Current Awareness in Aging Report (CAAR) #7, November 4, 1999

I. Data:

1. HCFA PUF CATALOG UPDATE: The Health Care Finance Administration has made available its most recently updated _Public Use Files Catalog:
Medicare/Medicaid Data Files_ (.pdf or WordPerfect 6.1 formats, 75p.). This catalog contains a list of all HCFA Public Use Files, descriptions, and ordering information.


WP (self-extracting DOS/Windows file)
2. GPO NCHS DATA SET: The Government Printing Office has made available the National Ambulatory Hospital Medical Care Survey, 1997 via CD-ROM. For
more details, pricing and ordering information see:

Note to University of Wisconsin CDHA Members. The data library has obtained this dataset.

3. SSA ORES CURRENT OPERATING STATISTICS TABLES: The Social Security Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics has updated selected Current Operating Statistics Tables through August 1999. Tables affected are 1B1, 1B2, 1B4, 1B5, 1B6, 1B7, 1C1, 1C2, 1C3, 1C4, & 1C5. (Tables are in .pdf format).

4. ICPSR TOPICAL ARCHIVE: The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has recently opened a topical archive: Health and Medical Care Archive, which "is sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and is to be the official data archive of the foundation.

5. FERRET CPS DATA--The Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics FERRET extraction system has begun to make full datasets from the monthly Current Population Surveys available for downloading. Monthly files beginning January 1998, as well as an electronic data dictionary, are available. Users can choose from standard UNIX (.Z), GNU gzip (.gz) or DOS/Windows (.zip) compression. Note that the site also connects to full datasets from the 1998 and 1999 March CPS Supplement and available portions of the 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) 1996 Panel.


II. Reports and articles

6. NCHS REPORT: The National Center for Health Statistics has released "National Home and Hospice Care Survey, 1996," (.pdf format, 251p.)

7. SSA OP PERIODICAL: The Office of Policy of the Social Security Administration has made available the _Social Security Bulletin_ (Vol. 2, No. 62, 1999, .pdf format.).

Click on "Most Recent Issue" for full text:

8. JAMA ARTICLE: "Evaluation of Prognostic Criteria for Determining Hospice Eligibility in Patients With Advanced Lung, Heart, or Liver Disease," by Ellen Fox, et. al. ( _Journal of the American Medical Association_ Vol. 282, No. 17, November 3, 1999).

9. FAMILIES USA REPORT: Families USA has released: "Hard to Swallow: Rising Drug Prices for America's Seniors" (November 1999, .pdf format, 16p.).

>From the Abstract:

Four years ago, Families USA found that the prices of prescription drugs commonly used by older Americans were rising faster than the rate of inflation. To determine if this trend of steadily increasing prices for prescription drugs has improved, remained the same, or worsened, Families USA gathered information on the prices of the prescription drugs most heavily used by older Americans over the past five years. Using data from the Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE) program, we analyzed the prices of the 50 top-selling prescription drugs most heavily used by older persons. Our analysis shows that, in each of the past five years, the prices of the 50 prescription drugs most used by older Americans have increased considerably faster than inflation. While senior citizens generally live on fixed incomes that are adjusted to keep up with the rate of inflation, the cost of the prescription drugs they purchase most frequently has risen at approximately two times the rate of inflation over the past five years and more than four times the rate of inflation in the last year.

Click on "PDF version" for full text of the report.

10. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE: The Presenilins in Alzheimer's Disease--Proteolysis Holds the Key," by Christian Haass and Bart De Strooper (Vol. 286, No. 5441, October 29, 1999, P. 916-919). Note: Your organization may or may not have access to electronic full text of this article.


III. Working Papers

11. RAND LABOR AND POPULATION PROGRAM WORKING PAPERS: "Anticipated and Actual Bequests," by M.D. Hurd, J.P. Smith, (DRU-2177-NIA, WP 99-11, September 1999, .pdf format, 37p.).

