Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #80--April 19, 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. NLTCS: The Center for Demographic Studies at Duke University has recently made available a beta release of the 1999 National Long Term Care Survey. Users must complete a data use agreement with the Center before gaining access to the data. 1999 questionnaires (.pdf format) are available. For more information see:

2. NCHS:

A. The US National Center for Health Statistics has made data and documentation from the following surveys available (ASCII format, self-extracting .zip archives):

HHANES (Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) Data Files Documentation/Codebook, 1982-84.

NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) I Data Files Documentation/Codebook, 1971-75.

NHANES II Data Files Documentation/Codebook, 1976-80.

NHES (National Health Examination Survey) Cycle I-III Data Files, 1959-1970.

B. NCHS Ambulatory Care Drug Database System: "This query system allows you to search for drugs mentioned in the NAMCS (National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey) and NHAMCS (National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey) by entry name, by generic name, and by ingredients. It can provide information on drug characteristics including therapeutic class, composition status, prescription status, and control status. It will also give data on frequencies of drug mentions in 1999. The primary purpose of this system is to facilitate the identification of drug codes used in the NAMCS and NHAMCS by data users. These codes can then be used in the analysis of survey data."

3. SEER: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program of the US National Cancer Institute has released the following:

A. Annual County Level Populations: 1) 1969-98, by age and sex for White, Black, and Non-White; 2) 1990-1998 by age and sex for White, Black, American Indian/Aleutian Islander/Eskimo, and Asian/Pacific Islander ("e"-- expanded race files); and 3) 1990-1998 White Non-Hispanic, White Hispanic, Non-White Non-Hispanic, and Non-White Hispanic ("h"-- Hispanic files).

B. SEER Public Use Data has been updated to include 1973-1998. This data includes "SEER Incidence Data for Cases Diagnosed 1973 to 1998 in nine SEER registries - one record for each of 2.5 million tumors; SEER Incidence Data for Cases Diagnosed 1992 to 1998 in eleven SEER registries - one record for each of 1.2 million tumors; and the associated registry and county level populations for the above databases. For 1973-1998, the populations available are White, Black, and Other. For 1992-1998, they are White, Black, American Indian/Aleutian Islander/Eskimo, and Asian/Pacific Islander in one set of files and White Non-Hispanic, White Hispanic, Non-White Non-Hispanic, and Non-White Hispanic in another set." The data are available on CD-ROM, or, after agreeing to a usage disclaimer, via FTP.

C. CanQues, the SEER interactive extraction system, has cancer data updated to include 1973-1998.

D. "SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1973-1998," (.pdf format, in 28 chapters, by site of the cancer). "This report includes incidence, mortality, and survival statistics from 1973 through 1998, generated by SEER*Stat, Joinpoint, DevCan, and other statistical tools. For Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians/Alaska Natives, statistics are available for 1990 through 1998. For the entire time period, 1973 through 1998, statistics are available for All Races, Whites, and Blacks."

4. MEPS: The US Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has announced an update of the 1996 Full Year Consolidated File of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. For more information see:

MEPS 1996 Full Year Consolidated File:

More information on MEPS:

5. CENSUS BUREAU REPORT, DATA: The US Census Bureau has released the 2000 Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR), (.pdf format, 109p., data available in DOS self-extracting compressed ASCII format). Also available is an online query system that allows data extraction by geography (national, state, county), type of funds, and year.

Press release that links to report and data:

Click on "federal government".

6. AOA: The US Administration on Aging has released 1999 National Ombudsman Reporting System Data Tables (Microsoft Excel format, compressed and uncompressed).


II. Reports and articles:

7. GAO REPORT: "Record Linkage and Privacy: Issues in Creating New Federal Research and Statistical Information" (US General Accounting Office GAO-01-126SP, April 2001, .pdf format, 167p.).

Note: This is a temporary address. GAO reports can always be found at:

Search on title or report number.

8. URBAN INSTITUTE REPORT: "Retiring Together or Working Alone: The Impact of Spousal Employment and Disability on Retirement Decisions," by Richard W. Johnson and Melissa M. Favreault (Urban Institute, March 2001, .pdf format, 34p.).


