Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #73--March 1, 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. HRS: The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Health and Retirement Study has announced the availability of HRS 1996 imputation data. For more information see:

2. HCFA: The US Health Care Financing Administration has released Principal Inpatient-Diagnostic Cost Group (PIP-DCG) payment model software and data for 2002 (self-extracting ASCII files). For more information about the software see the Pipprogs.txt file.

Scroll to or "find in page" "PIP-DCG payment model software and data for 2002".

3. SEER PRESS RELEASE: The US National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program has announced an expansion of SEER coverage to four additional states. For more information see:


II. Reports and articles:

4. NLS NEWSLETTER: The Bureau of Labor Statistics has made electronically available the latest issue of "NLS Newsletter" (No. 01-104, 2001, .pdf format, 5p.). It features an article: "Health Data in the NLS Mature and Young Women Surveys and the NLSY79."

5. IRS SOI REPORT: "Beyond Andrew Carnegie: Using A Linked Sample of Federal Income and Estate Tax Returns to Examine the Effects of Bequests on Beneficiary Behavior," by Jacob Mikow and Darien Berkowitz (US Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Branch Report, February 2001, .pdf format, 6p.).

6. UN REPORT: "World Population Prospects: The 2000 Revision," (United Nations Population Division, February 2001, .pdf and Microsoft Excel format, 64p.). At present the highlights and annex tables of the report are electronically available.


A. "States' Use of Voluntary Contributions Under Title III of the Older Americans Act," (US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General Office of Audit Services A-12-00-00002, February 2001, .pdf format, 13p.).

Executive Summary:

Current Administration on Aging (AoA) regulations permit States (contrary to requirements of the Older Americans Act) to use voluntary contributions to meet cost-sharing or matching requirements of grant agreements. Our final report points out that in Fiscal Years (FY) 1996 and 1999 States reported using $155.4 million of voluntary contributions for State matching purposes rather than expanding services (such as congregate and home delivered meals, transportation, and in-home support) as required by the Act. In addition, for FYs 1996 and 1999 respectively, six States retained $9.8 million and eight States retained $11.4 million of voluntarily contributed funds which were not used for nutrition and supportive services. Finally, 16 States and Puerto Rico did not report $557,724 of unobligated FY 1996 Title III funds to AoA in a timely manner. As a result, the funds lapsed without being made available to other States. Among other things, we recommended that AoA revise its regulations to make clear that (1) voluntary contributions are not to be used for cost-sharing or matching, (2) accumulated voluntary contributions are to be used prior to making Federal drawdowns, and (3) voluntary contributions and related interest earned are program income and must be used to expand services. The AoA generally concurred with our findings and recommendations.

B. "Implementation of Medicare's Postacute Care Transfer Policy at First Coast Service Options," (US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General Office of Audit Services A-04-00-02162, February 2001, .pdf format, 20p.).

Executive Summary:

Medicare's transfer policy calls for inpatient payment rates to be reduced when prospective payment system (PPS) hospitals discharge beneficiaries in 10 specified diagnosis related groups (DRG) to certain postacute care settings such as skilled nursing facilities or home health agencies. This final report points out that First Coast Service Options, a fiscal intermediary, properly reduced payments when hospitals correctly coded transfers to postacute care settings. However, overpayments resulted when the hospitals erroneously coded the claims as discharges instead of transfers. We estimate, based on a statistical sample, that hospitals serviced by First Coast Service Options were reimbursed $2,042,060 in excessive DRG payments as a result of these erroneous codings for the year ending September 30, 1999. In addition to financial adjustments, we recommended certain controls be put in place to assure that the transfer/discharge information on Medicare claims are correctly coded. The Health Care Financing Administration concurred with our recommendations.

C. "Medicare Reimbursement for Critical Care Services" (US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General Office of Evaluation and Inspections, February 2001, OEI-05-00-00420, .pdf format, 7p.).

Executive Summary:

The Health Care Financing Administration, as well as local carriers and practitioners, have voiced concerns about exploitation of critical care codes. However, based on our analysis of claims in 1998 and 1999, we found few problems with this aspect of the Medicare program. Ten physician specialties, all of whom could be expected to provide critical care, receive 90 percent of Medicare's reimbursement for critical care, while non-physician practitioners account for less than 0.09 percent. Medicare carriers are not paying for services that should be bundled into critical care codes. Payments for services beyond the first hour on a given day without a corresponding bill for the first hour on that day dropped 74 percent between 1998 and 1999. We believe the few problems that we identified can be efficiently corrected by HCFA requesting carriers to refine payment system edits and clarify or correct local payment policy statements.

