Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #70--February 8, 2001

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:


A. "MEPS HC-015, 1997 Full Year Population Characteristics" (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Fall 2000). "This public use data file contains 1997 full-year population characteristics from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component (MEPS HC). The data are being released both as an ASCII file (with related SAS programming statements) and in SAS transport format. This public use file provides information on data collected on a nationally representative sample of the civilian non-institutionalized population of the United States for calendar year 1997. This file consists of MEPS survey data obtained in Rounds 3, 4 and 5 of Panel 1 and Rounds 1, 2 and 3 of Panel 2 (i.e., the rounds for the MEPS panels covering calendar year 1997), and contains variables pertaining to survey administration, demographics, employment, health status, health insurance and income." Note 1: Complete documentations (.pdf format) is also available. Note 2: Users should read the "Notes on Downloading Files" before attempting to download data files.

B. "Sample Design of the 1997 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component," by Steven B. Cohen (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ 01-0001, January 2001, HTML and .pdf format, 18p.).


This report provides a summary of the sample design features of the 1997 Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Particular attention has been given to the sample selection scheme implemented for the new 1997 MEPS sample panel. The report also provides a summary of the precision specifications for the survey, sample yields, and the level of precision in survey estimates. The details of the probabilistic models that were used to select an expected oversample of low-income households and households with individuals likely to incur high levels of medical expenditures in 1997 are also presented, in addition to measures of the predictive capacity of the respective models. Both the panel-specific and pooled survey response rates were summarized for the 1997 MEPS Panel 1 Round 3/Panel 2 Round 1 point-in-time sample (first half of 1997) and for annual estimates.

Click on "MEPS Methodology Report #11" for link to full text.


II. Reports and articles:

2. SSA OP REPORT: "OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County, December 1999" (US Social Security Administration Office of Policy, SSA Publication No. 13-11954, February 2001, .pdf format, 165p.). "This annual publication focuses on the Social Security beneficiary population at the local level. It presents basic program data on the number and type of beneficiaries and the amount of benefits paid in each state and county. It also shows the numbers of men and women aged 65 or older receiving benefits. This report is a useful planning aid for Social Security Administration field offices and for those providing information to federal, state, and local government agencies." Note: this publication can be downloaded in its entirety, by state, or by SSA region.

3. NCHS REPORT: "United States Life Tables, 1998," by Robert N. Anderson (US National Center for Health Statistics PHS 2000-1120, NVSS Vol. 48, No. 18, February 2001, .pdf format, 39p.).

Click on "View/download PDF" for full text.

4. _AARP BULLETIN_ ARTICLE: "Axing Taxes: What are the gains and risks?" by Elliot Carlson and Walt Duka (_AARP Bulletin_, February 2001). Included with this article are excerpts of transcripts of _AARP Bulletin_ interviews with eleven economists and other "experts in the field."

5. GAO REPORT: "Social Security Reform: Potential Effects on SSA's Disability Programs and Beneficiaries" (US General Accounting Office GAO-01-35, January 2001, .pdf format, 52p.)

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.

6. URBAN INSTITUTE REPORT: "State Cost Containment Initiatives for Long-Term Care Services for Older People," by Joshua M. Wiener with David G. Stevenson and Jessica Kasten (US Congressional Research Service Report for Congress, May 2000, .pdf format, 30p.).

7. HCFA OPERATIONAL POLICY LETTER: "Standard Reporting Requirements for Medicare Managed Care Organizations in 2001: Health Plan Employer Data and Information Set (HEDIS 2001) Measures that Include the Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (HOS) and the Medicare Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Study (CAHPS 2.0H)" (US Health Care Financing Administration, Operational Policy Letter #131, OPL2001.031, HTML, Microsoft Word, and .pdf format, 24p.).

8. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS, PERSPECTIVE ABSTRACT: Note: Electronic full text (HTML or .pdf format) of these articles may be available. Check your organization's library.

