Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #501 -- August 20, 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. Reports and articles:


A. "Social Security Programs Throughout the World: Africa, 2009," (August 2009, .pdf format, 193p.).

B. "SSI (Supplemental Security Income) Monthly Statistics, July 2009," (August 2009, .pdf and HTML format).


2. US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION REPORT: "An Examination of Trends in Illicit Drug Use among Adults Aged 50 to 59 in the United States," by Beth Han, Joseph Gfroerer, and James Colliver (August 2009, .pdf format, 10p.).


3. NATIONAL CENTER FOR HEALTH STATISTICS REPORT: "Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2007," by by Jiaquan Xu, Kenneth D. Kochanek, and Betzaida Tejada-Vera (National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 58, No. 1, August 2009, .pdf format, 52p.).



A. "Advisory Opinion document 09-12," (August 2009, .pdf format, 8p.). Note: This is "an advisory opinion regarding a proposal for a government entity to subsidize copayments for outpatient prescription drugs owed by certain financially needy Medicare Part D enrollees."

B. "Review of Duplicate Capitation Payments to Medicare Advantage Organizations and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly Organizations," (A-07-08-01052, August 2009, .pdf format, 15p.).


We found that of the approximately 218 million capitation payments totaling approximately $158 billion that CMS made for Medicare enrollees from January 2006 through March 2008, only 373 payments totaling $301,000 were duplicate payments for 1 month of health care coverage. CMS may make only one capitation payment per month for each Medicare individual enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly plan. Although CMS had correctly paid organizations for the vast majority of enrollees, the validation process that CMS used to ensure the accuracy of payments did not identify and prevent these improper payments.

We recommended that CMS (1) recoup the $301,000 in improper payments; (2) determine whether enhancements to its validation process would be cost effective and, if so, implement the enhancements; and (3) periodically review, on a postpayment basis, payments made to organizations to detect and recover any duplicate payments. In comments on our draft report, CMS concurred with our recommendations and described the corrective actions that it was taking or planned to take.


5. CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES PRESS RELEASE: "Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Premiums to Increase Slightly Medicare Beneficiaries May Need to Enroll in New Plans," (August 13, 2009).


6. US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE REPORT: "Baby Boom Migration and Its Impact on Rural America," by John Cromartie and Peter Nelson (Economic Research Report No. (ERR-79), August 2009, .pdf format, 36p.).



A. "Setting Medicare Payment Policy: Is There a Role for an Independent Entity?" (August 2009, .pdf format, 4p.).

B. "Summary of Key Medicare Provisions in H.R. 3200, Americas Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009," (August 2009, .pdf format, 10p.).

C. "Examining Sources of Supplemental Insurance and Prescription Drug Coverage Among Medicare Beneficiaries: Findings from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, 2007," (August 2009, .pdf format, 23p.).

D. "Health Coverage and Expenses: Impact on Older Women's Economic Well-Being," by Alina Salganicoff, Juliette Cubanski, Usha Ranji, and Tricia Neuman (_Journal of Women, Politics and Policy_, August 2009, .pdf format, p. 222-247).


8. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUE BRIEF: "The Case for Investing in Bonds During Retirement," by Anthony Webb (IB No. 9-17, August 2009, .pdf format, 6p.).


9. DELOITTE CONSULTING REPORT: "2009 401(k) Benchmarking Survey: 2009 Edition," (August 2009, .pdf format, 43p.).


10. PEW RESEARCH CENTER FOR THE PEOPLE & THE PRESS PRESS RELEASE: "Would Americans Welcome Medicare if it Were Being Proposed in 2009?" by Andrew Kohut (August 2009).


11. FAMILY CAREGIVER ALLIANCE PERIODICAL: Caregiving PolicyDigest (Vol. 9, No. 16, August 19, 2009).

More information about FCA:



A. "Quality of care in for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes: systematic review and meta-analysis," by Vikram R. Comondore, P. J. Devereaux, Qi Zhou, Samuel B. Stone, Jason W. Busse, Nikila C Ravindran, Karen E Burns, Ted Haines, Bernadette Stringer, Deborah J. Cook, Stephen D. Walter, Terrence Sullivan, Otavio Berwanger, Mohit Bhandari, Sarfaraz Banglawala, John N. Lavis, Brad Petrisor, Holger Schunemann, Katie Walsh, Neera Bhatnagar, and Gordon H. Guyatt (BMJ 2009;339:b2732, August 15, 2009).

B. "Euthanasia and other end of life decisions and care provided in final three months of life: nationwide retrospective study in Belgium," by Lieve Van den Block, Reginald Deschepper, Johan Bilsen, Nathalie Bossuyt, Viviane Van Casteren, and Luc Deliens (BMJ 2009;339:b2772, August 15, 2009).

