Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #51--September 21, 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. NCHS: The US National Center for Health Statistics has made available the National Health Interview Survey Questionnaire for the 2000 Survey (WordPerfect format). Questionnaires for the Household Composition Section, the Family Section, the Sample Adult Section, the Child Immunization Section, the Recontact Section, and the Cancer Topical Module, are available.

2. ICPSR: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research added eight new studies on Sep. 18, 2000. Of particular interest to researchers in aging may be:


Note 1: This is a temporary address. ICPSR studies can always be found at:

Search on Study Number.

Note 2: This study may only be downloaded by ICPSR members. For information on the membership status and Official Representative (OR) of your organization see:


II. Reports and articles:

3. HCFA BROCHURE: The US Health Care Financing Administration has begun mailing 34 million copies of "Medicare and You 2001" (.pdf format, 55p.) to beneficiaries of the program. "The handbook is one of the primary tools that the agency uses to inform seniors and people with disabilities about their Medicare benefits, rights and responsibilities."


A. "Pension Plans: IRS Programs for Resolving Deviations from Tax-Exemption Requirements" (US General Accounting Office GAO/GGD-00-169, August 2000, .pdf format, 36p.).

B. "Medicare Improper Payments: While Enhancements Hold Promise for Measuring Potential Fraud and Abuse, Challenges Remain" (US General Accounting Office GAO/AIMD/OSI-00-281, September 2000, .pdf format, 55p.).

Note: GAO Internet addresses are valid for only a limited period of time. After that time, documents can be found by searching the Government Printing Office:

Search on report number or title.

5. DHHS OIG AUDIT: "Adequacy of Medicare's Managed Care Payments After the Balanced Budget Act of 1997" (Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General Audit A-14-00-00212, September 2000, .pdf format, 28p.).

Executive Summary:

The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 modified the methodology used to determine managed care organization (MCO) payments, partly because of concerns that many MCOs were overcompensated. Many MCO industry representatives now claim that the payment changes brought about by BBA were too severe. However, our final report points out that numerous reviews by the Office of Inspector General show otherwise. Among other things, our reviews showed; (1) the basis on which the monthly capitation payment amounts were calculated were flawed, (2) Medicare payments were being used to fund unnecessary administrative costs and excess profits, (3) investment income was not accounted for by MCOs in the Medicare payment formula, and (4) improper payments were made to MCOs for erroneously classified beneficiaries. The cumulative impact of these issues is that MCOs receive more than an adequate amount of funds to deliver the Medicare package of covered services, i.e., those services received by 85 percent of Medicare beneficiaries (those in the Medicare fee-for-service program). Therefore, we recommended that HCFA consider all the financial related work we have completed recently and use these studies and reviews to modify the present monthly rates to a level fully supported by empirical data. The HCFA agreed with our overall finding that MCO payments are adequate to fund the Medicare package of covered services.

Click on "Complete Text of Report" for full text.

6. ALLIANCE FOR AGING RESEARCH RESOURCE GUIDE: "Resources for Women's Health and Aging," (Alliance for Aging Research; National Institute on Aging; sponsored by the Lilly Center for Women's Health, Eli Lilly and Company, June 2000, HTML and .pdf formats, 37p.).

Click on "Download This Publication" for .pdf full text.

7. INTERNATIONAL LONGEVITY CENTER REPORT PRESS RELEASE: "The Consequences of Population Aging for Society" (International Longevity Center, September 2000, press release available in .pdf format, 4p.). "[This publication is the] report of a seminar-workshop held in Luxembourg to analyze how nations compare in terms of the economic status of older persons, as well as their health, living arrangements, values, attitudes, and ability to get the services they need." Note: Full text is not available electronically but contact information for obtaining the print copy is available in the press release.

8. _MLR_ ARTICLE: "Gauging the labor force effects of retiring baby-boomers," by Arlene Dohm (_Monthly Labor Review_, US Department of Labor, Vol. 123, No. 7, July 2000, .pdf format, p. 17-25).


As aging baby-boomers begin retiring, the effects on the overall economy and on certain occupations and industries will be substantial, creating a need for younger workers to fill the vacated jobs, many of which require relatively high levels of skill.

Click on "Download full article in PDF" for full text.

