This is a prospective study of the environmental and genetic factors that influence the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in African American men and women. The cohort is an expansion of the Jackson, Mississippi site of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study and is a partnership among two minority institutions (Jackson State University and Tougaloo College), one majority institution in Jackson, Mississippi (the University of Mississippi Medical Center), the Mississippi State Department of Health, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).
The Jackson Heart Study (JHS) https://www.jacksonheartstudy.org/jhsinfo/, initiated in 1998, is a longitudinal investigation of genetic and environmental risk factors associated with the disproportionate burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in African-Americans. In addition, the JHS conducts community education and outreach activities to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce disease risk burden, undergraduate- and graduate-level research training programs, and high school science and math enrichment programs to prepare and encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue biomedical careers. (www.jacksonheartstudy.org/). The JHS represents an expansion of the Jackson Field Center of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study (http://www2.cscc.unc.edu/aric/), to broaden data collection in an African- American population and to increase access to and participation of African American populations and scientists in biomedical research and professions. The study recruited 5306 African-American residents living in the Jackson, MS, metropolitan statistical area (MSA) of Hinds, Madison, and Rankin Counties. Participants were enrolled from each of 4 recruitment pools: random, 17%; volunteer, 30%; currently enrolled in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, 31% (shared JHS/ARIC cohort); and secondary family members, 22%. Recruitment was limited to non-institutionalized adult African Americans 35-84 years old, except in a nested family cohort where those 21 to 34 years of age were also eligible. The final cohort of participants included 6.59% of all African American Jackson MSA residents aged 35-84 during the baseline exam (N-76,426, US Census 2000). Among these, approximately 3,700 gave consent that allows genetic research and deposition of data into dbGaP. Enrolled JHS participants received three back-to-back clinical examinations (Exam 1, 2000-04; Exam 2, 2005-08; and Exam 3, 2009-13) that have generated extensive longitudinal data on: traditional and putative CVD risk factors, socioeconomic and sociocultural factors, and biochemical analytes; and measures of subclinical disease from echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans of the heart, aorta, and abdomen. Stored biological samples have been assayed for putative biochemical risk factors and stored for future research. DNA has been extracted and lymphocytes cryopreserved for study of candidate genes, genome-wide scanning, expression, and other -omics investigations. Participants have been contacted annually to: update information; confirm vital statistics; document interim medical events, hospitalizations, and functional status; and obtain additional sociocultural information. Ongoing cohort surveillance includes abstraction of medical records and death certificates for relevant International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes and adjudication of nonfatal events and deaths. The JHS serves as a resource to the scientific community for novel research, promotes cardiovascular health in the local community, and encourages underrepresented minority students to pursue biomedical careers.