Current Social Science Research Report--Health #94, January 7, 2009.

CSSRR-Social is a weekly email report produced by the Data and Information Services Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It seeks to help social science researchers keep up to date with the latest developments in the field. This report will contain selected listings of new: reports, articles, bibliographies, working papers, tables of contents, conferences, data, and websites. For more information, including an archive of back issues and subscription information see:


CSSRR-Social is compiled and edited by Jack Solock and Charlie Fiss.


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Index to this issue:
















1. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports Article:

A. "Effects of New Penicillin Susceptibility Breakpoints for Streptococcus pneumoniae --- United States, 2006--2007," (Centers for Disease Control, Vol. 57, No. 50, December 19, 2008, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1353-1355).


B. "Reduced Hospitalizations for Acute Myocardial Infarction After Implementation of a Smoke-Free Ordinance --- City of Pueblo, Colorado, 2002--2006," (Centers for Disease Control, Vol. 57, No. 51, January 2, 2009, HTML and .pdf format, p. 1373-1377).


.pdf for both:

2. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Statistical Brief: "Hospitalizations for Gastrointestinal Bleeding in 1998 and 2006," by Yafu Zhao and William Encinosa (Statistical Brief No. 65, December 2008, .pdf format, 12p.).

3. Congressional Budget Office Report: "Key Issues in Analyzing Major Health Insurance Proposals," (December 2008, .pdf format, 167p.).

4. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Statistical Briefs:

A. "Length of Coverage in the Individual Health Insurance Market for the Non-Elderly U.S. Population, 2006," by Jessica Vestines (Statistical Brief No. 227, December 2008, .pdf format, 6p.).

B. "Ear Infections (Otitis Media) in Children (0-17)," by Anita Soni (Statistical Brief No. 228, December 2008, .pdf format, 5p.).

C. "National Health Care Expenses in the U.S. Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population, 2006," by David Kashihara and Kelly Carper (Statistical Brief No. 229, December 2008, .pdf format, 8p.).

5. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General Report: "Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Management in VA Medical Facilities," (Report No. 07-00348-49, December 29, 2008, pdf format, 14p).

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NGO and Other Countries:

United Nations:

1. World Health Organization Periodical: Bulletin of the World Health Organization (Vol. 87, No. 1, January 2009, .pdf format, p. 1-80).

2. European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Periodical, Monograph:

A. Eurohealth (Vol. 14, No. 3, 2008, .pdf format, 48p.).

B. Managing Chronic Conditions: Experience in eight countries (2008, 181p.).

3. World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Periodical: Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal (Vol. 14, No. 6, November-December 2008).

4. World Health Organization Regional Office for Southeast Asia Monograph: Health in Asia and the Pacific (2008, .pdf format, 539p.).



Australian Institute of Welfare and Health Reports:

A. "2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey: detailed findings," (Drug statistics series no. 22, December 2008, .pdf format, 146p.).

B. "Cancer in Australia: an Overview, 2008," (Cancer series no. 46, December 2008, pdf format, 162p.).



1. Statistics Canada/Statistique Canada Periodical, Report: Health Reports (Vol. 19, No. 4, December 2008, HTML and .pdf format).

2. Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)/Institut Canadien d'Information sur la Sante Report: "Treatment of End-Stage Organ Failure in Canada, 1997 to 2006," (December 2008, .pdf format, 89p.).



Statistics Singapore Report: "Economic Surveys Series 2007: Health Services" (December 2008, .pdf format, 49p., with technical notes, .pdf format, 12p.).


Technical Notes:



National Health Service Scotland Reports:

A. "Childhood Obesity: Primary 1 statistics for school year 2007/08" (December 2008, Microsoft Excel format).

B. "Drug Misuse Statistics Scotland 2008" (December 2008, .pdf format, 168p.).



1. Healthcare Commission Report: "State of Healthcare 2008," (December 2008, .pdf format, 131p.).

2. National Health Service Reports:

A. "Community Care Statistics 2007-2008: Referrals, Assessments and Packages of Care for Adults, England - National Summary" (December 2008, .pdf format, 15p.).