C. "Do not-for-profit nursing homes provide better quality?" by R. Tamara Konetzka (BMJ 2009;339:b2683, August 15, 2009).

D. "End of life decisions and quality of care before death," by Ira Byock (BMJ 2009;339:b2730, August 15, 2009).


13. LANCET ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Percutaneous closure of the left atrial appendage versus warfarin therapy for prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation: a randomised non-inferiority trial," by David R Holmes, Vivek Y Reddy, Zoltan G Turi, Shephal K Doshi, Horst Sievert, Maurice Buchbinder, Christopher M Mullin, Peter Sick, for the PROTECT AF Investigators (Vol. 374, No. 9689, August 15, 2009, p. 534-542).



A. "Hippocampal Atrophy as a Quantitative Trait in a Genome-Wide Association Study Identifying Novel Susceptibility Genes for Alzheimer's Disease," by Steven G. Potkin, Guia Guffanti, Anita Lakatos, Jessica A. Turner, Frithjof Kruggel, James H. Fallon, Andrew J. Saykin, Alessandro Orro, Sara Lupoli, Erika Salvi, Michael Weiner, and Fabio Macciardi (PLoS ONE 4(8): e6501. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006501, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 15p.).

B. "Inflammation and Infection Do Not Promote Arterial Aging and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors among Lean Horticulturalists," by Michael Gurven, Hillard Kaplan, Jeffrey Winking, Daniel Eid Rodriguez, Sarinnapha Vasunilashorn, Jung Ki Kim, Caleb Finch, and Eileen Crimmins (PLoS ONE 4(8): e6590. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006590, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 12p.).

C. "Parkin Deficiency Delays Motor Decline and Disease Manifestation in a Mouse Model of Synucleinopathy," by Margot Fournier, Jeremie Vitte, Jerome Garrigue, Dominique Langui, Jean-Philippe Dullin, Francoise Saurini, Naima Hanoun, Fernando Perez-Diaz, Fabien Cornilleau, Chantal Joubert, Hector Ardila-Osorio, Sabine Traver, Rene Duchateau, Cecile Goujet-Zalc, Katerina Paleologou, Hilal A. Lashuel, Christian Haass, Charles Duyckaerts, Charles Cohen-Salmon, Philipp J. Kahle, Michel Hamon, Alexis Brice, and Olga Corti (PLoS ONE 4(8): e6629. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006629, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 13p.).

D. "Sleep-Disordered Breathing and Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Study," by Naresh M. Punjabi, Brian S. Caffo, James L. Goodwin, Daniel J. Gottlieb, Anne B. Newman, George T. O'Connor, David M. Rapoport, Susan Redline, Helaine E. Resnick, John A. Robbins, Eyal Shahar, Mark L. Unruh, and Jonathan M. Samet (PLoS Med 6(8): e1000132. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000132, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 9p.).

E. "Sequence Skill Acquisition and Off-Line Learning in Normal Aging," by Rachel M. Brown, Edwin M. Robertson, and Daniel Z. Press (PLoS ONE 4(8): e6683. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006683, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 5p.).

F. "Ectopic Catalase Expression in Mitochondria by Adeno-Associated Virus Enhances Exercise Performance in Mice," by Dejia Li, Yi Lai, Yongping Yue, Peter S. Rabinovitch, Chady Hakim, and Dongsheng Duan (PLoS ONE 4(8): e6673. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006673, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 7p.).

G. "Comparative Analysis of Pyrosequencing and a Phylogenetic Microarray for Exploring Microbial Community Structures in the Human Distal Intestine," by Marcus J. Claesson, Orla O'Sullivan, Qiong Wang, Janne Nikkil Julian R. Marchesi, Hauke Smidt, Willem M. de Vos, R. Paul Ross, and Paul W. O'Toole (PLoS ONE 4(8): e6669. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006669, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 15p.).



A. "Effects of a Palliative Care Intervention on Clinical Outcomes in Patients With Advanced Cancer: The Project ENABLE II Randomized Controlled Trial," by Marie Bakitas, Kathleen Doyle Lyons, Mark T. Hegel, Stefan Balan, Frances C. Brokaw, Janette Seville, Jay G. Hull, Zhongze Li, Tor D. Tosteson, Ira R. Byock, and Tim A. Ahles (Vol. 302, No. 7, August 19, 2009, p. 741-749).

B. "Reduction in Acute Myocardial Infarction Mortality in the United States: Risk-Standardized Mortality Rates From 1995-2006," by Harlan M. Krumholz, Yun Wang, Jersey Chen, Elizabeth E. Drye, John A. Spertus, Joseph S. Ross, Jeptha P. Curtis, Brahmajee K. Nallamothu, Judith H. Lichtman, Edward P. Havranek, Frederick A. Masoudi, Martha J. Radford, Lein F. Han, Michael T. Rapp, Barry M. Straube, and Sharon-Lise T. Normand (Vol. 302, No. 7, August 19, 2009, p. 767-773).