A. "Aging: When Do Telomeres Matter?" by Jerry W. Shay and Woodring E. Wright (_Science_, Vol. 291, No. 5505, Feb. 2, 2001, p. 839-840).

B. "Lack of Replicative Senescence in Cultured Rat Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells," by Dean G. Tang, Yasuhito M. Tokumoto, James A. Apperly, Alison C. Lloyd, and Martin C. Raff (_Science_, Vol. 291, No. 5505, Feb. 2, 2001, p. 868-871).

C. "Lack of Replicative Senescence in Normal Rodent Glia," by Nicole F. Mathon, Denise S. Malcolm, Marie C. Harrisingh, Lili Cheng, and Alison C. Lloyd (_Science_, Vol. 291, No. 5505, Feb. 2, 2001, p. 872-875).


A. "Community care waiting lists and older people," by John Young and Stuart Turnock (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 322, No. 7281, Feb. 3, 2001, p. 254, HTML and .pdf format).

B. "Scotland to fund personal care for old people," by Bryan Christie (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 322, No. 7281, Feb. 3, 2001, p. 256, HTML and .pdf format).

10. THE _LANCET_ POLICY AND PEOPLE: "Belgian euthanasia bill gains momentum," by Wim Weber (The _Lancet_ Policy and People, Vol. 357, No. 9253, Feb. 3, 2001, p. 372, HTML and .pdf format). Note: The _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content.



11. _SOUTHERN MEDICAL JOURNAL_ VIA MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Coronary Angioplasty in Black and White Patients: Demographic Characteristics and Outcomes," by Mukesh Garg, James L. Vacek, and David Hallas (_Southern Medical Journal_, Vol. 93, No. 12, December 2000, p. 1187-1191).



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

12. Journal of Health Economics (Vol. 20, No. 2, March 2001). Note: Full electronic text (.pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library.

Click on "Search, Abstracts, Indices", "Full Text & Abstracts," "Volume 20, Issue 2, 01-March-2001". Click on "Abstracts" for abstracts.

13. 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

Applied Gerontology (Vol. 19, No. 4, December 2000). Note: This journal is available in electronic full-text in the ProQuest Research Library and EBSCO Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.


IV. Books:

14. NBER: _Social Security Pension Reform in Europe_, edited by Martin Feldstein and Horst Siebert (from a conference held March 20-21, 2000, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). The chapter "Prefunding in a Defined Benefit Pension System - the Finnish Case," by Jukka Lassila and Tarmo Valkonen (.pdf format, 20p.), has been made electronically available.

Scroll to "Prefunding in a Defined Benefit Pension System- the Finnish Case".


V. Funding Opportunities/Placement Opportunities:


A. Washington Internship On Social Insurance. "The [US] National Academy of Social Insurance is seeking outstanding graduate and upper division undergraduate students to serve as interns on social policy research and policy analysis projects in Washington, D.C. Students majoring in actuarial science, economics, gerontology, journalism, political science, public policy, social work, or related fields are urged to apply for a 12-week summer semester internship, beginning the first week in June, 2001." For more information see:

B. Somers Aging and Long-Term Care Research Internship. "The National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) is pleased to announce the 2001 Somers Aging and Long-Term Care Research Internship. This internship memorializes a much-loved health policy analyst who spent his final years needing long-term care. The Academy is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization devoted to furthering knowledge and understanding of social insurance, health care financing and related issues through research and education. The Academy's Aging and Long-Term Care Research Internship is designed to recognize qualified students and provide them a challenging learning experience." For more information see:

VI. Websites of Interest:

16. NIH CAM (COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE) ON PUBMED ON THE WEB: The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), components of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), "have partnered to launch a new CAM subset of a larger medical literature database that will provide free, web-based access to CAM sources of information. ... CAM on PubMed is a new subset or part of PubMed [which] provides direct access to more than 220,000 references and abstracts related to CAM, as well as provides access to many full text articles."
Press Release:



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