9. NATURE BRIEF COMMUNICATION ABSTRACT: "Ageing: Cloning of mice to six generations," by Teruhiko Wakayama, Yoichi Shinkai, Kellie L.K. Tamashiro, Hiroyuki Niida, D. Caroline Blanchard, Robert J. Blanchard, Atsuo Ogura, Kentaro Tanemura, Makoto Tachibana, Anthony C.F. Perry, Diana F. Colgan, Peter Mombaerts, and Ryuzo Yanagimachi (_Nature_, Vol. 407, No. 6802, Sep. 21, 2000, p. 318-319). Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) may be available to your organization. Check your organization's library.


A. "Heat related mortality in warm and cold regions of Europe: observational study," by W.R. Keatinge, G.C. Donaldson, Elvira Cordioli, M. Martinelli, A.E. Kunst, J.P. Mackenbach, S. Nayha, and I. Vuori, (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 321, No. 7262, Sep. 16, 2000, p. 670-673, HTML and .pdf formats).

B. "Saving lives during extreme weather in summer," by Laurence S Kalkstein (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 321, No. 7262, Sep. 16, 2000, p. 650-651, HTML and .pdf formats). Note: This is a _BMJ_ editorial.

C. _Death in England: An Illustrated History_," Peter C. Jupp and Clare Gittings, editors, Manchester University Press, 19.99 Pounds, 304p., ISBN 0 7190 5811 2, reviewed by Paul Keeley.

11. _THE LANCET_ ARTICLE AND COMMENTARY ABSTRACTS: Note 1: Electronic full text of _Lancet_ articles is available only to subscribers. Note 2: _The Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content of any kind.

A. "Surgery for colorectal cancer in elderly patients: a systematic review," by Colorectal Cancer Collaborative Group, (_The Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9234, Sep. 16, 2000, p. 968-974).

B. "Surgery for colorectal cancer in elderly patients," by P.G. Alley (_The Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9234, Sep. 16, 2000, p. 956.). Note: This is a _Lancet_ Commentary.

C. "Screening older adults at risk of falling with the Tinetti balance scale," by Michel Rache, Rejean Hebert, Francois Prince, and Helene Corriveau, ( _The Lancet_, Vol. 356, No. 9234, Sep. 16, 2000, p. 1001-1002).

12. _MEDSCAPE MENTAL HEALTH_ ARTICLE: "Measuring Depression in the Elderly: Which Scale is Best?" by Suzanne Holroyd and Anita H. Clayton (_Medscape Mental Health_, Vol. 5, No. 5, September/October 2000, HTML format). Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

13. _MEDSCAPE MONEY AND MEDICINE_ ARTICLE: "What Triggers a Fraud and Abuse Audit?" by Debra C. Cascardo (_Medscape Money and Medicine_, 2000, HTML format). Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.


14. _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). Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

15. AARP _PRIME TIME RADIO_: Note: All stories can be accessed from:

Note: these are audio transcripts and listeners will need the RealPlayer plug-in or helper application to hear them.

A. "Changing Places with Your Parents" (Sep. 12, 2000). "In a classic role reversal, Judy Kramer traded places with her parents, when they fell ill and required her care. It's an experience a growing number of Americans are having, one Judy Kramer chronicled in a series of articles over several years. She's gathered this work into a book called: _Changing Places: A Journey with My Parents into Their Old Age_. She shares her wonderful insight in this conversation with Mike Cuthbert." Running time: 23 minutes 1 second.

Click on "Changing Places with Your Parents" adjacent to the 09/12/00 listing.

B. "Help For Caregivers" (Sep. 5, 2000). "Marion Karpinski, RN has put together a truly valuable series of video tapes offering specific, vital, important and truly helpful advice for people providing care for older adults at home. She talks about the emotionally and physically demanding job of caregiving and outlines some of the subjects covered in her tapes - like lifting and moving someone, talking to those with hearing impairments, and handling changing moods and emotions." Running time: 31 minutes 4 seconds.

Click on "Help For Caregivers" adjacent to the 09/05/00 listing.

C. "Boomer Babes" (Sep. 5, 2000). "They're fast-talking, smart New York women, who like Boomers everywhere, refuse to age the way their mothers did. And Linda Stasi and Rosemary Rogers want to let other women over 50 know how they, too can still be Boomer Babes - so they wrote a book with that title. They share their irreverent advice in this conversation with the sorely out-numbered Mike Cuthbert." Running time: 23 minutes 1 second.

Click on "Boomer Babes " adjacent to the 09/05/00 listing.


