The Jackson Heart Study
Description : The Jackson Heart Study (JHS) is a collaborative research project to investigate risk factors for cardiovascular disease in African American men and women living in Jackson, MS. JHS is a single-site prospective epidemiologic investigation of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among African-Americans from the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan area.
Back to the top
The Jackson Heart Study (JHS) is a population-based longitudinal study in
Jackson, Mississippi, that examines the factors that influence the development
of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in African American men and women. It is the
largest single-site, prospective, epidemiologic investigation of (CVD) among
African Americans ever undertaken, and will significantly impact not only
African Americans in Mississippi, but throughout the United States.
The study began in 1999. Since CVD is more prevalent among African Americans
than any other ethnic group, JHS seeks to explore the reasons for this disparity
and to uncover new approaches to reduce it.
The primary objectives of the JHS are to investigate the causes of CVD in
African Americans to learn how to best prevent this group of diseases in the
future. More specific objectives include:
- Identifying factors, which influence the development and worsening of CVD in African Americans, with an emphasis on manifestations related to high blood pressure (such as remodeling of the left ventricle of the heart, coronary artery disease, heart failure, stroke, and disorders affecting the blood vessels of the kidney);
- Building research capabilities in minority institutions at the undergraduate and graduate level by developing partnerships between minority and majority institutions and enhancing participation of minority investigators in large-scale epidemiologic studies;
- Attracting minority students to and preparing them for careers in public health and epidemiology.
The JHS represents an expansion of one of the study sites of the
Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study which included
four geographically diverse communities in the U.S. (northwestern
suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Washington County, Maryland;
Forsyth County, North Carolina; and the city of Jackson, Mississippi).
Prior to the examination, a series of community meetings and focus groups
were held and a survey was conducted to identify ways to enhance participation
in the initial and subsequent examinations and ways to strengthen awareness
of CVD prevention. The JHS recruited 5,301 participants who are African-American
men and women between the ages of 35 and 84. The data collected in the JHS
includes both conventional risk factors and new or emerging factors that may be related to CVD. Some of the newer areas of focus include early indicators of disease, genetics, socio-cultural influences, such as socioeconomic status and discrimination, and physiological relations between common disorders such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes and their influence on CVD.
JHS’s renewal goals are:
- Continue a longitudinal epidemiological study of African American men and women by examination and follow-up of roughly 5,301 JHS participants.
- Identify genetic, biological, and environmental risk factors for development and progression of CVD in African American men and women.
- Maintain cohort and community participation and continue community outreach for health education and risk reduction.
- Enhance scientific productivity of the JHS and develop methods for enhancing cohort retention and participation in the JHS.
- Expand minority participation in CVD epidemiology research by building research capacities at minority institutions and attracting minority students to careers in epidemiology and public health.
- Enhance genetic expertise of the JHS through collaboration with other universities and the NHLBI and increase scientific productivity and training in the area of genetic epidemiology.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
(NHLBI) and the
National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsor the JHS. The study exemplifies a unique collaborative
model designed to discover and test best practices for eliminating health disparities.
The partnership includes NHLBI, NCMHD, the Jackson community, and three local institutions: