneficiary population, what role do Social Security and SSI play in helping to reduce poverty (especially among children). Data are also shown on the income and income sources of the aged."


II. Reports and articles:

3. GPO COMPENDIUM: The US Government Printing Office has released _The United States Government Manual -- 2000/2001_ (ASCII text and .pdf formats, 693p.).

Introduction Excerpt:

As the official handbook of the Federal Government, The United States Government Manual provides comprehensive information on the agencies of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. The Manual also includes information on quasi-official agencies; international organizations in which the United States participates; and boards, commissions, and committees. A typical agency description includes a list of principal officials, a summary statement of the agency's purpose and role in the Federal Government, a brief history of the agency, including its legislative or executive authority, a description of its programs and activities, and a "Sources of Information" section. The _Manual_ (1995/6 -- 2000/01) can be searched or (1997/98 -- 2000/01) browsed. The browsable sections have been divided into chapters for ease of downloading/printing.


4. _MLR THE EDITOR'S DESK ARTICLE: "Jobs most affected by baby-boomer retirements" (_Monthly Labor Review_ The Editor's Desk, Aug. 31, 2000, HTML format).

5. _NATURE MEDICINE_ ARTICLE AND NEWS AND VIEWS ABSTRACTS: Note: Your organization may have access to electronic full text of these articles. Check your organization's library.

A. "Increased bone formation and osteosclerosis in mice overexpressing the transcription factor Fra-1," by Wolfram Jochum, Jean-Pierre David, Candace Elliott, Anton Wutz, Hanns Plenk Jr., Koichi Matsuo and Erwin F. Wagner (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 6, No. 9, September 2000, p. 980-984).

B. Overexpression of FosB transcription factor(s) increases bone formation and inhibits adipogenesis," by G. Sabatakos, N. A. Sims, J. Chen, K. Aoki, M. B. Kelz, M. Amling, Y. Bouali, K. Mukhopadhyay, K. Ford, E. J. Nestler and R. Baron (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 6, No. 9, September 2000, p. 985-990).

C. "How many factors are required to remodel bone?" by G. Karsenty (_Nature Medicine_, Vol. 6, No. 9, September 2000, p. 970-971). Note: This is a _Nature Medicine_ "News and Views" article.

Scroll to "News and Views" and then "How Many Factors..."

6. _SCIENCE_ SPECIAL ISSUE and ARTICLE ABSTRACTS: Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) may be available to your organization. Check your organization's library.

A. "Bone Health in The Balance" by Paula Kiberstis, Orla Smith, and Colin Norman (_Science_, Vol. 289, No. 5484, Sep. 1, 2000). "This special issue of Science reviews recent advances in our understanding of the cell and molecular biology of bone remodeling and how these advances are being applied to the development of new therapeutics." This page links to four articles relevant to the topic. They are:

"Tissue Engineers Build New Bone," by Robert F. Service (p. 1498-1500). "The Osteoblast: A Sophisticated Fibroblast under Central Surveillance," by Patricia Ducy, Thorsten Schinke, and Gerard Karsenty (p. 1501-1504). "Bone Resorption by Osteoclasts," by Steven L. Teitelbaum (p. 1504-1508). "Therapeutic Approaches to Bone Diseases," by Gideon A. Rodan and T. John Martin (p. 1508-1514).

B. "Extension of Life-Span with Superoxide Dismutase/Catalase Mimetics," by Simon Melov, Joanne Ravenscroft, Sarwatt Malik, Matt S. Gill, David W. Walker, Peter E. Clayton, Douglas C. Wallace, Bernard Malfroy, Susan R. Doctrow, and Gordon J. Lithgow (_Science, Vol. 289, No. 5484, Sep. 1, 2000, p. 1567-1569).

7. _NATURE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Nicastrin modulates presenilin-mediated notch/glp-1 signal transduction and beta APP processing," by Gang Yu, Peter St. George-Hyslop, et. al. (_Nature, Vol. 407, No. 6800, Sep. 7, 2000, HTML and .pdf formats, p. 48-54). Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) may be available to your organization. Check your organization's library.

8. _MMWR_ ARTICLE: "Receipt of Advice to Quit Smoking in Medicare Managed Care --- United States, 1998," (Centers for Disease Control _Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report_, Vol. 49, No. 35, Sep. 8, 2000, HTML and .pdf formats, p. 797-801).

HTML Format:

.pdf Format (full text of entire issue).

9. MEDSCAPE WOMEN'S HEALTH ARTICLE: "The Parathyroid Hormones: Bone-Forming Agents for Treatment of Osteoporosis," by James F. Whitfield, Paul Morley, and Gordon E. Willick (_Medscape Women's Health_, Vol. 5, No. 5, September/October 2000, HTML format).


A. "Will boomer women defy menopause?" by Pamela Sherrid (_US News and World Report_, Sep. 11, 2000).

B. "Enjoying life after death: Once sidelined, widows are making the golden years better for everyone," by Joseph P. Shapiro (_US News and World Report_, Sep. 11, 2000).

C. "Widowville, U.S.A.: A window into a nation of widows" (_US News and World Report_, Sep. 11, 2000).

11. _FORBES_ ARTICLE: "Buried Trouble," by Daniel Fisher (_Forbes_, Sep. 18, 2000).


III. Working Papers:

12. NCHS: "Age Adjustment of National Center for Health Statistics Data Using the 2000 Projected U.S. Population with Emphasis on Survey Data Systems," by Charlotte Schoenborn, Richard Klein and Virginia Freid, (National Center for Health Statistics Working Paper, August 2000, HTML format). "[NOTE: This paper was prepared for NCHS internal use. However, the paper is being made available to outside data users who may wish to construct comparable age-adjusted rates using the same standard population. The paper will be adapted and published in the Healthy People Statistical Note series later this year.]"

