Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #71--February 15, 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:

1. UW CDE FTP AND DATA RESOURCES LINK WEBSITE: The University of Wisconsin Center for Demography and Ecology/Center for Demography of Health and Aging Data Library has opened a public FTP (file transport protocol) site that contains:

1) rare data files collected by the Centers over the years (UNIX compressed .Z ASCII format),

2) public data files that have been converted into SAS transport files (UNIX compressed .Z SAS transport format).

Electronic documentation for each of these files is either provided directly or a link to the documents is provided. ASCII files of possible interest include: 1970 STF4A and 4C Housing and Population files, and selected Current Population Survey files. SAS transport files include: 1944-77, 1983, and 1988, County and City Databooks; 1990-1999 CPS Annual Demographic Files; and US National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Detail files from 1990-1996. In addition the CDE Data Library also offers links to selected social science data extractors, social science data archives, public health data resources, and data resources in aging. Your comments and questions about these sites are always welcome. Note that of the data catalogs listed at the top of the Data Resources page, non-University of Wisconsin personnel DO NOT have access to CDECAT or DPLS data files. Your comments and questions about this site are always welcome.

CDE Public FTP Site:

CDE Data Resources Links:


II. Reports and articles:

2. _DEMOGRAPHIC RESEARCH_ ARTICLE: Note: _Demographic Research_ is a free, expedited, peer-reviewed journal of the population sciences published by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research." "A mini-review of the evolutionary theories of aging. Is it the time to accept them?" by Eric Le Bourg (_Demographic Research_, Vol. 4, No. 1, February 2000, .pdf format, 28p.).


This article reviews some studies testing evolutionary theories of aging and shows that they are not always confirmed. Nevertheless, many gerontologists consider now that these theories provide a general explanation of the aging process. In such conditions, we may wonder whether time has come to provisionally accept these theories in order to redirect the research efforts of gerontologists towards other directions, such as the search for new means to modulate the aging process.

3. C.D. HOWE INSTITUTE COMMENTARY: Note: The C.D. Howe Institute is an "independent, nonprofit, economic and social policy research institution," based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. "Will the Baby Boomers Bust the Health Budget? Demographic Change and Health Care Financing Reform," by William B.P. Robson (C.D. Howe Institute Commentary No. 148, February 2001, .pdf format, 29p.).


The pressure of aging populations on provincial health care budgets represents a massive fiscal liability. Reforming federal-provincial transfers and pre-funding some future costs related to seniors' health care could help Canadians meet this demographic challenge.

4. ERIC DIGEST: "The New Meaning of Retirement," by David Stein (ERIC [US Educational Resources Information Center] Digest No. 217, ED440296, 2000).

5. SSA OP RESEARCH AND STATISTICS NOTE: "Military Veterans and Social Security," by Robert V. Gesumaria and David A. Weaver (US Social Security Administration, Office of Policy Research and Statistics Note 2001-01, February 2001, .pdf format, 6p.).

6. _SCIENCE_ HUMAN GENOME: _SCIENCE_ Magazine's February 16, 2001 issue (Vol. 291, No. 5507), is a special issue on the human genome. The entire issue is free to the public.

7. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS: Note: Electronic full text (HTML and .pdf format) of these articles may be available. Check your organization's library.

A. "The effects of aging on gene expression in the hypothalamus and cortex of mice," by Cecilia H. Jiang, Joe Z. Tsien, Peter G. Schultz, and Yinghe Hu, (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 98, No. 4, Feb. 13, 2001, p. 1930-1934).

B. "Nontropic actions of neurotrophins: Subcortical nerve growth factor gene delivery reverses age-related degeneration of primate cortical cholinergic innervation," by J.M. Conner, M.A. Darracq, Jeff Roberts, and M.H. Tuszynski (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 98, No. 4, Feb. 13, 2001, p. 1941-1946).

8. _JAMA_ ARTICLE, CONFERENCE REPORT ABSTRACTS: Note: Full electronic text of these articles (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library.

