Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #493 -- June 25, 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 BUREAU: "International Database," (June 2009). The Census Bureau has released an updated version of the International Database. For more information about this update:

Related Press Release:


II. Reports and articles:

2. CENSUS BUREAU PRESS RELEASE: "Older Population in the United States: 2007 and 2008," (June 22, 2009). This press release links to a series of tables on "characteristics of people 55 and older." Data comes from the Current Population Survey. Tables are in Excel and comma-delimited format.

Tables 2008:

Tables 2007:



A. Health Care Financing Review (Vol. 30, No. 3, Spring 2009, .pdf format).

B. "New Medicare Nursing Home Guidance to Include Quality of Life and Environment Requirements," (June 19, 2009). A link to the new guidance is available in .pdf format (46p.).


4. NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING PRESS RELEASE: "Migraines with Aura in Middle Age Associated with Late-Life Brain Lesions," (June 23, 2009).



A. "Disability and Carers Service Customer Service Survey 2008," by Andy Byrom, Sarah Knibbs and Antonia Dickman (Research Report No. 583, June 2009, .pdf format, 128p.).

B. "Research on the Pensions Education Fund in 2008/09," by Ian Dunbar, Helen Wilkinson, Lorna Adams, Mark Samuel and Anne Gammon (Research Report No. 581, June 2009, .pdf format, 118p.).


6. UK OFFICE OF NATIONAL STATISTICS COMPENDIUM: Pension Trends (June 2009, .pdf format). Note: Originally published in 2005, Pension Trends is updated periodically. This update includes new versions of Chapters 5 and 6.


7. STATISTICS NETHERLANDS ARTICLE: "Over-65s with a foreign background growing fast," (June 2009).


8. AGEING RESEARCH ONLINE [AUSTRALIA] PERIODICAL: Ageing Research Online Newsletter (Vol. 6, No. 2, June 2009, .pdf format, 12p.).





A. "Gender Differences in Health Among the Elderly in China," by Eric Zuehlke (June 2009).

B. "Health Effect of Marriage and Other Social Relationships: Interview With Linda Waite," by Mary Mederios Kent (June 2009). This interview focuses on the health effects that social relationships and marriage have on older people. The interview is in MP3 format, running time is 21 minutes.

C. "Global Aging and Economic Development," (June 24, 2009). Note: This transcript features a discussion with David Bloom (economist and demographer at the Harvard School of Public Health).


11. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE ISSUE BRIEF: "Employers' (Lack of) Response to the Retirement Income Challenge," by Steven A. Sass, Kelly Haverstick, and Jean-Pierre Aubry (Issue Brief No. 9-13, June 2009, .pdf format, 12p.).



A. "Physician Payment: Current System and Opportunities for Reform," K. Lynn Nonnemaker, Sarah Thomas, and Joyce Dubow (June 2009, .pdf format, 28p.).

B. "State Health Care Briefs 2009: Why Health Care Reform is Important," (June 2009, .pdf format).


13. METLIFE MATURE MARKET INSTITUTE REPORT: "Tapping Home Equity in Retirement: The MetLife Study on the Changing Role of Home Equity and Reverse Mortgages," (June 2009, .pdf format, 30p.).


14. URBAN INSTITUTE REPORT: "How Will the Stock Market Collapse Affect Retirement Incomes?" by Barbara Butrica, Karen E. Smith, and Eric Toder (Older Americans' Economic Security No. 20, June 2009, .pdf format, 4p.).


15. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION FACTSHEET: "Medicare's Role for Women," (June 2009, .pdf format, 2p.).


16. FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE PERIODICAL: Caregiving PolicyDigest (Vol. 9, No. 13, June 24, 2009).

More information about FCA:


17. NATURE ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "A soma-to-germline transformation in long-lived Caenorhabditis elegans mutants," by Sean P. Curran, Xiaoyun Wu, Christian G. Riedel & Gary Ruvkun (Vol. 459, No. 7250, June 24, 2009, p. 1079-1084).


18. NATURE NEUROSCIENCE BRIEF COMMUNICATION ABSTRACT: "Mutant LRRK2(R1441G) BAC transgenic mice recapitulate cardinal features of Parkinson's disease," by Yanping Li, Wencheng Liu, Tinmarla F. Oo, Lei Wang, Yi Tang, Vernice Jackson-Lewis, Chun Zhou, Kindiya Geghman, Mikhail Bogdanov, Serge Przedborski, M. Flint Beal, Robert E. Burke and Chenjian Li (Vol. 12, No. 7, July 2009, p. 826-828).



A. "Migraine Headache in Middle Age and Late-Life Brain Infarcts," by Ann I. Scher, Larus S. Gudmundsson, Sigurdur Sigurdsson, Anna Ghambaryan, Thor Aspelund, Guony Eiriksdottir, Mark A. van Buchem, Vilmundur Gudnason, and Lenore J. Launer (Vol. 301, No. 24, June 24, 2009, p. 2563-2570).

