Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #538 -- May 28, 2010

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. HEALTH AND RETIREMENT STUDY: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research HRS announced the release of two data files.

- "2009 Internet Survey (Final, Version 1.0)" (May 24, 2010).

- "Cross-Wave HRS 1992-2008 Respondent Region and Mobility Dataset (v3.0)" (May 25, 2010).

Data access:


2. UK DATA ARCHIVE (ESSEX UNIVERSITY, COLCHESTER, UK): The UK Data Archive has recently added the following datasets to its holdings. Note: There maybe charges or licensing requirements on holdings of the UK Data Archive. For more information see:

SN 6427 -Understanding the Importance of Work Histories in Determining Poverty in Old Age: Variables Derived from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, 2002-2007


II. Reports and articles:

3. US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE CORRESPONDENCE: "Nursing Homes: Some Improvement Seen in Understatement of Serious Deficiencies, but Implications for the Longer-Term Trend Are Unclear," (GAO-10-434R, April 2010, .pdf format, 23p.).


4. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS ARTICLE: "How Does Your 401(k) Match Up?" by Hilery Z. Simpson (Compensation and Working Conditions, May 26, 2010).



A. "Pension plans in Canada; As of January 1, 2009," (The Daily, May 25, 2010, HTML and .pdf format).



B. "Population Projections for Canada, Provinces and Territories 2009 to 2036," (May 2010).


6. AUSTRALIAN HOUSING AND URBAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE BRIEF: "How well do older Australians utilise their homes?" (Issue 126, May 2010, .pdf format, 6p.).


7. CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE ISSUE BRIEF: "A New Social Security 'Notch'? Bad News for People Born in 1947," by Andrew G. Biggs (IB No. 10-9, May 2010, .pdf format, 8p.).


8. URBAN INSTITUTE BRIEF: "Social Security and the Budget," by C. Eugene Steuerle and Stephanie Rennane (May 2010, .pdf format, 8p.).



A. "Medicaid-Funded Long-Term Supports and Services: Snapshots of Innovation," by Gretchen Engquist, Cyndy Johnson, and William Courtland Johnson (May 2010, .pdf format, 36p.).

B. "Systems of Care: Environmental Scan of Medicaid-Funded Long-Term Supports and Services," by Gretchen Engquist, Cyndy Johnson, and William Courtland Johnson (May 2010, .pdf format, 44p.).

B. "Medicaid-Funded Long-Term Care: Toward More Home- and Community-Based Options," by Gretchen Engquist, Cyndy Johnson, Alice Lind, and Lindsay Palmer Barnette (May 2010, .pdf format, 11p.).

More information about CHCS:


10. JOSEPH ROWNTREE FOUNDATION REPORT: "Residential care home workforce development: the rhetoric and reality of meeting older residentsí future care needs," by Deidre Wild, Ala Szczepura and Sara Nelson (May 2010, .pdf format, 57p.).


11. AARP FACTSHEET: "Annuities and Other Lifetime Income Products: Their Current and Future Role in Retirement Security," by Sandy Mackenzie, Kathi Brown, Janet McCubbin, and Lina Walker (May 2010, .pdf format, 5p.).


12. NATURE LETTER ABSTRACT: "Embolus extravasation is an alternative mechanism for cerebral microvascular recanalization," by Carson K. Lam, Taehwan Yoo, Bennett Hiner, Zhiqiang Liu, and Jaime Grutzendler (Vol. 465, No. 7297, May 27, 2010, p. 478-482).

Related NIA press release:


13. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Loss of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 causes impairment of protein degradation pathways, accumulation of {alpha}-synuclein, and apoptotic cell death in aged mice," by Youren Tong, Hiroo Yamaguchi, Emilie Giaime, Scott Boyle, Raphael Kopan, Raymond J. Kelleher, III, and Jie Shen (Vol. 107, No. 21, May 25, 2010, p. 9879-9884).


14. NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE PERSPECTIVES ABSTRACT: "Fixing Medicare's Physician Payment System," by Bruce C. Vladeck (Vol. 362, No. 21, May 27, 2010, p. 1955-1957).


15. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Body Mass Index and Survival in Men and Women Aged 70 to 75," by Leon Flicker, Kieran A. McCaul, Graeme J. Hankey, Konrad Jamrozik, Wendy J. Brown, Julie E. Byles, and Osvaldo P. Almeida (in Journal of the American Geriatric Society, Vol. 58, No. 2, 2010, p. 234-241).



A. "Aberrant Mitochondrial Homeostasis in the Skeletal Muscle of Sedentary Older Adults," by Adeel Safdar, Mazen J. Hamadeh, Jan J. Kaczor, Sandeep Raha, Justin deBeer, and Mark A. Tarnopolsky (PLoS ONE 5(5): e10778. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010778, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 12p.).

B. "Three Repeat Isoforms of Tau Inhibit Assembly of Four Repeat Tau Filaments," by Stephanie J. Adams, Michael A. DeTure, Melinda McBride, Dennis W. Dickson, and Leonard Petrucelli (PLoS ONE 5(5): e10810. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010810, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 9p.).

C. "T Cells Specifically Targeted to Amyloid Plaques Enhance Plaque Clearance in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease," by Yair Fisher, Anna Nemirovsky, Rona Baron, and Alon Monsonego (, XML, HTML, and .pdf format, 9p.).


III. Working Papers:


A. "Medicare Part D and its Effect on the Use of Prescription Drugs, Use of Other Health Care Services and Health of the Elderly," by Robert Kaestner and Nasreen Khan (w16011, May 2010, .pdf format, 35p.).


