40% Of State, Federal Prison, Jail Inmates Have Chronic Medical Conditions


An estimated 40 percent of state and federal prisoners and jail inmates reported having a current chronic medical condition in a 2011–12 survey, the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics said today. The agency defined chronic conditions as those involving persistent health problems with long-lasting effects, including noninfectious medical problems, such as cancer, high blood pressure, stroke-related problems, diabetes, heart-related problems, kidney-related problems, arthritis, asthma and cirrhosis of the liver.

About a fifth of prisoners and 14 percent of jail inmates reported ever having an infectious disease (excluding HIV or AIDS), such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C and other sexually transmitted diseases. Both prisoners and jail inmates were more likely than the general population to report ever having a chronic condition or infectious disease. High blood pressure was the most common chronic condition reported by prisoners (30 percent) and jail inmates (26 percent). More than half of prisoners (56 percent) and jail inmates (51 percent) said that they were either very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the health care services received since admission.

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