B. "Health Survey for England 2007: Healthy lifestyles: knowledge, attitudes and behaviour" (December 2008, .pdf format, Vol. 1, 354p., Vol. 2, 209p.).

3. National Statistics Office Report: "Cancer Registration Statistics 2006" (December 2008, .pdf format, 80p.).

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Institute of Medicine Monograph: HHS in the 21st Century: Charting a New Course for a Healthier America, edited by Leonard D. Schaeffer, Andrea M. Schultz, and Judith A. Salerno (National Academies Press, 2008, OpenBook and .pdf format, 278p.). Note 1: ordering information for a print copy is available at the site. Note 2: NAP requires free registration before providing a .pdf copy).


Public Library of Science (PLoS) One Articles:

A. "Interpersonal Trust and Quality-of-Life: A Cross-Sectional Study in Japan," by Yasuharu Tokuda, Masamine Jimba, Haruo Yanai, Seiji Fujii, and Takashi Inoguchi (PLoS ONE 3(12): e3985. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003985, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 10p.).

B. "Use of Integrated Malaria Management Reduces Malaria in Kenya," by Bernard A. Okech, Isaac K. Mwobobia, Anthony Kamau, Samuel Muiruri, Noah Mutiso, Joyce Nyambura, Cassian Mwatele, Teruaki Amano, and Charles S. Mwandawiro (PLoS ONE 3(12): e4050. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004050, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, 9p.).


Public Library of Science (PLoS) One Medicine Articles:

A. "What Is the Future for Global Case Management Guidelines for Common Childhood Diseases?" by Mike English and J. Anthony G. Scott (PLoS Medicine Vol. 5, No. 12, e241 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050241, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, p. 1665-1669).

B. "'Efforts to Reprioritise the Agenda' in China: British American Tobacco's Efforts to Influence Public Policy on Secondhand Smoke in China," by Monique E. Muggli, Kelley Lee, Quan Gan, Jon O. Ebbert, and Richard D. Hurt (PLoS Med 5(12): e251 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050251, HTML, XML, and .pdf format, p. 1729-1736).


Journal of the American Medical Association Article Abstracts:

A. "Short Sleep Duration and Incident Coronary Artery Calcification," by Christopher Ryan King, Kristen L. Knutson, Paul J. Rathouz, Steve Sidney, Kiang Liu, and Diane S. Lauderdale (Vol. 300, No. 24, Dec. 24/31, 2008, p. 2859-2866).

B. "Birth Weight and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review," by Peter H. Whincup, Samantha J. Kaye, Christopher G. Owen, Rachel Huxley, Derek G. Cook, Sonoko Anazawa, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Santosh K. Bhargava, Bryndís E. Birgisdottir, Sofia Carlsson, Susanne R. de Rooij, Roland F. Dyck, Johan G. Eriksson, Bonita Falkner, Caroline Fall, Tom Forsén, Valdemar Grill, Vilmundur Gudnason, Sonia Hulman, Elina Hyppönen, Mona Jeffreys, Debbie A. Lawlor, David A. Leon, Junichi Minami, Gita Mishra, Clive Osmond, Chris Power, Janet W. Rich-Edwards, Tessa J. Roseboom, Harshpal Singh Sachdev, Holly Syddall, Inga Thorsdottir, Mauno Vanhala, Michael Wadsworth, and Donald E. Yarbrough (Vol. 300, No. 24, Dec. 24/31, 2008, p. 2886-2897).

C. "The Physician as Public Health Professional in the 21st Century," by Stephen M. Shortell and John Swartzberg (Vol. 300, No. 24, Dec. 24/31, 2008, p. 2916-2918).


British Medical Journal Article: "Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study," by James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis (BMJ 2008;337:a2338, December 4, 2008, Article).


Lancet Article Abstracts: Note: Lancet requires free registration before providing content.

A. "Inequalities in healthy life years in the 25 countries of the European Union in 2005: a cross-national meta-regression analysis," by Carol Jagger, Clare Gillies, Francesco Moscone, Emmanuelle Cambois, Herman Van Oyen, Wilma Nusselder, and Jean-Marie Robine, the EHLEIS team (Vol. 372, No. 9656, December 20, 2008, p. 2124-2131). This article is available free of charge.

