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BMC Public Health. 2011 Oct 10;11:783. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-11-783.

Cardiovascular risk among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal smoking male prisoners: inequalities compared to the wider community.

Author information

1
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington 2052, Australia. R.Richmond@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) were collected as part of a randomised controlled trial of a multi-component intervention to reduce smoking among male prisoners. Cross-sectional baseline data on CVRF were compared among smoking male prisoners and males of similar age in the general population.

METHODS:

425 smoking prisoners were recruited (n = 407 in New South Wales; 18 in Queensland), including 15% of Aboriginal descent (mean age 33 years; median sentence length 3.6 years). We measured CVRF such as smoking, physical activity, blood pressure, risky alcohol use, symptoms of depression, and low socioeconomic status.

RESULTS:

We found that 39% of prisoners had 3+ CVRF, compared to 10% in a general community sample of most disadvantaged men of a similar age. Significantly more Aboriginal prisoners had 3+ CVRF than non-Aboriginal prisoners (55% vs 36%, p < 0.01) and were twice as likely to have 4+ CVRF (27% vs 12%). In addition to all prisoners in this study being a current smoker (with 70% smoking 20+ cigarettes per day), the prevalence of other CVRF was very high: insufficient physical activity (23%); hypertension (4%), risky drinking (52%), symptoms of depression (14%) and low socioeconomic status (SES) (44%). Aboriginal prisoners had higher levels of risky alcohol use, symptoms of depression, and were more likely to be of low SES.

CONCLUSION:

Prisoners are at high risk for developing cardiovascular disease compared to even the most disadvantaged in their community and should be the focus of specific public health interventions.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

This trial is registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN#12606000229572.

PMID:
21985524
PMCID:
PMC3198711
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2458-11-783
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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