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‘Black men healthier in prison’

HEALTHIER: New study says that black men are healthier in prison

A NEW STUDY has found that black prisoners are less likely to die from ‘health and lifestyle’ related illnesses, than those on the outside.

According to findings published in Annals of Epidemiology, black inmates are between 30 and 40 percent less likely to die from diabetes, drug-related causes, suicide, and murder, than black men not in prison.

The study, which involved 100,000 black and white men aged between 20 and 79, looked at inmates who were held in North Carolina prisons at some point between 1995 and 2005.

Researchers compared prison and state health records to determine inmates’ cause of death during their prison stay, against figures with expected deaths in men of the same age and race in the general population.

The report found that white men on the whole were 12 percent more likely to die in prison than outside, a finding they attributed to higher rates of infection, including HIV and hepatitis.

One of the study’s researchers, Dr. David Rosen, told Reuters: "For some populations, being in prison likely provides benefits in regards to access to healthcare and life expectancy."

"It's important to remember that there are many possible negative consequences of imprisonment. For example, broken relationships, loss of employment opportunities, and greater entrenchment in criminal activity, that are not reflected in our study findings.

“But nevertheless have an important influence on prisoners' lives and their overall health," he added.

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