Husbands and wives often coordinate retirement decisions, as many married workers withdraw from the labor force at about the same time as their spouses. However, joint retirement behavior may differ for couples in which one spouse retires with health problems. In those cases, the able-bodied spouse may delay retirement to compensate for the earnings lost by the disabled spouse. This paper examines the retirement decisions of husbands and wives and how they interact with spousal health and employment, using data from the 1992-1998 waves of the Health and Retirement Study. The results indicate that both men and women are more likely to retire if their spouses have already retired than if they are still working. However, they are less likely to retire if their spouses appear to have left the labor force because of health problems, especially when spouses are not yet eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. There is no evidence that spousal caregiving demands affect retirement rates.

Click on "the Portable Document Format (PDF)" for full text.

9. BOSTON COLLEGE CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH ISSUE BRIEF: "Should a Lump-Sum Payment Replace Social Security's Delayed Retirement Credit?" by Peter R. Orszag (IB #6, April 2001, .pdf format, 10p.).

Executive Summary:

Transforming Social Security's delayed retirement credit into a lump-sum payment rather than an increased monthly payment would likely encourage more workers to defer retirement and benefit claiming. The idea is thus worthy of further exploration. Several important design issues, however, must be addressed before policymakers give serious consideration to the reform. The most problematic aspect of the proposal is that implementing a lump-sum payment system for individuals older than the normal retirement age may create political pressure to extend this approach to those who are younger than the normal retirement age. Such an extension would risk a significant increase in elderly poverty rates relative to the current Social Security system.

10. NCHS REPORTS: The US National Center for Health Statistics has"developed a new series of reports to focus attention on some of the most important health issues facing today's generation of older Americans. Aging Trends, produced with support from the National Institute on Aging, uses data from a variety of sources to help monitor the health and well-being of the older population. The first four reports in this new series include 'Trends in Causes of Death Among the Elderly,' 'Trends in Vision and Hearing Among Older Americans,' 'The Oral Health of Older Americans,' and 'The Changing Profile of Nursing Home Residents: 1985-1997.' Each report identifies opportunities for prevention and further research, describes those most at risk, and points to areas where increased use of existing services and aids would be beneficial." All reports are in .pdf format.

11. MEPS REPORT UPDATE: Several tables of the publication: "Health Care Expenses in the United States, 1996," by Joel W. Cohen, Steven R. Machlin, Samuel H. Zuvekas, Marie N. Stagnitti, and Joshua M. Thorpe (US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Research Findings #12, 2000, HTML and .pdf format, 47p.), have been updated.


A. "Cognitive Function in Postmenopausal Women Treated with Raloxifene," by Kristine Yaffe, Kathyrn Krueger, Somnath Sarkar, Deborah Grady, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, David A. Cox, and Thomas Nickelsen (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 344, No. 16, Apr. 19, 2001, p. 1207-1213).

B. "Can Estrogen or Selective Estrogen-Receptor Modulators Preserve Cognitive Function in Elderly Women?" by Richard Mayeux (_New England Journal of Medicine_, Vol. 344, No. 16, Apr. 19, 2001, p. 1242-1243).

13. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: "Moderate Alcohol Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure Among Older Persons," by Jerome L. Abramson, Setareh A. Williams, Harlan M. Krumholz, and Viola Vaccarino (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 285, No. 15, Apr. 18, 2001, p. 1971-1977).

14. _THE LANCET_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT, NEWS: Note: _The Lancet_ requires free registration before providing any content.

A. "Risk, causes, and prevention of ischaemic stroke in elderly patients with symptomatic internal-carotid-artery stenosis," by Sonia Alamowitch, Michael Eliasziw, Ale Algra, Heather Meldrum, and Henry J.M. Barnett (_The Lancet_, Vol. 357, No. 9263, Apr. 14, 2001, p. 1154-60).

B. "Older fathers are more likely to have children with schizophrenia," by James Butcher (_The Lancet_ News, Vol. 357, No. 9263, Apr. 14, 2001, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1184).



C. "Netherlands legalise euthanasia," by Wim Weber (_The Lancet_ News, Vol. 357, No. 9263, Apr. 14, 2001, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1189).



15. MEDSCAPE ARTICLE: Note: Medscape requires free registration before providing articles: "Pharmacological Interventions in Older Adults," by Gary J. Kennedy (from _Geriatric Mental Health Care_, Guilford Press, 2000).