In this paper, we provide an assessment of the effect of Medicare Part D on the previously uninsured. We examine the effect of gaining prescription drug insurance as a result of Medicare Part D on use of prescription drugs, use of other medical services, and health for a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries. Given the heightened importance of prescription drugs for those with chronic illness, we provide separate estimates for those in poorer health. We find that gaining prescription drug insurance through Medicare Part D was associated with an 63% increase in the number of annual prescriptions, but that obtaining prescription drug insurance is not significantly related to use of other health care services or health, as measured by functional status and self-reported health. Among those in poorer health, we find that gaining prescription drug insurance was associated with a 56% increase in the number of annual prescriptions, and is not significantly related to health. For this group, there is some evidence that prescription drug insurance was associated with a decrease in the use of outpatient services.

B. "The Impact of an Individual Health Insurance Mandate On Hospital and Preventive Care: Evidence from Massachusetts," by Jonathan T. Kolstad and Amanda E. Kowalski (w16012, May 2010, .pdf format, 42p.).


In April 2006, the state of Massachusetts passed legislation aimed at achieving near universal health insurance coverage. A key provision of this legislation, and of the national legislation passed in March 2010, is an individual mandate to obtain health insurance. In this paper, we use hospital data to examine the impact of this legislation on insurance coverage, utilization patterns, and patient outcomes in Massachusetts. We use a difference-in-difference strategy that compares outcomes in Massachusetts after the reform to outcomes in Massachusetts before the reform and to outcomes in other states. We embed this strategy in an instrumental variable framework to examine the effect of insurance coverage on outcomes. Among the population discharged from the hospital in Massachusetts, the reform decreased uninsurance by 28% relative to its initial level. Increased coverage affected utilization patterns by decreasing length of stay and the number of inpatient admissions originating from the emergency room. We also find evidence that outpatient care reduced hospitalizations for preventable conditions. At the same time we find no evidence that the cost of hospital care increased. The reform affected nearly all age, gender, income, and race categories. We identify some populations for which insurance had the greatest direct impact on outcomes and others for which the impact on outcomes appears to have occurred through spillovers.


18. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS OF AN AGING POPULATION (SEDAP) [MCMASTER UNIVERSITY, HAMILTON, ONTARIO, CANADA]: "Understanding the Outcomes of Older Job Losers," by Matthew Brzozowski and Thomas F. Crossley (SEDAP Working Paper No. 264, May 2010, .pdf format, 37p.).


We use an unusually rich Canadian survey to examine how post-job-loss behaviour and outcomes vary with age of the job loser. We find that older job losers experience greater postdisplacement joblessness, and are less likely to return quickly to satisfactory employment. We show that this apparent age effect is not a job tenure effect or wealth effect. We also find that older job losers, compared to mid-career job losers, are as likely to report searching for work, but that they search less intensely (reporting fewer hours of search, and lower out of pocket expenditures on search). They are also less likely to retrain, less likely to undertake a geographic move, and less likely to switch occupations. Thus, the data suggest older job losers are less likely to make career investments after job loss. This may be a rational response to a shorter time horizon, or to more limited labour market opportunities.


19. NEP-AGE: Working papers in the Economics of Aging are available through the bibliographic database provided by Research Papers in Economics (RePEc). The latest compilation is for May 15, 2010.


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

20. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Vol. 18, No. 6, June 2010).

21. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 171, No. 11, June 1, 2010).

22. Research on Aging (Vol. 32, No. 4, July 2010).

23. Rotman International Journal of Pension Finance (Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring 2010, .pdf format).


24. 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 May 24, 2010:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of May 24, 2010:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of May 24, 2010:

D. Prostate Cancer: Literature for the week of May 24, 2010:

E. Stem Cell Research: Literature for the week of May 24, 2010:

F. Ophthalmology: Literature for the week of May 24, 2010:

AMEDEO Literature Guide:


V. Funding Opportunities:


A. "Alzheimer's Disease Drug Development Program (U01)," (PA-10-205, a reissue of PAR-08-266, May 21, 2010, National Institute on Aging).

B. "NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research Competitive Revisions for Studies Focused on Neuropathic Pain or Neural Plasticity to Promote Collaborative Pain Research (R01)," (PAR-10-204, a reissue of PAR-09-264, May 21, 2010, National Institute on Aging, in conjunction with other agencies).



A. "Graduate Student Research Award, 2011" (deadline is October 27, 2010). "The ASA Graduate Student Research Award is presented annually to a graduate student for research relevant to aging and applicable to practice."

B. "ASA Award, 2011," (deadline is October 27, 2010). "The ASA Award is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to aging-related research, administration or advocacy."

C. "The ASA Hall of Fame Award," (deadline is October 27, 2010). "The ASA Hall of Fame Award is presented to an individual age 65 or older who has, through lifetime advocacy and leadership, enhanced the lives of older adults."

D. "The Gloria Cavanaugh Award for Excellence in Training and Education," (deadline is October 27, 2010). "This Award is presented annually by ASA to an individual or organization demonstrating continued excellence in training and education in the field of aging."


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

27. US SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING COMMITTEE HEARING TESTIMONY: "Dietary Supplements: What Seniors Need To Know," a hearing held May 26, 2010 (statements are in .pdf format, full hearing in Flash format, running time 2 hours 20 minutes).


28. US SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH EDUCATION LABOR AND PENSIONS HEARING TESTIMONY: "Building a Secure Future for Multiemployer Pension Plans," a hearing held May 27, 2010 (statements in .pdf format, full hearing available in Flash format, running time 2 hours 15 minutes).


VII. Websites of Interest:

29. MEDICARE.GOV WEBSITE UPDATES: The following sites were updated on May 21, 2010 and May 27, 2010: "Supplier Directory", "Nursing Home Compare", and "Helpful Contacts."




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