A. "Give Seniors the Power to Choose," by George W. Bush (_Newsweek_, Sep. 25, 2000).

B. "Making Coverage Affordable for All," by Al Gore (_Newsweek_, Sep. 25, 2000).

C. "What Medicare Really Needs," by Jane Bryant Quinn (_Newsweek_, Sep. 25, 2000).

D. "It's More Than A Drug Problem," by Robert J. Samuelson (_Newsweek_, Sep. 25, 2000).


A. "Keep fit for life by matching your training to your age," by Avery Comarow (_US News and World Report_, Sep. 25, 2000).

B. "Super Seniors: Even for the oldest bodies, fitness works," by Avery Comarow (_US News and World Report_, Sep. 25, 2000).


III. Working Papers:

18. PRINCETON UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF POPULATION RESEARCH: "Does Remarriage Expand Perceptions of Kinship Support Among the Elderly?" by Sara Curan, Sara McLanahan, and Jean Knab (Princeton OPR Working Paper 2000-6, September 2000, .pdf format, 35p.).


This study addresses the debate over whether higher-order marriages will help offset the expected loss of social support from kin due to divorce for future generations of the elderly. We use data from the first wave of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH 1, 1987-88) to examine the effects of marriage, marital disruption, and remarriage on perceptions of overall support and support from kin. To measure overall support, we look at whether respondents say they have someone to (1) turn to in an emergency, (2) borrow money from, and (3) talk to when they are depressed. To measure support from kin, we look at whether respondents name kin as a source of support. We find that marriage and remarriage increase perceptions of support from kin, whereas divorce reduces perception of support. We also find that men benefit more from marriage and lose more from divorce than women. Taken together our findings suggest growing inequality in social support among the future elderly population.

19. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "Changes in Prevalence and Transition Rates of Functioning Difficulties, and Limitation Severity, Among Older Adults in Taiwan: 1989 to 1996," by Zachary Zimmer and Hui-Sheng Lin (PSC Elderly in Asia Report 00-57, September 2000, .pdf format, 26p.).


This paper examines changes in functional health among older Taiwanese between 1989 and 1996. Some contrasts are made to the improvements in functional health that have been witnessed in the United States over a similar time period. Measures of functioning include difficulties lifting, climbing stairs, and walking a given distance. Both existence of and severity of functional difficulties are investigated. Prevalence rates are examined in order to determine whether there have been improvements in the reporting of functional difficulty on a population-wide level, while transition models, which include mortality, are constructed in order to determine whether a smaller proportion of the older population in Taiwan moved into states of disability, and whether a larger proportion improved status, during the latter part of the study period. Prevalence and transition rates are adjusted for compositional variables, and in the case of transitions, for inter-survey intervals. The analyses suggest several phenomenon have been taking place simultaneously in Taiwan. There have been reductions in mortality, increases in the probability of an onset of functional difficulty and improvements in rates of recovery for those who have functional difficulties. Although these represent mixed findings, it might be interpreted in a positive light for a society that has only recently moved its economy and mortality rates to Western equivalence.

20. PENN STATE POPULATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE: "The Demographic Revolution in Population Aging: A Century of Change, 1950 - 2050," by Mark D. Hayward and Zhenmei Zhang (Working Paper 00-09, August 2000, .pdf format, 32p.).

21. LIS: The Luxembourg Income Study has recently released several working papers: (No. 229-238). Of particular interest to researchers in aging may be: "Income Inequality as a Canadian Cohort Ages: An Analysis of the Later Life Course," by Steven G. Prus (Working Paper No. 237, June 2000, .pdf format, 26p.).


Survey of Consumer Finances cross-sectional data from 1973 to 1996 are used in this article to examine Canadian trends in income inequality over the middle and later stages of the life course of a synthetic cohort born between 1922 and 1926. Using Gini coefficients, the findings show that income inequality decreases within a cohort as it grows old; that is, the Canadian retirement income system levels the distribution of income in later life. The observed decrease in inequality corresponds with a decrease in income from earnings and an increase in dependency on state benefits. The progressive nature of public pension programs in Canada increases the relative income share and the average income of the poorest seniors. Moreover, cross-national comparisons of income inequality show that Canada exhibits a more equal distribution of income in old age compared to countries with similar old-age welfare systems, such as the United States."

Abstracts and full text of all of the above LIS Working Papers can be found at:

Click on "Working Papers No. 226-238."