A. "Incidence of Dementia and Alzheimer Disease in 2 Communities: Yoruba Residing in Ibadan, Nigeria, and African Americans Residing in Indianapolis, Indiana," by Hugh C. Hendrie, Adesola Ogunniyi, Kathleen S. Hall, Olusegun Baiyewu, Frederick W. Unverzagt, Oye Gureje, Sujuan Gao, Rebecca M. Evans, A.O. Ogunseyinde, A.O. Adeyinka, Beverly Musick, and Siu L. Hui (_Journal of American Medical Association_, Vol. 285, No. 6, Feb. 14, 2001, p. 739-747).

B. "Osteoporosis Prevention, Diagnosis, and Therapy: NIH Consensus Development Panel on Osteoporosis Prevention, Diagnosis, and Therapy," (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 285, No. 6, Feb. 14, 2001, p. 785-795).

9. THE _LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT, SCIENCE AND MEDICINE, COMMENTARY: Note 1: The _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing most content. Note 2: You may have access to full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) of research articles. Check your organization's library.

A. "Association between polymorphism in regulatory region of gene encoding tumour necrosis factor [symbol] and risk of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia: a case-control study," by Shauna M. McCusker, Martin D. Curran, Kevin B. Dynan, Catriona D. McCullagh, Duncan D. Urquhart, Derek Middleton, Christopher C. Patterson, Stephen P. McIlroy, and A. Peter Passmore (The _Lancet_, Vol. 357, No. 9254, Feb. 10, 2001, p. 436-439).

B. "HRT has little effect on stroke risk," by Michael McCarthy (The _Lancet_, Vol. 357, No. 9254, Feb. 10, 2001, p. 449). Note: This story is available free of charge.

C. "Scotland the brave: collective responsibility for personal care for the elderly and for the young disabled," by Allyson Pollock (The _Lancet_, Vol. 357, No. 9254, Feb. 10, 2001, p. 412). Note 1: This story is available free of charge. Note 2: This is a _Lancet_ commentary.

All content can be found at:

Scroll to or "find in page" titles or portions of titles of articles.

10. MEDSCAPE PHARMACY ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Promotion of a Safe Medication Environment: Focus on the Elderly and Residents of Long-term Care Facilities," by Thomas P. Lombardi and Jeffrey D. Kennicutt (Medscape Pharmacists, 2001).

11. MEDSCAPE WOMEN'S HEALTH CLINICAL MANAGEMENT: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. "Menopause Management for the Millennium," by Rogerio A. Lobo (Medscape Women's Health Clinical Management).



A. "Not built for the ages: We might not want to be 150 years old," by Emily Sohn (_US News and World Report_, Feb. 19, 2001).

B. "Your savings may plump up if Congress has its way," by Paul J. Lim (_US News and World Report_, Feb. 19, 2001).


III. Working Papers:

13. NBER: "Administered Prices and Suboptimal Prevention: Evidence from the Medicare Dialysis Program," by Avi Dor (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper W8123, February 2001, .pdf format, 29p.).


Pricing methodologies in Medicare vary from one component of the system to another, often leading to conflicting incentives. The dialysis program represents a particularly interesting case, whereby outpatient payments are much more rigid than payments for related hospital care. Failure to recognize the preventive nature of outpatient services may result in inefficient allocation of medical care and higher overall costs. To motivate the analysis, a simple extension of basic prevention and insurance theory to fit a welfare-maximizing regulator is offered. I show that while optimal inpatient payments are standard Ramsey prices, optimal outpatient payments must incorporate net loss due to unnecessary hospitalizations, as well as supply elasticities. A myopic regulator will tend to ignore this, leading to underprovision of preventive services. With constant prices, empirical analysis examines the effect of dialysis intensity on various measures of hospital use, for a local sample of patients, using count data models. Results indicate that greater dialysis intensity (measured by a state-of-the-art clinical index) indeed reduces hospital use. Moreover, this is found even at moderate or high levels of intensity, where dialysis is viewed ex ante as being adequate. A simple cost-benefit calculation suggests that for every dollar of additional spending on outpatient intensity, nearly $2 in hospital expenditures can be saved. The research confirms that the current pricing structure within aspects of the Medicare program is inefficient.

Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract, or submit your email address, for electronic full text.

14. IIASA: "Key Issues of Aging and Social Security in China," by Su Liu and Landis MacKellar (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis [Austria], Interim Report IR 01-004, January 2001, .pdf and PostScript format, 26p.).


