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Jackson Heart Study

Heart disease is a serious health issue for all Americans, but African-Americans are particularly at risk for cardiovascular disease. University of Mississippi Medical Center is working to understand and change this health disparity. 

The Jackson Heart Study (JHS) is the largest ever single-site study of cardiovascular disease and its causes in African-Americans. This research is a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Metro Jackson community, and three institutional partners: UMMC, Jackson State University, and Tougaloo College.


The Jackson Heart Study supports UMMC's three-part mission to provide medical education, research, and care to Mississippians. In cooperation with Jackson State University and Tougaloo College, UMMC provides educational and training opportunities for future health care workers. UMMC faculty work with study participants and biomedical graduate students to collect, analyze, present, and publish data.

Many people are working together to understand the causes and impacts of heart disease on our African-American population:

  • Mississippians who have agreed to participate in this long-term study
  • Experienced faculty and physicians who work with patients and mentor the next generation of health care providers and research scientists
  • Advanced students who are inspired and driven to find answers to today's questions about tomorrow's health care

Learn more about our Mississippi partners in JHS research and education


In addition to education, the Jackson Heart Study also provides valuable insight into how heart disease and other health factors affect a large part of our population.

Locally conducted research with world-wide impact.

The Jackson Heart Study involves 5,301 African-American men and women in the Jackson, Mississippi, area. Researchers have examined and will continue to follow these participants throughout their lives to observe risks for cardiovascular disease. Not only does the study look at traditional risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity, but it also examines more recently identified risk factors such as genetics, health care access, and possible social-emotional affects.

Alongside UMMC, Jackson State University, and Tougaloo College, the world-renowned Mayo Clinic contributes to JHS research.

The Jackson Heart Study provides a vital resource for researchers, health care providers, and health care consumers around the world by:

  • Collecting, translating, and sharing study data with the broader community.
  • Preparing African-American and other minority students for careers in health science.
  • Identify future areas of research, medical interventions, and treatments in order to reduce instances of heart disease in high-risk populations.
  • Empowering African-Americans in Mississippi and beyond to reduce population-specific risks associated with cardiovascular disease.
  • Involving the community in understanding complex health issues and supporting a shared goal of enjoying longer, healthier lives.

Health care

Research participants are the key to providing better health care today and into the future. By understanding risk factors and their impact on the health of specific populations, we strengthen health care for everyone.

  • Educational opportunities inspire medical researchers and health care providers with hands-on experience and real-world application.
  • Data is shared with other medical research institutions to study and interpret.
  • Research findings are shared with physicians and the general public, locally and worldwide.
  • Medical discoveries and new ways of understanding population health are important steps on the path to a healthier future.

Learn more

Learn more about how the Jackson Heart Study contributes to fighting heart disease and improving health care in Mississippi and beyond.