Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #53--October 4, 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. NIA: "Publicly Available Databases for Aging-Related Secondary Analyses in the Behavioral and Social Sciences," (National Institute on Aging, April 2000, .pdf format, 123p.). "The databases included in this document have been supported entirely or in part by the National Institute on Aging. It is grouped by current archival status: 1) Datasets archived at ICPSR [Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research], or available on CD-ROM, or through the World Wide Web; 2) Datasets expected to be archived in the future, but currently available through PI; 3) Datasets not expected to be archived, but available through PI; and, 4) Datasets expected to be archived, but currently unavailable.

2. HCFA: The US Health Care Financing Administration has released:

A. "1980-1998 State Health Care Expenditures Tables" (HTML, .pdf, and .csv formats) for all payers, medicare, and medicaid. Note that the .csv tables are also available in one .zip file.

B. "Medicare Disproportionate Share Adjustment 1998-1999 File" (HTML, .pdf, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and ASCII text formats). "Medicare Disproportionate Share (DSH) adjustment is an additional Medicare payment to hospitals which treat a high percentage of low-income patients. The factors used to calculate this adjustment are the sum of the ratios of Medicare Part A Social Security Income (SSI) patient days to total Medicare patient days, and Medicaid patient days to total patient days in the hospital.


II. Reports and articles:


A. "Social Security Administration: Longstanding Problems in SSA's Letters to the Public Need to Be Fixed" (US General Accounting Office Report GAO/HEHS-00-179 September 2000, .pdf format, 42p.).

B. "Medicare+Choice: Plan Withdrawals Indicate Difficulty of Providing Choice While Achieving Savings" (US General Accounting Office Report GAO/HEHS-00-183, September 2000, .pdf format, 72p.).

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.

4. DHHS OIG OEI REPORT: "Inconsistent Medicare Data Concerning Carrier Payment Dates" (Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General Office of Evaluations and Inspections OEI-03-00-00350, September 2000, .pdf format, 8p.).


According to HCFA's National Claims History File data, OEI found that Medicare paid over 80 percent of Part B claims prior to the 14-day floor requirement. However, according to HCFA's Contractor Reporting of Operational and Workload Data (CROWD) system, payments for less than 1 percent of these Part B claims were made prior to the 14-day floor. Information from both HCFA and carrier staff indicates that data from the National Claims History File may not accurately reflect the carriers' actual date of payment. We recommended that HCFA define for carriers what data should be entered into the scheduled payment date field and how it should be calculated, revise the current variable definition in the National Claims History File, and determine the accuracy of information contained in the CROWD system. The HCFA has initiated a review to understand and resolve this inconsistency.

5. _JAMA_ ARTICLE: "Quality of Medical Care Delivered to Medicare Beneficiaries: A Profile at State and National Levels," by Stephen F. Jencks, Timothy Cuerdon, Dale R. Burwen, Barbara Fleming, Peter M. Houck, Annette E. Kussmaul, David S. Nilasena, Diana L. Ordin, and David R. Arday (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 284, No. 13, Oct. 4, 2000, p. 1670-1676, HTML and .pdf format).

6. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Increase of Maximum Life-Span in Sweden, 1861-1999," by J. R. Wilmoth, L. J. Deegan, H. Lundstrm, and S. Horiuchi (_Science_, Vol. 289, No. 5488, Sep. 29, 2000, HTML and .pdf formats, p. 2366-2368). Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf formats) may be available to your organization. Check your organization's library.

7. MEDSCAPE ARTICLES: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles.

A. "Raloxifene Hydrochloride," by Kelly R. Snyder, Nicole Sparano, and Jennifer M. Malinowski (_American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy_ via Medscape, Vol. 57, No. 18, Sep. 15, 2000, p. 1669-1678, HTML format).


B. "Estrogen Replacement and Heart Disease," by Stephen Bakir and Suzanne Oparil (_Clinical Reviews_ via Medscape, Spring 2000, p. 67-72, HTML format).


8. NIA NEWS: ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE RESEARCH UPDATE: "Nasal Alzheimer's Vaccine Successfully Tested in Mice (Sep. 28, 2000).

9. AARP BULLETIN: The October 2000 _AARP BULLETIN_ contains four articles (HTML format) on the upcoming presidential election and issues relevant to aging:

A. "Gore Speaks Out on Issues: Vice President Offers Details on Drug Proposal," by Susan L. Crowley.

B. "Bush Speaks Out on Issues: GOP Nominee States Case for His Drug Plan," by Elliot Carlson.

C. "'A Lot Is At Stake': Bush, Gore Collide Over Social Security's Future," by Walt Duka.

D. "Social Security Debate Raises Many Questions," by Walt Duka.


III. Working Papers:

10. RAND LABOR AND POPULATION PROGRAM WORKING PAPERS ABSTRACT: "Persistent, Consistent, and Widespread? Another Look at Recent Trends in Old-Age Disability," by Robert F. Schoeni, Vicki A. Freedman, and Robert B. Wallace (Rand Organization Working Paper 00-13, 2000). Note: This paper is not electronically available at this time. It can be ordered free of charge at the below listed website.