8. 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. "A New Option for Retirement Savings: Tax-Prepaid Savings Plans," by Jonathan Kesselman and Finn Poschmann (C.D. Howe Institute Commentary No. 149, February 2001, .pdf format, 39p.).

9. ILCUSA PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE: The International Longevity Center USA, "a not-for-profit, non-partisan research and education organization whose mission is to help societies address longevity and population aging in positive and productive ways, and highlight older people's productivity and contributions to their families and society as a whole," has released its Public Policy Update for February 2001 (.pdf format, 10p.). The update is "a compilation of aging-related news from the federal government, states, foreign nations, research community, and the not-for-profit community."

10. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACTS: Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library.

A. "Increased mitochondrial oxidative stress in the Sod2 (+/) mouse results in the age-related decline of mitochondrial function culminating in increased apoptosis," by Jason E. Kokoszka, Pinar Coskun, Luke A. Esposito, and Douglas C. Wallace (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 98, No. 5, Feb. 27, 2001, p. 2278-2283).

B. "Lifespan depends on month of birth," by Gabriele Doblhammer and James W. Vaupel (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 98, No. 5, Feb. 27, 2001, p. 2934-2939).

11. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE SUMMARY, ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: Full electronic text (HTML format for article "A, HTML and .pdf format for article "B") may be available. Check your organization's library.

A. "Prospects for Human Longevity," by S. Jay Olshansky, Bruce A. Carnes, Aline Desesquelles (_Science_, Vol. 291, No. 5508, Feb. 23, 2001, p. 1491-1492).

B. "Living with Genome Instability: Plant Responses to Telomere Dysfunction," by Karel Riha, Thomas D. McKnight, Lawrence R. Griffing, and Dorothy E. Shippen (_Science_, Vol. 291, No. 5509, Mar. 2, 2001, p. 1797-1800).


A. "The Implications of the 2000 Election," by Robert J. Blendon, Drew E. Altman, John M. Benson, and Mollyann Brodie (_New England Journal of Medicine_ Health Policy 2001, Vol. 344, No. 9, Mar. 1, 2001).

B. _Physical Illness and Depression in Older Adults: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Practice_, edited by Gail M. Williamson, David R. Shaffer, and Patricia A. Parmelee, reviewed by Samuel Barondes (_New England Journal of Medicine_ Health Policy 2001, Vol. 344, No. 9, Mar. 1, 2001).

13. _BMJ_ NEWS: "Heart failure study finds more diastolic cases in older patients," by David Spurgeon (_British Medical Journal_ News Roundup, Vol. 322, No. 7284, Feb. 23, 2001, p. 451).

14. THE _LANCET_ RESEARCH LETTER ABSTRACT: Note: The _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content. "Effect of the APOE promoter polymorphisms on cerebral amyloid peptide deposition in Alzheimer's disease," by J-C Lambert, D. Mann, L. Goumidi, J. Harris, P. Amouyel, T. Iwatsubo, C. Lendon, and M-C. Chartier-Harlin (The _Lancet_ Vol. 357, No. 9256, Feb. 24, 2001).

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

A. "Legal Matters: Maine's Legislation to Control Drug Prices Sidelined," by Paula C. Ohliger (_Drug Benefit Trends_, Vol. 13, No. 1, January 2001, p. 17-18).


B. "Information About Age-Related Macular Degeneration on the Internet," by Thomas W. Stone and J. Michael Jumper (_Southern Medical Journal_, Vol. 94, No. 1, January 2001, p. 22-25).


16. _TIME_ ARTICLE: "Consumer health newsletters are feeding much needed medical advice to a hungry population of aging Americans," by Barbara Cornell (_Time_, Feb. 26, 2001).,9171,99853,00.html


III. Working Papers:

17. IIASA: "Japan's Longevity Revolution and the Implications for Health Care Finance and Long-term Care," by Les Mayhew (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis [Austria], Interim Report IR 01-010, Feburary 2001, .pdf and PostScript format, 20p.).


