The practice of meditation, if properly utilized along with the regular antihypertensive medication, could substantially alleviate the burden of stroke in the US, according to a recent study. In order to design an effective meditation program, policymakers may prioritize funding to the programs that aim to encourage older individuals to practice meditation. Researchers developed a dynamic population-based microsimulation model to simulate the disease progression of each individual and compute disease burden. They calibrated the microsimulation 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. Finally, they used the population simulation model to estimate the effects of meditation intervention on the number of stroke cases and deaths over a course of 15 years. They found:
- Results show that nearly 200,000 stroke cases and 50,000 stroke-related deaths over the course of 15 years could be averted.
- The sensitivity analysis reveals that most of the benefits come from applying the intervention for individuals aged >60 years.
- In addition, meditation acceptance and adherence rate play a critical role in its effectiveness.
Ambavane RA, Khademi A, Zhang D, Shi L. Modeling the impact of transcendental meditation on stroke incidence and mortality. [Published online ahead of print November 24, 2018]. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.10.039.
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