22. DEPARTMENT D'ECONOMETRIE ET D'ECONOMIE POLITIQUE (DEEP), ECOLE DES HAUTES ETUDES COMMERCIALES (HEC) DE LAUSANNE (Switzerland): "Aging Anxiety: Much Ado About Nothing?" by Monika Butler and Georg Kirchsteiger (DEEP Working Paper 00-11, May 2000, .pdf format, 32p.).


Social security systems in most industrialized countries face severe financial problems due to adverse demographic changes. The increase in old-age dependency, however, will be spread over a period of approximately 50 years. The degree of technological progress necessary to offset the negative effects of aging might therefore be small. Using models with endogenous labor supply and with capital accumulation, we demonstrate that under plausible assumptions, current living standards can be maintained with a moderate rate of technological progress. The necessary rate of growth increases both in the size of the program and in the fraction of agents who exclusively depend on public pensions in retirement.

23. FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF MINNEAPOLIS: "Time Inconsistent Preferences and Social Security," by Ayse Imrohoroglu, Selahattin Imrohoroglu, and Douglas H. Joines (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Research Department Discussion Paper No. 136, August 2000, .pdf and PostScript formats, 42p.).


In this paper we examine the role of social security in an economy populated by overlapping generations of individuals with time-inconsistent preferences who face mortality risk, individual income risk, and borrowing constraints. Agents in this economy are heterogeneous with respect to age, employment status, retirement status, hours worked, and asset holdings. We consider two cases of time-inconsistent preferences. First, we model agents as quasi-hyperbolic discounters. They can be sophisticated and play a symmetric Nash game against their future selves; or they can be naive and believe that their future selves will exponentially discount. Second, we consider retrospective time inconsistency. We find that (1) there are substantial welfare costs to quasi-hyperbolic discounters of their time-inconsistent behavior, (2) social security is a poor substitute for a perfect commitment technology in maintaining old-age consumption, (3) there is little scope for social security in a world of quasi-hyperbolic discounters (with a short-term discount rate up to 15%), and, (4) the ex ante annual discount rate must be at least 10% greater than seems warranted ex post in order for a majority of individuals with retrospective time inconsistency to prefer a social security tax rate of 10% to no social security. Our findings question the effectiveness of unfunded social security in correcting for the undersaving resulting from time-inconsistent preferences.

Click on Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) version or PostScript (.ps) version for full text.


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

24. The Gerontologist (Vol. 40, No. 5, October 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.

25. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences (A) (Vol. 55A, No, 10, October 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.

26. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences (A) (Vol. 55A, No. 10, October 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.

27. 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. 6, Sep. 15, 2000).

Educational Gerontology (Vol. 26, No. 5, 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in the EBSCO Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Journal of Aging and Identity (Vol. 5, No. 3, September 2000).

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 48, No. 8, August 2000).

V. Books:

28. _Improving Access to and Confidentiality of Research Data: Report of a Workshop_, Christopher Mackie and Norman Bradburn, editors (Committee on National Statistics, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 2000, Open Book Format, 62p.).


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

29. NEW US LAW: H.R. 4040, "An Act To amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for the establishment of a program under which long-term care insurance is made available to Federal employees, members of the uniformed services, and civilian and military retirees, provide for the correction of retirement coverage errors under chapters 83 and 84 of such title, and for other purposes."

Enrolled Bill (Final Version, HTML and .pdf formats 25p.):

Search on Bill Number "hr 4040" (without the quotes)

Click on Enrolled Bill ([H.R.4040.ENR])

White House Press Release:

30. SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING: "Barriers to Hospice Care: Are We Shortchanging Dying Patients," a hearing held Sep. 18, 2000.

Hearing Testimony:

31. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE; SUBCOMMITTEE ON SOCIAL SECURITY: "The Global Aging Crisis," a hearing held Sep. 21, 2000.

Hearing Testimony:

32. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE PRINTED HEARING: _The President's Social Security Framework_ (Hearing No. 106-32, February 1999, ASCII text and .pdf formats 129p.).

Scroll to "The President's Social Security Framework," or search for "The President's Social Security Framework" in the page, for either format.

VII. Websites of Interest:

33. IN SEARCH OF THE SECRETS OF AGING: The US National Institute on Aging provides this booklet in the form of a website that explores such questions as: Life Span and Life Expectancy; Aging Theories; Genetics; Biochemistry and Aging; Physiology of Aging; and Nutrition and Exercise. Written for the intelligent lay person, it also contains a useful short bibliography and glossary.

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