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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profiles in prisoners

Describing patterns of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profiles in prisoners and exploring implications on implementation of the national primary care CVD healthchecks programme inprison populations

What we are doing:

We plan to identify male prisoners aged between 40 to 75 who are at risk of cardiovascular disease. The information will help inform multiple risk factor interventions including those focusing on diabetes and anxiety and depression. Focus groups will be used to collect qualitative information on individual and organisational barriers to uptake and provide better support care following release for the identified high-risk groups.

Why are we doing it:

Prisoners have high levels of morbidity and more than 30 per cent of all deaths in custody are due to cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, preventative approaches to reduce avoidable mortality in these settings are poorly researched. Although community models of CVD risk assessment (healthchecks) are commissioned in prisons, their implementation and subsequent levels of effective intervention to reduce risk are very patchy.

What the benefits will be:

The NHS Health Checks Programme has been implemented where factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, kidney disease, diabetes, high cholesterol levels and obesity are measured and used to calculate an overall risk score. The Healthchecks Programme is designed to find people with these high levels of risk and help them to reduce their risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke. This information will also allow a more detailed examination of the extent to which mental health services need to integrate more carefully with physical healthcare services to promote sustainable changes in CVD risks within and following prison terms.

Who we are working with:

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust provides prison healthcare to the following establishments:

  • HMP Nottingham
  • HMP Whatton
  • HMP Lowdham
  • HMP Ranby
  • HMP Doncaster
  • HMP Lindholme
  • HMP Moorlands
  • HMP Hatfield

The study will be overseen by a steering group from the offender health division, the Trust and academic partners nominated from the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham.

Study lead:

Professor Chris Packham, Associate Medical Director, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


Yvonne R Price