The disease profile of Texas prison inmates

Jacques Baillargeon, Sandra A. Black, John Pulvino, Kim Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE: Whereas prison inmates are reported to exhibit poorer overall health status and higher rates of health care utilization than the general population, no current information exists on the overall disease profile of the U.S. prison population. The present study examined the prevalence of major acute and chronic conditions in one of the nation's largest prison populations. METHODS: The study population consisted of 170,215 Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) inmates who were incarcerated between August 1997 and July 1998. Information on medical conditions and sociodemographic factors was obtained from an institution-wide medical information system. RESULTS: Infectious diseases (29.6%) constituted the most prevalent major disease category among inmates. This was followed by diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (15.3%), diseases of the circulatory system (14.0%), mental disorders (10.8%), and diseases of the respiratory system (6.3%). Among the specific conditions examined, evidence of tuberculosis infection without active pulmonary disease (20.1%) was found to be the most prevalent condition, followed by hypertension (9.8%), asthma (5.2%), low back pain (5.1%), and viral hepatitis (5.0%). CONCLUSIONS: The present study shows that for a number of conditions, the prison population exhibited prevalence rates that were substantially higher than those reported for the general population. Moreover, estimates for a number of diseases varied substantially according to age, race, and gender. Understanding the disease profile in U.S. incarcerated populations will permit correctional administrators to develop more efficient health care delivery systems for prison inmates. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Prisons
Population
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
Delivery of Health Care
Musculoskeletal System
Criminal Law
Connective Tissue Diseases
Cardiovascular System
Low Back Pain
Administrative Personnel
Information Systems
Mental Disorders
Respiratory System
Hepatitis
Lung Diseases
Health Status
Communicable Diseases
Tuberculosis
Asthma
Cross-Sectional Studies

Keywords

  • Chronic disease
  • Infectious disease
  • Prevalence
  • Prisoners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology

Cite this

The disease profile of Texas prison inmates. / Baillargeon, Jacques; Black, Sandra A.; Pulvino, John; Dunn, Kim.

In: Annals of Epidemiology, Vol. 10, No. 2, 02.2000, p. 74-80.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Baillargeon, Jacques ; Black, Sandra A. ; Pulvino, John ; Dunn, Kim. / The disease profile of Texas prison inmates. In: Annals of Epidemiology. 2000 ; Vol. 10, No. 2. pp. 74-80.
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