In China the problem of aging is only now emerging, however, when the population does start to age, it will do so faster than any population in history. In this largely descriptive paper, we look at the challenges faced in the areas of old-age pensions, health care and disability services. First, we identify the main institutions involved. Then we present ad hoc projections of pensions and health spending and the number of disabled persons. Our conclusion is that, unchecked, rising demand in these sectors has the potential to give China the social insurance spending profile of a developed country while it is still at the level of development of a poor one. Demography makes some increases in spending inevitable. However, the most important variables such as coverage of the pension system and the "underlying" rate of medical spending growth are responsive to policy. The paper concludes with an appeal to policy makers to adopt forward looking strategies now, while there is still time to develop appropriate policies and institutions.

Click on PDF or PS icon for full text.

15. WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY AT ST. LOUIS ECONOMICS WORKING PAPER ARCHIVES: Note: For all WUSTL Archive papers, click on the radio button of the format you prefer (located below the abstract), then click on "Download Paper". If you have trouble finding the paper, it may have opened in a separate window.

A. "Exploring the Social and Economic Costs of Abuse in Later Life," by Charmaine Spencer (Simon Fraser [Vancouver BC, Canada] University, July 2000, .pdf, compressed Microsoft Word, and compressed PostScript format, 20p.).


Abuse and neglect of older adults (elder abuse) has a significant impact on the lives of the individuals involved. At the same time, it has a broader social and economic cost. Many of these are hidden costs in the sense that the cause of the underlying problem is not identified. Abuse and neglect of older adults affects resource allocation in health, community, and justice services, as well as private industry (banking, housing, insurance) and government revenues and transfers. In addition, abuse in later life can lead to substantial intangible costs for the individuals, families and communities. There are a number of significant barriers to fully exploring the costs of abuse in later life, including the lack of basic statistical data on prevalence/incidence; significant gaps in government and community data; conceptual differences between other forms of domestic violence and elder abuse; and built in age sensitivities in traditional economic analysis.

B. "Financing Long-Term Care: Options for Policy," by Walter M. Cadette (The Jerome Levy Economics Institute, October 2000, .pdf format, 34p.).


The nation is ill-prepared to finance the quantum jump in long-term care spending that is on its way as the baby boom ages. By default rather than by design, Medicaid has become the main source of funds for long-term care. But reliance on Medicaid has fostered the institutionalization of the disabled elderly, has given rise to a two-tier care system, and has yielded the bizarre outcome of use of limited welfare funds by middle-and even high-income Americans who have succeeded in sheltering assets from Medicaid's spend-down requirements. Insurance would be a greatly better answer to the nation's long-term care needs. But the market will remain small and underdeveloped as long as Americans can make easy claim on Medicaid. The paper puts forth a plan for universal long-term care insurance, supported by income-scaled tax credits, to replace Medicaid in its current role. That would make for "honest government," one that not only does not fund inheritance protection but also genuinely protects those with greatest need.


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

16. Age and Ageing (Vol. 29, No. 6, November 2000). Note: Full electronic text (.pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library.

17. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 153, No. 3, February 1, 2001). Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library.

Click on "Abstract" for abstracts.

18. American Journal of Public Health (Vol. 91, No. 1, 2, January, February 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text in the ProQuest Research Library and EBSCO Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

Click on "January 2001" or "February 2001".

Note: Selected Abstracts can be found at:

19. 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

Journal of Cross-cultural Gerontology (Vol. 15, No. 3, 2000).

Population and Development Review (Vol. 26, No. 4, December 2000).


V. Funding Opportunities:

20. NIA PUBLICATION: "How to a Get a Grant from NIA," (US National Institute on Aging, February 2001, .pdf format, 27p.).


VI. Websites of Interest:

21. _NATURE_ THE HUMAN GENOME: _Nature Magazine_ has released a website devoted to the human genome. Included are links to research papers, news, and web specials.

22. NCBI HUMAN GENOME: The US National Center for Biotechnology Information has released "The Human Genome: A guide to online information resources." Included are links to maps and FTP sites, among other features.

23. MEDSCAPE RESOURCE CENTER WEBSITE UPDATE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles. Medscape has updated the "Psychiatry/Neurology Geriatrics" section of its Resource Center. The meta-page contains links to news and information on the elderly.



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