Current Awareness in Aging Research (CAAR) Report #97--August 16, 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. IRS: "Estate Tax Returns as a Percentage of Adult Deaths, Selected Years of Death, 1934-1996," (US Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income Branch, August 2001, Microsoft Excel format).

2. BJS: "Highlights of Women's Earnings in 2000," (US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Report 952, .pdf format, August 2001, 37p.). Note: This report presents earnings data from the Current Population Survey.

3. UK DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: "Prescriptions Dispensed in the Community Statistics for 1990 to 2000: England," (UK Department of Health, .pdf format, August 2001, 35p.).

From the report summary:

"This bulletin presents a summary of prescriptions dispensed in the community. The statistics cover all prescriptions dispensed by community pharmacists, appliance contractors and dispensing doctors, as well as prescriptions for items personally administered. The bulletin highlights recent changes and the main trends between 1999 and 2000."

Click on "Full document" to view the full-text of this report.

II. Reports and articles:

4. DHHS REPORT: "High Service or High Privacy Assisted Living Facilities, Their Residents and Staff: Results from a National Survey," by Miriam Rose, Catherine Hawes and Charles D. Phillips (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, HTML format, August 2001, 37p.).

5. DHHS OIG OIE REPORT: "The Medicare Beneficiary Complaint Process: A Rusty Safety Valve," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Evaluation and Inspections, OEI-01-00-00060, HTML and .pdf formats, August 2001, 59p.).

Executive Summary:

This OIG inspection examines the effectiveness of the beneficiary complaint process administered by Medicare's peer review organizations (PROs). We found the complaint process to be an ineffective safety valve that has changed little since our inquiry 5 years ago. Its accessibility is questionable. The process rarely triggers any intervention beyond a letter to providers or physicians for substantiated complaints. It also fails to provide a meaningful response to complainants. The CMS' contract with the PROs treats complaints as a minor activity and PROs also tend to be more oriented toward the medical community than to the beneficiary community. We recommend that CMS provide beneficiaries with an effective complaint process by either fixing the current PRO system or creating a new system outside the PROs.


6. _NEJM_ EARLY ARTICLE RELEASE: Note: Due to the nature of the findings in this article NEJM decided to make this article available electronically prior to publication in the printed journal. This article will appear in the October 11, 2001 issue of the Journal.

"Patients at High Risk of Death after Lung-Volume-Reduction Surgery," by National Emphysema Treatment Trial Research Group (_New England Journal of Medicine_, .pdf and HTML formats, August 14, 2001, 9p.).

7. _JAMA_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT AND LETTERS: Note: Full electronic text may be available. Check your organization's library.

A. "Bone Mineral Density Response to Estrogen Replacement in Frail Elderly Women A Randomized Controlled Trial," by Dennis T. Villareal, Ellen F. Binder, Daniel B. Williams, Kenneth B. Schechtman, Kevin E. Yarasheski, and Wendy M. Kohrt (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 286, No. 7, August 15, 2001, p. 815-820).

B. "Persistent Pain in Nursing Home Residents," by Richard C. Brown, Joan M. Teno, Vincent Mor, Sherry Weitzen, and Terrie Wetle (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 286, No. 7, August 15, 2001, p. 788).

C. "Patient-Physician Discussions About Physician-Assisted Suicide," by Lauris C. Kaldjian, Linda Ganzini, Dale F. Kraemer, Melinda A. Lee, and Terri A. Schmidt (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 286, No. 7, August 15, 2001, p. 788-789).

D. "Sex Hormones, Amyloid Protein, and Alzheimer Disease," by Richard L. Bowen, Sam Gandy, Osvaldo Almeida, and Ralph N. Martins (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 286, No. 7, August 15, 2001, p. 790-791).

E. "Association Between Bone Mineral Density and Serum Lipids in Men," by Silvano Adami, Vania Braga, and Davide Gatti (_Journal of the American Medical Association_, Vol. 286, No. 7, August 15, 2001, p. 791-792).


8. _LANCET_ ARTICLE AND EARLY REPORT ABSTRACTS: Note: _Lancet_ requires free registration before providing content. You may have access to the electronic full-text of these articles (.pdf and HTML). Check with your organization's library.