B. "Long-term Outcomes in Individuals With Prolonged PR Interval or First-Degree Atrioventricular Block," by Susan Cheng, Michelle J. Keyes, Martin G. Larson, Elizabeth L. McCabe, Christopher Newton-Cheh, Daniel Levy, Emelia J. Benjamin, Ramachandran S. Vasan, and Thomas J. Wang (Vol. 301, No. 24, June 24, 2009, p. 2571-2577).



A. "Disassembly of Shank and Homer Synaptic Clusters Is Driven by Soluble {beta}-Amyloid1-40 through Divergent NMDAR-Dependent Signalling Pathways," by Francesco Roselli, Peter Hutzler, Yvonne Wegerich, Paolo Livrea, and Osborne F. X. Almeida (PLoS ONE 4(6): e6011. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006011, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 12p.).

B. "Are Markers of Inflammation More Strongly Associated with Risk for Fatal Than for Nonfatal Vascular Events?" by Naveed Sattar, Heather M. Murray, Paul Welsh, Gerard J. Blauw, Brendan M. Buckley, Stuart Cobbe, Anton J. M. de Craen, Gordon D. Lowe, J. Wouter Jukema, Peter W. Macfarlane, Michael B. Murphy, David J. Stott, Rudi G. J. Westendorp, James Shepherd, Ian Ford, and Chris J. Packard (PLoS Med 6(6): e1000099. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000099, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 10p.).

C. "Cardiomyocyte Contractile Dysfunction in the APPswe/PS1dE9 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease," by Subat Turdi, Rui Guo, Anna F. Huff, Eliza M. Wolf, Bruce Culver, and Jun Ren (PLoS ONE 4(6): e6033. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006033, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 12p.).

D. "When Stress Predicts a Shrinking Gene Pool, Trading Early Reproduction for Longevity Can Increase Fitness, Even with Lower Fecundity," by William C. Ratcliff, Peter Hawthorne, Michael Travisano, and R. Ford Denison (PLoS ONE 4(6): e6055. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006055, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 5p.).



A. "Statin use and risk of community acquired pneumonia in older people: population based case-control study," by Sascha Dublin, Michael L. Jackson, Jennifer C. Nelson, Noel S. Weiss, Eric B. Larson, and Lisa A. Jackson (BMJ 2009;338:b2137, June 20, 2009).

B. "HIV infection in older people," by Kelly A. Gebo (BMJ 2009;338:b1460, June 20, 2009).


III. Working Papers:


A. "Censored Quantile Instrumental Variable Estimates of the Price Elasticity of Expenditure on Medical Care," by Amanda E. Kowalski (w15085, June 2009, .pdf format, 44p.).


The extent to which consumers respond to marginal prices for medical care is important for policy. Using recent data and a new censored quantile instrumental variable (CQIV) estimator, I estimate the price elasticity of expenditure on medical care. The CQIV estimator allows the estimates to vary across the skewed expenditure distribution, it allows for censoring at zero expenditure nonparametrically, and it allows for the insurance-induced endogenous relationship between price and expenditure. For identification, I rely on cost sharing provisions that generate marginal price differences between individuals who have injured family members and individuals who do not. I estimate the price elasticity of expenditure on medical care to be stable at -2.3 across the .65 to .95 conditional quantiles of the expenditure distribution. These quantile estimates are an order of magnitude larger than previous mean estimates. I consider several explanations for why price responsiveness is larger than previous estimates would suggest.

B. "Modern Medicine and the 20th Century Decline in Mortality: Evidence on the Impact of Sulfa Drugs," by Seema Jayachandran, Adriana Lleras-Muney, and Kimberly V. Smith (w15089, June 2009, .pdf format, 49p.).


This paper studies the contribution of sulfa drugs, a groundbreaking medical innovation in the 1930s, to declines in U.S. mortality. For several often-fatal infectious diseases, sulfa drugs represented the first effective treatment. Using time-series and difference-in-differences methods (with diseases unaffected by sulfa drugs as a comparison group), we find that sulfa drugs led to a 25 to 40 percent decline in maternal mortality, 17 to 36 percent decline in pneumonia mortality, and 52 to 67 percent decline in scarlet-fever mortality between 1937 and 1943. Altogether, they reduced mortality by 2 to 4 percent and increased life expectancy by 0.4 to 0.8 years. We also find that sulfa drugs benefited whites more than blacks.

C. "Food Prices and the Dynamics of Body Weight," by Dana Goldman, Darius Lakdawalla, and Yuhui Zheng (w15096, June 2009, .pdf format, 35p.).