B. "Universal voluntary HIV testing with immediate antiretroviral therapy as a strategy for elimination of HIV transmission: a mathematical model," by Reuben M. Granich, Charles F. Gilks, Christopher Dye, Kevin M. De Cock, and Brian G. Williams (Vol. 373, No. 9657, January 3, 2009, p. 48-57). This article is available free of charge.

C. "Insecticide-treated net coverage in Africa: mapping progress in 2000-07," by Abdisalan M. Noor, Juliette J. Mutheu, Andrew J. Tatem, Simon I. Hay, and Robert W. Snow (Vol. 373, No. 9657, January 3, 2009, p. 58-67). This article is available free of charge.



California Center for Population Research [University of California-Los Angeles]:

A. "Asking God about the Date You Will Die: HIV Testing as a Zone of Uncertainty in Rural Malawi," by Amy Kaler and Susan Cotts Watkins (CCPR-2008-048, December 2008, pdf format, 35p).

B. "Modern Medicine and the 20th Century Decline in Mortality: New Evidence on the Impact of Sulfa Drugs," by Seema Jayachandran, Adriana Lleras-Muney, and Kimberly V. Smith (CCPR-2008-053, December 2008, pdf format, 47p).


Previous research suggests that medical advances played a negligible role in the large decline in mortality rates during the first half of the twentieth century. This paper, in contrast, presents evidence that sulfa drugs--the first pharmaceuticals effective at treating infectious diseases--were an important cause of U.S. mortality declines after their discovery in the 1930s. Using time series and difference-in-difference methods (with infectious diseases unaffected by sulfa drugs as a comparison group), we present evidence on the effects of sulfa drugs on mortality. We find that sulfa drugs led to a 25% decline in maternal mortality, a 13% decline in pneumonia and influenza mortality, and a 52% decline in scarlet fever mortality between 1937 and 1943. Sulfa drugs also widened racial disparities in mortality, suggesting that new medical technology diffuses more rapidly among whites than blacks and consistent with the hypothesis that innovation initially increases inequality across population subgroups.

C. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment," by Jessica Cohen and Pascaline Dupas (PWP-CCPR-2008-054, December 2008,.pdf format, 48p.).


It is often argued that cost-sharing-charging a subsidized, positive price-for a health product is necessary to avoid wasting resources on those who will not use or do not need the product. We explore this argument through a field experiment in Kenya, in which we randomized the price at which prenatal clinics could sell long lasting anti-malarial insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) to pregnant women. We find no evidence that costsharing reduces wastage on those that will not use the product: women who received free ITNs are not less likely to use them than those who paid subsidized positive prices. We also find no evidence that costsharing induces selection of women who need the net more: those who pay higher prices appear no sicker than the average prenatal client in the area in terms of measured anemia (an important indicator of malaria). Cost-sharing does, however, considerably dampen demand. We find that uptake drops by 75 percent when the price of ITNs increases from zero to $0.75 (i.e. from 100 to 87.5 percent subsidy), the price at which ITNs are currently sold to pregnant women in Kenya. We combine our estimates in a cost-effectiveness analysis of ITN prices on child mortality that incorporates both private and social returns to ITN usage. Overall, our results suggest that free distribution of ITNs could save many more lives than cost-sharing programs have achieved so far, and, given the large positive externality associated with widespread usage of ITNs, it would likely do so at a lesser cost per life saved.


National Bureau of Economic Research:

A. "Mandates and the Affordability of Health Care," by Sherry A. Glied (w14545, December 2008, .pdf format, 28p.).


This paper examines the economic rationale of affordability exemptions in the context of a health insurance mandate. On its face, an affordability exemption makes little sense-- it exempts people from purchasing a good that policymakers believe benefits them. I provide an economic definition of affordability and discuss how it is implemented in the contexts of food, housing, and health care. Affordability standards are frequently used in food and housing policy making, but both empirically and theoretically health care operates quite differently than do these other merit goods. These differences help explain why the use of affordability in health policymaking is so different from its use in these other contexts. I conclude with a discussion of the relationship between mandates and exemptions in other health care systems.