A. "Effect of hydroxychloroquine on progression of dementia in early Alzheimer's disease: an 18-month randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study," by Willem A Van Gool, Henry C Weinstein, Philip K Scheltens, Gerard J M Walstra (_The Lancet_, Vol 358, No. 9280, .pdf and HTML formats, August 11, 2001, p. 455-460).

B. "In-vivo measurement of activated microglia in dementia," by Annachiara Cagnin, David J Brooks, Angus M Kennedy, Roger N Gunn, R Myers, Federico E Turkheimer, Terry Jones, Richard B Banati (_The Lancet_, Vol 358, No. 9280, .pdf and HTML formats, August 11, 2001, p. 461-467).


A. "Is the NHS guilty of ageism by not giving free personal care for some older people in England?" by Paul V. Knight (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 323, No. 7308, .pdf and HTML formats, August 11, 2001, p. 337).

B. "New beginning for care for elderly people?" by Ian Philp, Shah Ebrahim, Peter Connelly, Damian Jenkinson, Gary Ford, Richard J McManus, Louise Lumley, Mandy Gough, Lak Jhass, Ken Deacon, Raymond C Tallis, and J Grimley Evans (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 323, No. 7308, HTML format, August 11, 2001, p. 337-339).

C. "Maintaining older people's dignity and autonomy in healthcare settings A. J. D. Macdonald, Phillip Malouf, and Felik Paulus (_British Medical Journal_, Vol. 323, No. 7308, HTML format, August 11, 2001, p. 340).

10. _PNAS_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: Full electronic text (HTML and .pdf format) may be available. Check your organization's library. "A neurohistochemical blueprint for pain-induced loss of appetite," by Amy Malick, Moshe Jakubowski, Joel K. Elmquist, Clifford B. Saper, and Rami Burstein (_Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences_, Vol. 98, No. 17, .pdf and HTML formats, August 14, 2001, p. 9930-9935).

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

A. "Silent Myocardial Ischaemia: Quietly Contributing to Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality in the Elderly," (_Drug and Therapy Perspectives via Medscape_, Vol. 17, No. 15, HTML format, 2001, p. 5-8).


B. "Parecoxib Sodium Does Not Impair Platelet Function in Healthy Elderly and Non-Elderly Individuals," (_Clinical Drug Investigation via Medscape_, Vol. 21, No. 7, HTML format, 2001, p. 465-476).


12. _SCIENCE_ ARTICLE ABSTRACT: Note: Full electronic text may be available. Check your organization's library.

"Expectation and Dopamine Release: Mechanism of the Placebo Effect in Parkinson's Disease," by Ral de la Fuente-Fernndez, Thomas J. Ruth, Vesna Sossi, Michael Schulzer, Donald B. Calne, and A. Jon Stoessl (_Science_, Vol. 293, No. 5532, .pdf and HTML formats, August 10, 2001, p. 1164-1166).

13. _KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION_ REPORT: "Prescription Drug Coverage for Medicare Beneficiaries: A Side-by-Side Comparison," (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, .pdf format, July 2001, 35p.). Note: The purpose of this report is to analyze five proposals for providing prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients.

14. AARP PRIME TIME RADIO: There are eight new segments from AARP's Prime Time Radio. (AARP, RealAudio format, July 2001). The titles are:

"HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson," an interview with DHHS Secretary Tommy Thompson.
"Prize Winner of Defiance," an interview with Terry Ryan, author of "The Prize Winner of Defiance: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less."
"The Fabulous 7 - Mothers to Us All," an interview with geneticist Bryan Sykes.
"How To Retire Happy," an interview with Washington Post business writer Stan Hinden.
"Studying the 'Sandwich Generation,'" an interview with Carol Abaya and Dr. Roderick Harrison about a recent study focusing on children providing care for aging parents.
"William F. Buckley, Jr. on Elvis," an interview with William F. Buckley.
"Country Matters: A City Slicker on the Farm," an interview with Michael Korda, author of the book "Country Matters: The Pleasures and Tribulations of Moving From a Bog City to an Old Country Farmhouse."
"," an interview with Jim Firman ( provides information on local, state, and federal government services for older people).

To listen to a segment scroll to and click on the title. (Realplayer needed, playing time shows up on RealPlayer when you open it.)