16. _US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT_ ARTICLE: "A tonic for dementia?: Genes for Alzheimer's," by Rachel K. Sobel (_US News and World Report_, Apr. 23, 2001).


III. Working Papers:

17. NBER: "The Financial Problems of the Elderly: A Holistic Approach," by Victor R. Fuchs (National Bureau of Economic Research W8236, April 2001, .pdf format, 28p.).


A holistic approach to the financial problems of the elderly focuses simultaneously on their expenditures that are self financed as well as those that are financed by transfers from the young (under age 65). It also focuses simultaneously on paying for health care and paying for other goods and services. The income and health care expenditures not paid from personal income, provides a useful framework for empirical application of the holistic approach. In 1997, approximately 35 percent of the elderly's full income was devoted to health care; 65 percent to other goods and services. Approximately 56 percent of full income was provided by transfers from the young and 44 percent by the elderly themselves. The paper shows how these percentages might change under alternative assumptions about the growth of health care relative to other goods and services and the effect of these changes on the need for more saving and more work prior to retirement.

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

18. PENN PSC PARC: "Dementia in Parkinson's Disease: Demographic models and estimates," by Jessica M. Robbins and Douglas C. Ewbank (University of Pennsylvania Population Studies Center, Population Aging Research Center Working Paper WPS 01-01, March 2001, .pdf format, 25p.).


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

19. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics (Vol. 32, No. 2, March 2001).

Click on "Tables of Contents and Abstracts," and then "Volume 32, Issue 2" for tables of contents and abstracts.


V. Books:

20. IOM: _Preserving Public Trust: Accreditation and Human Research Participant Protection Programs_ (Committee on Assessing the System for Protecting Human Research Subjects, Board on Health Sciences Policy, US Institute of Medicine, 2001, Open Book format, 238p.). Note: This is an advance copy of the publication. Pricing information on a print copy can be obtained by clicking on "BUY IT" at the site.

Report Summary (.pdf format, 6p.):$file/IRB-6Pager.PDF


VI. Funding Opportunities:

21. NIH:

A. "Data Analysis and Archiving in Demography, Economics, and Behavioral Research on Aging," Apr. 4, 2001. "The US National Institute on Aging (NIA) is seeking small grant (R03) applications to: 1) stimulate and facilitate secondary analyses of data and data archiving related to demography, economics, and behavioral research on aging; 2) provide support for preliminary projects using secondary analysis that could lead to subsequent applications for other research project grant award mechanisms; 3) provide support for rapid analyses of new databases and experimental modules for purposes such as informing the design and content of future study waves; and 4) provide support for the development, enhancement and assembly of new databases from existing data. The announcement updates and replaces a previous Program Announcement, Secondary Analysis in Demography and Economics of Aging (PA-99-160, issued September 2, 1999)." For more information see:

B. "The Biology of Non-Human Stem Cells in the Environment of the Nervous System," Apr. 9, 2001. "The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) are committed to the discovery of effective treatments for neurological disorders, and invite applications for studies on the biology of non-human stem cells and regulation of their replication, development and function in the nervous system. The tremendous plasticity exhibited by stem and progenitor cells raises the possibility that they can be used to replace components and restore function to parts of the brain that have been compromised by congenital disorders, developmental malfunction, injury or disease. There is, however, little understanding of the behavior and regulation of these cells in the environment of the healthy brain, or in the nervous system altered by such conditions as stroke, trauma, spinal cord injury, sensory loss, Muscular Dystrophy, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinsons Disease, Huntingtons Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or mental illness. There are few studies on the long-term fates of transplanted cells within the nervous system or at other sites within the host. An understanding of environmental cues, age-dependent processes and genetic factors that govern the activities of these cells is crucial in order to develop safe and effective cell-replacement treatments. This Program Announcement encourages applications for support of ground-breaking research on non-human stem cells that address these issues." For more information see:


VII. Legislation Information Updates:

22. US SENATE LABOR COMMITTEE, SUBCOMMITTEE ON AGING: "The Nursing Shortage: Perspectives from the Field," a hearing held Apr. 17, 2001.

Hearing testimony:


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