This study provides new evidence on trends in disability among the elderly from 1982 to 1996. Logistics analysis is used to estimate the trend in disability prevalence after controlling for age, sex, and proxy reporting. The sample includes 124,949 people ages 70 and older in the 1982-1996 National Interview Surveys. The authors find that i) disability has improved, but the gains did not persist throughout the entire period or accelerate over time; ii) only routine care disability has declined, whereas more severe personal care disability shows no improvements; iii) estimates are robust to the exclusion of the nursing home population but may be sensitive to growth in the assisted living population; iv) estimates of decline in disability prevalence are fairly consistent across five national surveys, v) gains have been concentrated among the most educated elderly, and vi) gains in the educational composition can explain 65 percent of the improvements. There is evidence from several surveys using various measures indicating that disability has declined among the elderly. Determining the causes of the improvements should be a high priority in future research efforts

11. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN POPULATION STUDIES CENTER: "Regional Shifts in America's Voting-Aged Population: What Do They Mean for National Politics?" BY William H. Frey (PSC Research Report 00-459, October 2000, .pdf format, 19p.).


The results of the November 2000 election, and those of several to come, will be shaped by sharp region-based shifts in America's voting-aged population, which can be tracked from 1990. These shifts involve the continued concentration of new immigrant minorities-Hispanics and Asians-into selected "melting pot states"; shifts of white middle-class suburbanites away from large coastal metropolises to fast-growing parts of the "New Sun Belt"; the return of African Americans to the South; and the non-migration of some of the most sought-after "swing" groups of voters that both major presidential candidates are vying for. These trends are beginning to cement distinct regional differences in the demographic profiles of the country's voting-aged population. Although the new migration patterns would appear to exert a bigger impact on fast-growing migrant destination states, they also affect stagnating origin states by increasing the political clout of the groups left behind. In fact, three highly-prized constituencies in the 2000 presidential election-white working wives, white "forgotten majority" men, and white seniors-make up a disproportionate share of the residual populations in slow-growing interior states which form the "battleground" for this election. Dataset(s) used: 1990 US decennial census; US Census Bureau projections for November 2000 state voting-aged populations; and US census Current Population Survey data for years 1990 through 1999.

12. URBAN INSTITUTE RETIREMENT PROJECT: "Economic Consequences of an Aging Population," by Diane Lim Rogers, Eric Toder, and Landon Jones (Urban Institute Retirement Project Occasional Paper #6, September 2000, HTML and .pdf format, 30p.).

Abstract Excerpt:

The retirement of baby boomers and the increase in the share of elderly in the population will create economic and fiscal stresses beginning in the second decade of the 21st century. These demographic developments, if not offset by changes in household behavior and government fiscal policy, will reduce the number of workers in relation to the population needing support and lower the national saving rate. The result will be slower growth in national income and consumption after 2010. This paper examines how demographic developments will affect the pattern of economic growth over the next 40 years. Demographic changes will alter labor supply, private and public saving rates, and the growth of national income and consumption. How these variables ultimately change will depend on behavioral adjustments by workers, savers, and governments.

Click on "PDF format" for full text .pdf version.


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

13. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 48, No. 10, October 2000).

14. 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 Economic Review (Vol. 90, No. 4, September 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in the EBSCO Academic Search Elite Database and the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

Journal of Health and Social Behavior (Vol. 41, No. 3, September 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.

V. Books:

15. _Law at the End of Life: The Supreme Court and Assisted Suicide_, edited by Carl E. Schneider (University of Michigan Press, 2000, 376 p., ISBN 0-472-11157-4, $59.50).


VI. Funding Opportunities:

16. NIA: The National Institute on Aging has announced: SECONDARY ANALYSIS IN DEMOGRAPHY AND ECONOMICS OF AGING grant opportunity.

Note that new deadline dates are: February 1, 2001 and June 1, 2001.

For more information contact Georgeanne E. Patmios at:

17. AHRQ REVISED POLICY FOR IRB REVIEW OF HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTOCOLS IN GRANT APPLICATIONS (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Notice HS-00-003, September 2000).


VII. Websites of Interest:

18. STATE HEALTH CARE DECISIONS LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: The Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly (CLPE) of the American Bar Association provides this site, which tracks the latest developments in: Health Care Surrogate Decision Making Legislation; Health Care Surrogate Consent; Health Care Power of Attorney; End of Life Care Issues; and End of Life Care Legal Trends." Documents are available in Microsoft Word and .pdf format.

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