III. Working Papers:

15. NBER: Note: Click on "PDF" at the bottom of the abstract or submit your email address for full text.

"Toward a Framework for Improving Health Care Financing for an Aging Population: The Case of Israel," by Dov Chernichovsky and Sara Markowitz (National Bureau of Economic Research W8415, August 2001, .pdf format, 43p.).


The conventional wisdom is that because at any time the aged cost more than the young, there is a positive relationship between aging and health care spending. It is hard, however, to find evidence that aging correlates positively with such spending. Intrigued by the puzzle, we account for the factors that contribute to changes of the age distribution of medical costs and their potential effect on aggregate cost. As changes in costs are not age neutral, the health system needs to facilitate a dynamic shift of resources from those whose relative cost rise less -- the young -- to those whose relative costs rise more -- the old. As there is an apparent market failure associated with uncertainty about growth in longevity (no market for 'death insurance'), the private market does not seem to effectively facilitate this shift. Aging, and its known correlates and antecedents produce a complex picture about the potential effect of aging on total cost of medical care in Israel. Shifting morbidity and mortality to older age can lower cost of care, all other things equal. Growth in incomes and insurance coverage are likely to increase use of care particularly amongst the old. Rising levels of education would have the opposite effect, but among the relatively young. The effect of a key element, technology, remains unknown. The Israeli experience also points to the advantages of a unified publicly financed health system with a timely allocation mechanism.

16. CENTER FOR POLICY RESEARCH AT THE MAXWELL SCHOOL OF CITIZENSHIP AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS (SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY): "How Does Dipping into Your Pension Affect Your Retirement Wealth?" by Gary V. Engelhardt (_Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University_, Policy Brief No. 22, .pdf format, August 2001, 26p.).

Scroll to "Click here to download an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version of Policy Brief No. 22" to access the policy brief.


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

17. INGENTA Tables of Contents: INGENTA provides fee based document delivery services for selected journals.

A. Point your browser to:

B. click on "Search Options"
C. Type the Journal Name in the "Publication title" search box and click
the radio button "Words in Title"
D. View the table of contents for the issue noted.

Journal of Adult Development (Vol. 8, No. 3, 2001)

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Vol. 49, No. 6, Aug. 2001).

Population and Development Review (Vol. 27, No. 2, Jun. 2001).

18. AMEDEO MEDICAL LITERATURE: Note: "AMEDEO has been created to serve the needs of healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, administrators, other members of the health professions, and patients and their friends. They can easily access timely, relevant information within their respective fields... All AMEDEO services are free of charge. This policy was made possible thanks to generous unrestricted educational grants provided by AMGEN, Berlex, Eisai, Glaxo Wellcome, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Schering AG."

A. Osteoporosis: Literature for the week of August 10, 2001:

B. Alzheimer's Disease: Literature for the week of August 10, 2001:

C. Parkinson's Disease: Literature for the week of August 10, 2001:

AMADEO Literature Guide:


V. Conferences:

19. AOA: "Tri-Regional Senior Medicare Patrol Conference," (US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, August 10, 2001).

"AoAs Senior Medicare Patrol programs recruit and train retired professionals to help older Americans better understand their Medicare billing statements and avoid unintended errors and detect deliberate abuses." This conference will be held in Denver on August 16-17. For more information, go to:

20. PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION TO STRENGTHEN SOCIAL SECURITY: "Public Hearings: September 6, 2001 and September 21, 2001," (President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, August 2001).

"The President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security will hold public hearings on September 6, 2001, in San Diego, CA and September 21, 2001, in an East Coast city to be determined." For more information about the public hearings, go to:

In addition, the Commission is scheduled to meet on August 22, 2001. Information about the location and agenda can be found at:

VI. Websites of Interest:

21. _MSNBC_ DOCUMENTARY: "Aging in America," writing by Julie Winokur (_MSNBC_, HTML and Flash formats, June 29, 2001). This documentary looks at five issues facing the US as the population of the country grows older. Each story is accompanied by a brief audio clip and a series of photographs.

Click on 'small pictures' (low speed) or 'big pictures' (high speed) to access the stories.




Charlie Fiss
Information Manager
Center for Demography and Ecology
Rm. 4470A Social Science Bldg
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
Phone: (608) 265-9240
Fax: (608) 262-8400