A few years ago, a large, national study known asAtherosclerosis Risk in Communities was expanded toinvestigate the high rate of cardiovascular diseaseamong black people. The study has focused on morethan 5000 black men and women between the ages of35 and 84 in Jackson, Miss. This study, known as theJackson Heart Study, began in 2000 at the Universityof Mississippi Medical Center, and is currently in theevaluation process of preliminary findings.Researchers gathered information from a series ofquestionnaires regarding lifestyle habits, medical history,medications, social and cultural function, as well aslab measurements. Justin Vincent, senior operationsmanager, hopes the study will be extended for another10 years. According to Vincent, this is the first study ofcardiovascular disease in black people, and its site inMississippi is ideal because of the state's high percentageof black residents and some of the worst medicalstatistics in the country. Vincent remarked, "Mississippiis right up there when it comes to cardiovascular disease,stroke, diabetes, and hypertension. We have alot of work to do."