A. "Denosumab in Men Receiving Androgen-Deprivation Therapy for Prostate Cancer," by Matthew R. Smith, Blair Egerdie, Narciso Herndez Toriz, Robert Feldman, Teuvo L.J. Tammela, Fred Saad, Jiri Heracek, Maciej Szwedowski, Chunlei Ke, Amy Kupic, Benjamin Z. Leder, and Carsten Goessl, for the Denosumab HALT Prostate Cancer Study Group (Vol. 361, No. 8, August 20, 2009, p. 745-755).

B. "Denosumab for Prevention of Fractures in Postmenopausal Women with Osteoporosis," by Steven R. Cummings, Javier San Martin, Michael R. McClung, Ethel S. Siris, Richard Eastell, Ian R. Reid, Pierre Delmas, Holly B. Zoog, Matt Austin, Andrea Wang, Stepan Kutilek, Silvano Adami, Jose Zanchetta, Cesar Libanati, Suresh Siddhanti, and Claus Christiansen, for the FREEDOM Trial (Vol. 361, No. 8, August 20, 2009, p. 756-765).


17. TIME ARTICLE: "Learning to Live (and Love) in an Empty Nest," by Bonnie Rochman (Vol. 174, No. 7, August 24, 2009).,9171,1916284,00.html


II. Working Papers:

18. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN RETIREMENT RESEARCH CENTER: "Retirement in a Life Cycle Model of Labor Supply with Home Production," by Richard Rogerson and Johanna Wallenius (WP 2009-205, August 2009, .pdf format, 57p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:



A. "The Implications of Declining Retiree Health Insurance," by Courtney Monk and Alicia H. Munnell (WP No. 15, August 2009, .pdf format, 36p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

B. "Unusual Social Security Claiming Strategies: Costs and Distributional Effects," by Alicia H. Munnell, Steven A. Sass, Alex Golub-Sass, and Nadia Karamcheva (WP No. 17, August 2009, .pdf format, 38p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:

C. "Determinants and Consequences of Moving Decisions for Older Homeowners," by Esteban Calvo, Kelly Haverstick, and Natalia A. Zhivan (WP No. 16, August 2009, .pdf format, 38p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


20. WHARTON PENSION RESEARCH COUNCIL (UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA): Note: WPRC requires free registration before providing working papers. "Financial Literacy among the Young: Evidence and Implications for Consumer Policy," by Annamaria Lusardi, Olivia S. Mitchell, and Vilsa Curto (Working Paper No. 2009-09, August 2009, .pdf format, 33p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:



A. "Beyond Testing: Empirical Models of Insurance Markets," by Liran Einav, Amy Finkelstein, and Jonathan Levin (w15241, August 2009, .pdf format, 37p.).


We describe recent advances in the empirical analysis of insurance markets. This new research proposes ways to estimate individual demand for insurance and the relationship between prices and insurer costs in the presence of adverse and advantageous selection. We discuss how these models permit the measurement of welfare distortions arising from asymmetric information and the welfare consequences of potential government policy responses. We also discuss some challenges in modeling imperfect competition between insurers, and outline a series of open research questions.

B. "Work Disability, Work, and Justification Bias in Europe and the U.S.," by Arie Kapteyn, James P. Smith, and Arthur van Soest (w15245, August 2009, .pdf format, 58p.).


To analyze the effect of health on work, many studies use a simple self-assessed health measure based upon a question such as "do you have an impairment or health problem limiting the kind or amount of work you can do?" A possible drawback of such a measure is the possibility that different groups of respondents may use different response scales. This is commonly referred to as "differential item functioning" (DIF). A specific form of DIF is justification bias: to justify the fact that they dont work, non-working respondents may classify a given health problem as a more serious work limitation than working respondents. In this paper we use anchoring vignettes to identify justification bias and other forms of DIF across countries and socio-economic groups among older workers in the U.S. and Europe. Generally, we find differences in response scales across countries, partly related to social insurance generosity and employment protection. Furthermore, we find significant evidence of justification bias in the U.S. but not in Europe, suggesting differences in social norms concerning work.

C. "Estimating Causal Effects of Early Occupational Choice on Later Health: Evidence Using the PSID," by Jason M. Fletcher and Jody L. Sindelar (w15256, August 2009, .pdf format, 27p.).


