Prevalence and Predictors of Chronic Health Conditions of Inmates Newly Admitted to Maximum Security Prisons

J Correct Health Care. 2015 Jul;21(3):255-64. doi: 10.1177/1078345815587510.


This study estimated the prevalence of chronic medical conditions and risk predictors of 759 newly admitted inmates in two New York State maximum-security prisons. The most prevalent conditions were respiratory (34.1%), cardiovascular (17.4%), and sexually transmitted diseases (STD; 16.1%); least prevalent were HIV (3.6%), cancer (1.7%), and kidney disease (1.7%). Results of the multivariable logistic regression showed that females had higher risk for all conditions except cardiovascular and liver disease; individuals aged 40 years and older had significantly higher risk for all conditions except asthma and STD; non-Hispanic Black inmates had higher risk for respiratory disease and STD; cigarette smoking was associated with asthma; and obesity was significantly associated with diabetes, asthma, and cardiovascular conditions. These findings highlight the heavy burden of chronic illnesses among newly admitted inmates and the need to address adequate screening, prevention, and treatment services.

Keywords: chronic medical conditions; correctional facilities; incarcerated population; newly admitted inmates; prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Continental Population Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prisons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult