Mississippi Heart Study Targets At-Risk Population

OCTOBER 01, 2004

A few years ago, a large, national study known as Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities was expanded to investigate the high rate of cardiovascular disease among black people. The study has focused on more than 5000 black men and women between the ages of 35 and 84 in Jackson, Miss. This study, known as the Jackson Heart Study, began in 2000 at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and is currently in the evaluation process of preliminary findings. Researchers gathered information from a series of questionnaires regarding lifestyle habits, medical history, medications, social and cultural function, as well as lab measurements. Justin Vincent, senior operations manager, hopes the study will be extended for another 10 years. According to Vincent, this is the first study of cardiovascular disease in black people, and its site in Mississippi is ideal because of the state's high percentage of black residents and some of the worst medical statistics in the country. Vincent remarked, "Mississippi is right up there when it comes to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension. We have a lot of work to do."