In this paper, we provide some of the first empirical evidence of whether early occupational choices are associated with lasting effects on health status, affecting individuals as they age. We take advantage of data on occupational histories available in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to examine this issue. To the PSID data, we merge historical Census data that reflect the labor market conditions when each individual in the PSID made his first occupational choice. These data on labor market conditions (e.g. state-level share of blue collar workers) allow us to instrument for occupational choice in order to alleviate endogeneity bias. We use parental occupation as additional instruments. Since our instruments may have indirect effects on later health, we also control for respondents pre-labor market health, education and several family and state background characteristics in order to make the instruments more plausibly excludable. We find substantial evidence that a blue collar occupation at labor force entry is associated with decrements to later health status, ceteris paribus. These health effects are larger after controlling for endogeneity and are similar across sets of instruments. We also find differences in the effects of occupation by gender, race, and age.

D. "The Impact of Job Stress on Smoking and Quitting: Evidence from the HRS," by Padmaja Ayyagari and Jody L. Sindelar (w15232, August 2009, .pdf format, 35p.).


This paper examines the impact of job-related stress on smoking behavior. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine how high job stress affects the probability that smokers quit and the number of cigarettes smoked for current smokers. We include individual fixed effects, which control for time-invariant factors. Occupational fixed effects are also included to control for occupational characteristics other than stress; time dummies control for the secular decline in smoking rates. Using a sample of people who smoked in the previous wave, we find that job stress is positively related to continuing to smoke and to the number of cigarettes smoked for current smokers. The FE results are of greater magnitude and significance than the OLS results suggesting an important omitted variable bias in OLS estimates. It may be that individuals who are able to handle stress or have better self-control are more likely to have high stress jobs and less likely to smoke. We also find that the smoking/stress relationship is neither explained by heterogeneity across individuals in cognitive ability, risk taking preferences or planning horizons nor is it explained by time varying measures that we observe.

E. "International Differences in Longevity and Health and their Economic Consequences," by Pierre-Carl Michaud, Dana Goldman, Darius Lakdawalla, Adam Gailey, and Yuhui Zheng (w15235, August 2009, .pdf format, 35p.).


In 1975, 50 year-old Americans could expect to live slightly longer than their European counterparts. By 2005, American life expectancy at that age has diverged substantially compared to Europe. We find that this growing longevity gap is primarily the symptom of real declines in the health of near-elderly Americans, relative to their European peers. In particular, we use a microsimulation approach to project what US longevity would look like, if US health trends approximated those in Europe. We find that differences in health can explain most of the growing gap in remaining life expectancy. In addition, we quantify the public finance consequences of this deterioration in health. The model predicts that gradually moving American cohorts to the health status enjoyed by Europeans could save up to $1.1 trillion in discounted total health expenditures from 2004 to 2050.


22. INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF LABOR (IZA) [UNIVERSITY OF BONN, GERMANY]: "Health Inequality over the Life-Cycle," by Timothy Halliday (Discussion Paper No. 4369, August 2009, .pdf format, 31p.). Links to the abstract and full-text can be found at:


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

23. Age and Ageing (Vol. 38, No. 5, September 2009).

24. Ageing International (Vol. 34, Nos. 1-2, June 2009).

25. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 170, No. 5, Sept. 1, 2009).

26. Journal of Aging and Health (Vol. 21, No. 6, September 2009).


27. 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 Aug. 17, 2009:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of Aug. 17, 2009:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of Aug. 17, 2009:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of Aug. 17, 2009:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of Aug. 17, 2009:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of Aug. 17, 2009:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


IV. Funding Opportunities:


A. "Erythropoiesis: Components and Mechanisms (R01)," (PA-09-255, a reissue of PA-07-011, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, August 14, 2009).

B. "Optimization of Small Molecule Probes for the Nervous System (R21)," (PAR-09-251, a reissue of RFA-NS-09-003, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies, August 14, 2009).

C. "Network Infrastructure Support for Emerging Behavioral and Social Research Areas in Aging (R24)," (PAR-09-233, National Institute on Aging, August 19, 2009).


V. Websites of Interest:

29. MEDICARE.GOV SITE UPDATES. updated the following sites on Aug. 20, 2009: "Dialysis Facility Compare."



A. "Productive Ageing Centre," (August 2009). The Centre provides "provides users with research, education and information" on productive aging.

B. "Atlas of Productive Ageing," (August 2009). The atlas is designed to "provide maps and data for a number of indicators of productive ageing at different geographical levels.provide data and maps."

Related Press Release (HTML and .pdf format):


31. WHITEHOUSE.GOV: "Health Insurance Reform," (August 2009, MP4 format). This series of videos is designed to provide information about issues surrounding the health care reform debate. A number of the videos ("There is no panel to decide end-of-life care"; "Your Medicare is safe, and stronger with reform"; and "The "euthanasia" distortion on help for families") address issues that impact older adults.




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