Association between incarceration and incident cardiovascular disease events: results from the CARDIA cohort study

Jordan Coleman, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, Hongyan Ning, Norrina B. Allen, Catarina I. Kiefe, Emily A. Wang, Mark D. Huffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Incarceration has been associated with higher cardiovascular risk, yet data evaluating its association with cardiovascular disease events are limited. The study objective was to evaluate the association between incarceration and incident fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. Methods: Black and white adults from the community-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adult (CARDIA) study (baseline 1985–86, n = 5105) were followed through August 2017. Self-reported incarceration was measured at baseline (1985–1986) and Year 2 (1987–1988), and fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular disease events, including coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure, and all-cause mortality, were captured through 2017. Analyses were completed in September 2019. Cumulative CVD incidence rates and Cox proportional hazards were compared overall by incarceration status. An interaction between incarceration and race was identified, so results were also analyzed by sex-race groups. Results: 351 (6.9%) CARDIA participants reported a history of incarceration. Over 29.0 years mean follow-up, CVD incidence rate was 3.52 per 1000 person-years in participants with a history of incarceration versus 2.12 per 1000 person-years in participants without a history of incarceration (adjusted HR = 1.33 [95% CI, 0.90–1.95]). Among white men, incarceration was associated with higher risk of incident cardiovascular disease (adjusted HR = 3.35 [95% CI, 1.54–7.29) and all-cause mortality (adjusted HR = 2.52 [95% CI, 1.32–4.83]), but these associations were not statistically significant among other sex-race groups after adjustment. Conclusions: Incarceration was associated with incident cardiovascular disease rates, but associations were only significant in one sex-race group after multivariable adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number214
JournalBMC public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Incarceration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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