B. "Pharmaceutical Industry, Drug Quality and Regulation: Evidence from US and Italy," by Vincenzo Atella, Jay Bhattacharya, and Lorenzo Carbonari (w14567, December 2008, .pdf format, 30p.).


The aim of this article is to analyze the relationship between drug price and drug quality and how it varies across two of the most common regulatory regimes in the pharmaceutical market: Minimum Efficacy Standards (MES) and Price Controls (PC). We develop a model of adverse selection where a pharmaceutical company can charge different prices to a heterogeneous group of buyers for its (innovative) drug, and we evaluate the properties of the equilibria under the two regimes. We model consumer heterogeneity stemming from differences in the willingness-to-pay for drug quality, measured through ex-post efficacy. The theoretical analysis provides two main results. First, the average drug quality delivered is higher under the MES regime than in the PC regime or a in combination of the two. Second, PC regulation reduces the difference in terms of high-low quality drug prices. The empirical analysis based on Italian and US data corroborates these results.

C. "The Cost of Primary Care Doctors," by Sherry A. Glied, Ashwin Prabhu, and Norman H. Edelman (w14568, December 2008, .pdf format, 32p.).


This study uses a human capital model to estimate the societal cost of producing a physician service. Physician human capital consists of the underlying human capital (productivity) of those who become physicians and the job-specific investments (physician training) added to this underlying capital. The value of physicians' underlying human capital is estimated by forecasting an age-earnings profile for doctors based on the characteristics in youth of NLSY cohort participants who subsequently became doctors. Published estimates are used to measure the total cost (wherever paid) of investments in physician training. These data are combined to compute the societal cost per primary care physician visit. The estimated societal cost per primary care physician visit is much higher than the average co-payment per primary care service and generally higher than the current Medicare compensation rate per service unit The private return to primary care physician training is relatively low, in the range of 7-9%. At current levels of supply, the marginal social costs of primary care visits appear to be equal to or greater than marginal social benefits.

D. "Are Health Insurance Markets Competitive?" by Leemore Dafny (w14572, December 2008, .pdf format, 57p.).


Although the vast majority of Americans have private health insurance, researchers focus almost exclusively on public provision. Data on the private insurance sector is extremely difficult to obtain because health insurance contracts are complex, renegotiated annually, and not subject to reporting requirements. This study makes use of a privately-gathered national database of insurance contracts agreed upon by a sample of large, multisite employers between 1998 and 2005. To gauge the competitiveness of the group health insurance industry, I investigate whether health insurers charge higher premiums, ceteris paribus, to more profitable firms. I find they do, and this result is not driven by cross-sectional differences across firms or plans: firms with positive profit shocks subsequently face higher premium growth, even for the same healthplans. Moreover, this relationship is strongest in geographic markets served by a small number of insurance carriers. Further analysis suggests profits act to increase employers' switching costs, and insurers exploit this inelasticity where they have sufficient bargaining power. Given the rapid industry consolidation during the study period, these findings suggest healthcare insurers possess and exercise market power in an increasing number of geographic markets.

E. "Re-examining the Effects of Medicaid Expansions for Pregnant Women," by Dhaval M. Dave, Sandra Decker, Robert Kaestner, and Kosali I. Simon (w14591, December 2008, .pdf format, 41p.).


This paper analyzes the effect of Medicaid eligibility expansions on the health insurance coverage of women giving birth and on the use of prenatal care and infant health, controlling for year and state effects and state-specific trends that may be correlated with expansions in Medicaid eligibility. We combine estimates from the two sets of analyses to construct estimates of the effect of health insurance on use of prenatal care and infant health. We find that the eligibility expansions reduced the proportion of pregnant women who were uninsured by approximately 10 percent, although this decrease in uninsured came with the expense of a substantial reduction in private insurance coverage. Changes in Medicaid eligibility were associated with very small and statistically insignificant changes in prenatal care use, birth weight, and incidence of low-birth weight.


