Date of Award

8-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Industrial Engineering

Advisor

Khademi, Amin

Committee Member

Shi, Lu

Committee Member

Taaffe, Kevin

Abstract

Meditation has shown promise in clinical trials in reducing systolic blood pressure, one of the main causes of stroke. We explore the potential impact of expanding meditation intervention on stroke trends in the US. We developed a dynamic population simulation in which the progression of each individual is governed by a micro-simulation model. We calibrated the micro-simulation model for stroke incidence and further validated it by comparing the stroke-related mortality for each age group generated by the model with that observed in the US. We used the population simulation model to estimate the effects of mindfulness meditation intervention on stroke incidents and mortality over a course of fifteen years. Our results show that we could avert 1,016,315 stroke incidences and 250,226 stroke-related deaths over the same period which is equivalent to a yearly saving of nearly one billion dollars in health care expenditure. Our sensitivity analysis reveals that most of benefit comes from applying the intervention for individuals older than 60 years and adherence to mindfulness meditation plays the critical role in its effectiveness. Meditation intervention, if properly utilized along with the regular antihypertensive medication, could substantially alleviate the burden of stroke in the United States. For designing an effective mindfulness meditation program, policy makers may prioritize funding to the programs that aim to improve the compliance of older individuals to meditation.

Included in

Engineering Commons

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