Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Sub-Department

Biostatistics

First Advisor

James Hussey

Abstract

Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) is a novel way to measure the effect of disease, which incorporates a morbidity component as well as including the typical mortality component. This thesis presents the background of DALYs, the components that are included in the calculation of DALYs, an examination of the consistency of epidemiological estimates given by a software program designed to create internally consistent estimates, and a sensitivity analysis of the choice parameters used in calculating DALYs. The focus of this thesis is on 26 cancers in the state of South Carolina. The results from the comparison of the epidemiological estimates showed that the DISMOD II (Barendregt, 2001-2008) software package yields fairly consistent estimates when compared to known values. The results from the sensitivity analysis showed that choices of life expectancy, discount weights, and age weights can affect not only the overall DALYs calculations, but also the rankings of different cancers.

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