Medical Expenditure Panel Survey:

A. "Benchmarking Medicare Managed Care Plan Enrollment Estimates from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and Administrative Enrollment Files from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid," by Merrile Sing (Working Paper 8011, December 2008, .pdf format, 18p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

B. "Accuracy of Household Reports of Medicare Managed Care Enrollment in the MEPS," by Samuel Zuvekas and Gary Olin (Working Paper 8012, December 2008, .pdf format, 19p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:


Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) [University of Bonn, Germany]: "Do People Become Healthier after Being Promoted?" by Christopher J. Boyce and Andrew J. Oswald (Discussion Paper No. 3894, December 2008, .pdf format, 37p.). Links to an abstract and full text are available at:

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JOURNAL TABLES OF CONTENTS (check your library for availability):

Clinical Infectious Diseases (Vol. 48, No. 2, Jan. 15, 2009). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for availability of these databases and this issue.

Environmental Health Perspectives (Vol. 117, No. 1, January 2009). Note: Full electronic text of this journals is available in the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of this database and this issue.

Environmental Research (Vol. 109, No. 1, January 2009).

Health Economics, Policy and Law (Vol. 4, No. 1, January 2009).

Health Policy and Planning (Vol. 24, No. 1, Jan. 2009).

Journal of Environmental Health (Vol. 71, No. 6, January/February 2009) (.pdf format, 1p.).. Note: Full electronic text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library and the EBSCO Host Academic Search Elite Database. Check your library for the availability of these databases and this issue.

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Vol. 50, No. 12, December 2008).

Medical Care (Vol. 47, No. 1, January 2009).

Medical Care Research and Review (Vol. 66, No. 1, February 2009). Note: Full text of this journal is available in the ProQuest Research Library. Check your library for availability of this database and issue.

Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis (Vol. 672, No. 1, Jan. 10, 2009).

Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Vol. 66, No. 1, January 2009).

Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (Vol. 40, No. 4, December 2008).

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US National Institutes of Health: "NIH-Supported Centers for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD) (P50)," (RFA-CA-09-001, is a re-issue of RFA-ES-02-009, National Cancer Institute, in conjunction with other agencies, Dec. 23, 2008).

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Rand Corporation: Rand Summer Institute (July 8-9, 2009, Santa Monica, CA). "The RSI consists of two conferences addressing critical issues facing our aging population: a Mini-Medical School for Social Scientists (July 6-7) and a workshop on the Demography, Economics and Epidemiology of Aging (July 8-9). The primary aim of the RSI is to expose scholars interested in the study of aging to a wide range of research being conducted in fields beyond their own specialties."

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Agework.Com: AgeWork has updated its employment page with listings through Jan. 7, 2009.


American Statistical Association: ASA has updated its employment page with listings through Jan. 7, 2009.


Chronicle of Higher Education:

Health positions has been updated through Jan. 7, 2009.

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National Cancer Institute: "SEER-Medicare Linked Database," (December 2008). "The SEER-Medicare data reflect the linkage of two large population-based sources of data that provide detailed information about elderly persons with cancer. The data come from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program of cancer registries that collect clinical, demographic and cause of death information for persons with cancer and the Medicare claims for covered health care services from the time of a person's Medicare eligibility until death.

The linkage of these two data sources results in a unique population-based source of information that can be used for an array of epidemiological and health services research. For example, investigators using this combined dataset have conducted studies on patterns of care for persons with cancer before a cancer diagnosis, over the period of initial diagnosis and treatment, and during long-term follow-up. Investigators have also examined the use of cancer tests and procedures and the costs of cancer treatment." Please note that the SEER-Medicare data is not a public use database. Users must apply to NCI for approval to use the data. For more information about the data, and the process for acquiring the data, go to:


Medical Expenditure Panel Survey: The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has released a new MEPS data file (December 2008, data in .zip or self decompressing [.exe] ASCII text and SAS Transport format, with documentation in HTML and .pdf format, and SAS programming statements in ASCII format).

MEPS HC-106: MEPS Panel 10 Longitudinal Data File


UK Data Archive (Essex University, Colchester, UK): The UK Data Archive has recently added the following datasets to its holdings. Note: There maybe charges or licensing requirements on holdings of the UK Data Archive. For more information see:

For new data or new editions of new data in the last month:

and pick "1 month" for either.

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