>From the Abstract:

This paper uses data on anticipated bequests from two waves of the Health and Retirement Study and the Asset and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old (AHEAD), and on actual bequests from AHEAD. Actual bequests were measured in exit interviews given by proxy respondents for 774 AHEAD respondents who died between waves 1 and 2. Because the exit interview is representative of the elderly population, the distribution of estate values is quite different from that obtained from estate records, which represent just a wealthy subset of the population. Anticipated bequests were measured by the subjective probability of leaving bequests. Between waves 1 and 2, increases in bequest probabilities were associated with increases in the subjective probability of surviving, increments in household wealth, and widowing while out-of-pocket medical expenses reduced the likelihood of a bequest. By comparing bequest probabilities with baseline wealth we were able to test a main prediction of the life-cycle model, that individuals will dissave at advanced old-age. The AHEAD respondents anticipate substantial dissaving before they die.

12. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE OF RESEARCH, EVALUATION, AND STATISTICS: "Who is '62 Enough': Identifying Eligibles for Social Security Early Retirement in the Health and Retirement Study," by Janice A. Olson (Working Paper #85, September 1999, .pdf format, 16p.).

>From the Abstract:

This [paper] discusses how well researchers can do using data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) in identifying the pool of respondents who could have received early Social Security retirement benefits.

13. MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH: "Reproductive History and Mortality Later in Life for Austrian Women," by Gabriele Doblhammer and James W. Vaupel (WP-1999-012, November 1999, .pdf format, 30p.).

>From the Abstract:

How does a woman's reproductive history influence her life span? We find that parity and both an early and late birth significantly influence longevity. The impact of a woman's reproductive history on her life span is minor, however, compared to the influence of her level of education or family status. Differences according to reproductive history are not explained by differences in educational status or family status. The mortality advantage of women who gave birth in their forties (late mothers) mainly originates from their comparatively lower risk of heart disease, despite an increase in the risk of breast cancer. Do women who give birth later in life age at a slower rate or is their mortality proportionally lower at all ages? We present evidence that from age 70 onward late mothers age at a lower rate. This may be the result of both biological and social factors.


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

14. _Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences (A) (Vol. 54A, No. 10,
Oct. 1999)

15. CARL Uncover Journal Tables of Contents. Follow the instructions below to access tables of contents. Sorry for any inconvenience, but licensing restrictions do not allow me to pass the tables of contents to you, and database driven URLs are dynamic and will not work from one machine to the next.

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

_Omega: Journal of Death and Dying_ (Vol. 39, No. 3, 1999)

_Educational Gerontology_ (Vol. 25, No 6, 1999) (Note that this is a special issue on "Aging Education: Preparing for the 21st Century." The issue is available in electronic full text via EBSCO Academic Search Elite. Check your academic or special library for availability. Note that full text is in HTML but not page image format at this time.)

_Journal of Gerontological Social Work_ (Vol. 32, No. 1, Vol. 32, No.2,

_Journal of Aging and Physical Activity_ (Vol. 7, No. 4, 1999)

V. Websites of Interest

16. WHO MORTALITY DATABASE: The World Health Organization provides this dataset, "basic underlying detailed data files, together with the necessary instructions, file structures, code reference tables, etc. which can be used by institutions and organizations which need access at this level of detail AND have available the required information technology (IT) resources to use this information. This is a compilation of official data on causes of death and population reported by Member States to WHO annually. The country-year data set made available to you was created for electronic dissemination (see Annex 1: Users' Guide to
Standardized Transcripts on Electronic Storage Media, in 1996 World Health Statistics Annual. Geneva: World Health Organization)." Detailed mortality data by age and sex are available for the 7th-10th revision of the _International Classification of Diseases_.

and click on "detailed data files" for access to .zip compressed ASCII data files and ASCII documentation.

Jack Solock
Data Librarian--Center for Demography and Ecology 4470 Social Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706