A popular policy option for addressing the growth in weight has has been the imposition of a 'fat tax' on selected foods that are deemed to promote obesity. Understanding the public economics of 'fat taxes' requires an understanding of how or even whether individuals respond to changes in food prices over the long-term. We study the short- and long-run body weight consequences of changing food prices, in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). We found very modest short-term effects of price per calorie on body weight, and the magnitudes align with the previous literature. The long-term effect is much bigger, but it takes a long time for the effect to reach the full scale. Within 30 years, a 10% permanent reduction in price per calorie would lead to a BMI increase of 1.5 units (or 3.6%). The long term effect is an increase of 1.9 units of BMI (or 4.2%). From a policy perspective, these results suggest that policies raising the price of calories will have little effect on weight in the short term, but might curb the rate of weight growth and achieve weight reduction over a very long period of time.


23. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY]: "Labour Supply Effects of a Subsidised Old-Age Part-Time Scheme in Austria," by Nikolaus Graf, Helmut Hofer, Rudolf Winter-Ebmer (Discussion Paper No. 4239, June 2009, .pdf format, 19p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


24. MAX PLANK INSTITUTE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH: "To what extent do rising mortality inequalities by education and marital status attenuate the general mortality decline? The case of Finland in 1971-2030," by Vladmir M. Shkolnikov, Evgueni M. Andreev, Dmitri A. Jdanov, Domantas Jasilionis, and Tapani Valkonen (WP-2009-019, June 2009, .pdf format, 27p.).


This study examines the relationship between growing inequality within the population, and the general mortality decline in Finland after 1971. The general mortality trend is considered as a simultaneous shift of population groups toward lower mortality over time, with the group-specific mortality rates linked to the mortality trend in the best practice (vanguard) group. The inequality measure accounting for all groups and their population weights reveals increases in both relative and absolute mortality inequalities. Changes in population composition by education and by marital status tend to compensate each other and the combined change does not produce significant effect on the total mortality. The widening of mortality inequalities produces important impact on the total mortality trend. The modeling allows to quantify this impact. If mortality inequalities remained frozen after 2000, the total mortality in 2026-30 would be by about one quarter lower compared to trend-based expectations.


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

25. Age and Ageing (Vol. 38, No. 4 & Supp. 2, July 2009).

No. 4:

Supp. 2:

26. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias (Vol. 24, No. 3, June/July 2009).

27. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 170, No. 1, July 1, 2009).

28. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity (Vol. 17, No. 3, July 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 June 22, 2009:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of June 22, 2009:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of June 22, 2009:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of June 22, 2009:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of June 22, 2009:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of June 22, 2009:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Books:

30. ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT: Pensions at a Glance 2009: Retirement-Income Systems in OECD Countries (June 2009, ISBN: 9789264060715, 280p.).,3343,en_2649_34757_42992113_1_1_1_1,00.html


VI. Funding\Employment Opportunities:


A. "Empowering Older People to Take More Control of Their Health Through Evidence-Based Prevention Programs," (HHS-2009-AoA-BP-0920, Word format). The deadline date for submission of this application is July 17, 2009.

B. "Aging and Disability Resource Centers: Empowering Individuals to Navigate Their Health and Long Term Support Options," (HHS-2009-AoA-DR-0915, Word format). The deadline date for submission of this application is August 10, 2009.


32. PUBLIC POLICY CENTER [UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII]: "Assessing Long Term Care and Policy Options for the State of Hawaii," (June 2009). "The Social Sciences Public Policy Center (SSPPC), University of Hawaii at Manoa, is issuing this Request for Proposal (RFP) for a researcher to be considered to undertake and to coordinate research to execute a work plan developed by the State of Hawaii Long-Term Care Commission. The Long-Term Care Commission was established by Act 224, Session Laws of Hawaii 2008 to undertake a two-year comprehensive assessment of the long-care needs of the population, to assess the adequacy and challenges of the current long-term care infrastructure, and to recommend measures and policies which would create a system of financing and a structure of services which would meet the future needs of the aging population." "The closing date for receipt of proposals in July 20, 2009. The proposal review period will follow and the contractor selection and award will be completed no later than July 31, 2009."


33. AGEWORK.COM: Agework has updated its employment page with listings through Jun. 24, 2009.


VII. Conferences:

34. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT STUDY: "HRS Will Offer a Pre-Conference Workshop at the 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America," (June 22, 2009).


VIII. Legislation Information Updates:

35. US SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING HEARING TESTIMONY: "Emergency Preparedness, Aging and Special Needs: Prepared vs Scared!" a hearing held June 24, 2009 (.pdf format).


36. US HOUSE COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATIVE SERVICES HEARING TESTIMONY: "Legislative Options for Preserving Federally- and State-Assisted Affordable Housing and Preventing Displacement of Low-Income, Elderly and Disabled Tenants," a hearing held July 25, 2009.


IX. Websites of Interest:

37. MEDICARE.GOV SITE UPDATES: The following sites were updated on Jun. 18, 2009 and Jun. 26, 2009. "Physician and Other Healthcare Professional Directory"; "Home Health Compare"; "Supplier Directory"; "Nursing Home Compare"; and "Helpful Contacts."


38. ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE EDUCATION AND REFERRAL CENTER (ADEAR): "Caring for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the National Institute on Aging," (June 2009, .pdf format, 136p.).





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