People who have served a jail term may be at a greater mortality risk than the general population, according to a new study.
For the study, North Carolina prison records, and state death records from 1980 to 2005 were used.
The researchers studied a total of 168,001 black and white male former prisoners aged 20 to 69 years.
The team's analysis showed that deaths from homicide, accidents, substance abuse, HIV, liver disease, and liver cancer were greater than would have been expected of the general population.
The researchers also observed that deaths from cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes were at least 30 per cent greater than expected for white ex-prisoners, but less than expected for black ex-prisoners.
"The public health implications of these findings for the United States is troubling given the large size of the U.S. ex-prisoner population, the heavy burden of disease among prisoners, and the legal sanctions and social stigma that diminish access to resources after release from prison," said the researchers.
The study has been published in the online edition of the journal First Look.