Introduction Excerpt:

The purpose of this paper is to establish several sets of age-adjustment weights, based on the year 2000 projected U.S. population, that can be applied to analysis of NCHS survey data. This work builds on the foundation set by the NCHS Division of Vital Statistics that established the year 2000 projected U.S. population as the Standard population for age adjusting mortality statistics. The age groupings provided in this paper are based on the most common groupings found in existing NCHS publications. Age adjustment weights, as well as examples of SUDAAN code appropriate for calculating age-adjusted rates for complex sample surveys, are being made available to NCHS staff and others. They are not intended as rules for age adjustment, but rather as guidelines in order to promote and facilitate consistency in age adjustment procedures among users of NCHS data.

13. NBER: "Aging and Housing Equity," by Steven F. Venti and David A. Wise (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper No. 7882, September 2000, .pdf format, 44p.).


Housing equity is the principle asset of a large fraction of older Americans. Indeed many retired persons have essentially no financial assets, other then Social Security and, for some, employer-provided pension benefits. Yet we find that housing wealth is typically not used to support non-housing consumption during retirement. Based on data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, and the Asset and Health Dynamics Among the Oldest Old, we consider the change in home equity as families age. The results are based in large part on families aged 70 and older. We find that, barring changes in household structure, most elderly families are unlikely to move. Even among movers, those families that continue to own typically do not reduce home equity. However, precipitating shocks, like the death of a spouse or entry to a nursing home, sometimes lead to liquidation of home equity. Home equity is typically not liquidated to support general non-housing consumption needs. The implication is that when considering whether families have saved enough to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living after retirement, housing equity should not be counted on to support general non-housing consumption. These conclusions seem to correspond closely with the results of a recent American Association of Retired Persons survey, which found that 95 percent of persons 75 and older agreed with the statement: "What I'd really like to do is stay in my current residence as long as possible."

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

14. SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY MAXWELL SCHOOL OF CITIZENSHIP AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH AGING STUDIES PROGRAM: "Chasing the Elderly: Can State and Local Governments Attract Recent Retirees?" by William Duncombe, Mark Robbins, and Douglas Wolf (Aging Studies Paper No. 22, September 2000, .pdf format, 39p.).


Recruiting recent retirees to relocate from elsewhere has become an important economic development strategy in an increasing number of states. State governments have planned or enacted a variety of tax and fee incentives to lure retirees. The objective of this paper is to determine whether states can, in fact, influence the retirement destination of elder households using fiscal tools. To estimate the determinants of retiree location decisions we have developed an extensive data set on county attributes, and a methodology for estimating an individual-level discrete-choice model for a very large number of potential locations. Using 1990 county-to-county migration data, we estimate the effects of an array of tax and expenditures variables on the probability that a retiree locates in that county. We find that changes in tax burdens and service levels can affect location decisions. Of the fiscal variables, inheritance taxes, income taxes, and property taxes have the largest relative effects. However, very large tax reductions would be required to attract even one more retiree to the average county. Unless these tax breaks could be narrowly targeted to the group of retirees most likely to consider migrating, the revenue losses from such a program are likely to significantly outweigh the economic and fiscal benefits. Our results suggest that states should focus on marketing their amenities, rather than using fiscal policy to recruit retirees.

Click on "Click here for the Adobe Acrobat version of Aging Studies Program Paper 22" at the bottom of the abstract for full text.

15. IMF: "Demographic Change in Asia - The Impact on Optimal National Saving, Investment, and the Current Account," by Serge Besanger, Ross S. Guest, and Ian McDonald (International Monetary Fund Working Paper WP/00/115, June 2000, .pdf format, 43p.).


This paper calculates the levels of optimal national saving, investment, and the current account balance for five Asian economies--Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines--for the period 1997-2050 using a simulation approach. These calculations show the sensitivity of results to changing demographic structures on employment participation, labor productivity, and consumption demands. In particular, the simulations reveal that variations in prospective demographic change across economies cause considerable variations in the patterns of optimal national saving rates.


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

16. Ageing and Society (Vol. 20, No. 4, July 2000). Note: Full electronic text of this issue may be available. Click on titles for abstracts and then click on "article text" at the bottom of the abstract.

17. 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

American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 152, No. 4, Aug. 15, 2000).

American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 90, No. 9, September 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

American Sociological Review (Vol. 65, No. 4, August 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Journal of Gerontological Social Work (Vol. 33, No. 2, 2000).

Population Studies (Vol. 54, No. 2, July 2000).


V. Legislation Information Updates:

18. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING: "Nursing Home Bankruptcies: What Caused Them?" a hearing held Sep. 5, 2000.

Hearing Testimony:


VI. Websites of Interest:

19. PBS PROGRAMS: With Eyes Open. The US Public Broadcasting System has made available the companion website to the upcoming four part series _On Our Own Terms_, scheduled to run from Sep. 10-13, 2000. Included are transcripts of each show and related resources.

Programs Synopsis:

For many viewers, watching the landmark series _On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying_ will provoke a wide variety of emotions. The series asks us to begin the difficult task of contemplating our own mortality.

20. SSA LBJ TAPES: The US Social Security Administration is making available, on an ongoing basis, audio transcripts of tapes provided by the LBJ Library of President Lyndon B. Johnson's Oval Office phone conversations "which make at least passing reference to Social Security and/or Medicare." At present there are RealPlayer and/or Windows Media Player files of over 50 conversations the President had with such people as Anthony Celebrezze (HEW Secretary at the time), Larry O'Brien (Assistant to the President for Congressional Relations at the time) Rep. Wilbur Mills (Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee at the time), Carl Albert (House Majority Leader at the time), and John McCormack (Speaker of the House at the time).

Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology and Center for Demography of Health and Aging
4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706