This paper consists of five related notes on Japanese health care. Section 1 of the paper proposes a simple model of health care needs in a stationary population where all the sickness is concentrated in the period leading up to death. The main variables determining the burden of health care, such as life expectancy, duration of chronic illness prior to death, etc., are identified. While we are not able to comment (at this time), on trends in the prevalence of chronic conditions in old age, extrapolation of trends in life expectancy presented in Section 2 of the paper suggest that there will be continuing increase in the number of Japanese surviving to extremely old ages. This aging of the population will assuredly put upward pressure on health spending, but this pressure must be put in the context of other factors. Section 3 decomposes increase in Japanese health care spending into portions attributable to overall demographic increase, change in population age structure, and change in a residual "underlying factors" term subsuming changes in technology, health system coverage, etc. The residual dominates total increase in health care spending. In fact, based on historical data and projected demographic trends, the strongest upward pressure from population aging occurred in the period 1980-95, when aging accounted for 1.4 percentage points of 5.6% per annum total health expenditure growth. Health care spending growth attributed to ageing is estimated to be 1.13% per annum in 1995-2020 and only 0.34% per annum in 2020-2050. Section 4 focuses on home care of the elderly and suggests that there is a substantial ongoing decline in the supply of potential in-family caregivers. Lower fertility is an important determinant of this trend. Section 5 describes the overall profile of the Japanese health care system, noting that it receives relatively high marks in international comparisons but tends to lump together acute care and chronically ill patients. As recognized by the "Gold Plan" policy currently being implemented, there is a severe shortage of nursing home facilities beds as well as services to make home care a more practical option for families. A simple ratio analysis suggests that the number of bedridden chronically ill persons (i.e., the population that would ideally be cared for in a nursing home setting) will reach 1,800,000 by 2020 as opposed to 600,000 today.

Click on PDF or PS icon for full text.


A. "Mortality Models for Paleodemography," by James W. Wood, Darryl J. Holman, Kathleen A. O'Connor, and Rebecca J. Ferrell (Working Paper 01-2, 2001, .pdf format, 53p.).

B. "The Evolution of Menopause by Antagonistic Pleiotropy," by James W. Wood, Kathleen A. O'Connor, Darryl J. Holman, Eleanor Brindle, Susannah H. Barsom, and Michael A. Grimes (Working Paper 01-4, 2001, .pdf format, 18p.).


Recent endocrinological findings concerning the role of folliculary depletion in the regulation of ovarian cycles suggest a new hypothesis for the evolution of the menopause. Follicular depletion, the apoptotic process that ultimately causes menopause, occurs throughout premenopausal life and is integral to the set of hormonal feedback relationships that maintain regular cycles. The characteristics of the follicular-depletion system that determine the age at menopause, including the size of the initial follicle reserve and the rate of atresia, are important for ovarian cycles at younger reproductive ages and appear to be highly conserved between humans and chimpanzees (which do not normally experience menopause in the wild). We suggest that menopause and post-menopausal life do not confer evolutionary benefits in themselves, but rather evolved by antagonistic pleiotropy because of selection operating on the follicular-depletion system to maintain regular ovarian cycles at young adult ages.


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

19. American Journal of Epidemiology (Vol. 153, No. 5, Mar. 1, 2001). Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library.

20. Journal of Gerontology (A): Biological Sciences (Vol. 56A, No. 3, March 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

21. Journal of Gerontology (A): Medical Sciences (Vol. 56A, No. 3, March 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

22. Journal of Gerontology (B): Psychological Sciences (Vol. 56B, No. 2, March 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

23. Journal of Gerontology (B): Social Sciences (Vol. 56B, No. 2, March 2001). Note: This journal is available in full electronic text in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

24. 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

International Journal of Aging and Human Development (Vol. 51, No. 3,


V. Books:

25. NBER: _Social Security Pension Reform in Europe_, edited by Martin Feldstein and Horst Siebert (National Bureau of Economic Research, from a conference held March 20-21, 2000, forthcoming from University of Chicago Press). The chapter "Pensions and Contemporary Socioeconomic Change," by Assar Lindbeck (.pdf format, 32p.), has been made electronically available.

Scroll to "Pensions and Contemporary Socioeconomic Change".


VI. Legislation Information Updates:

26. SSA SENIORS.GOV PROPOSED LEGISLATION - 107th CONGRESS:, a website sponsored by the US Social Security Administration, has created a page that links to proposed legislation in the 107th Congress that relates to issues in aging. Click on bill number for full text of the bill.

27. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "Social Security's Readiness for the Impending Wave of Baby Boomer Beneficiaries," a hearing held Feb. 10, 2000 (US House Ways and Means Committee Hearing No. 106-86, ASCII text and .pdf format, 67p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "106-86".

28. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE HEARING PUBLICATION: "Alzheimer's Disease, Part 2," a hearing held March 21, 2000 (US Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing No. 106-864, ASCII text and .pdf format, 38p.).

Scroll to or "find in page" "106-864".

29. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HEARING: Medicare Reform, a hearing held Feb. 28, 2001. (US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Subcommittee on Health).


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