Carol J. Rowland was born on December 11, 1945, in Springfield, Missouri. In 1966 she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (minor Psychology) from William Jewell College summa cum laude and married L. Lynn Hogue. She was a social worker in Knoxville, Tennessee, and moved to North Carolina in 1969 where she earned an MPH and PhD in Epidemiology (minor Biostatistics) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971 and 1973.
Between 1974 and 1977, Hogue served as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics at UNC. She then joined the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences faculty, with joint appointments in the National Center for Toxicological Research and the State Health Department, serving as the only epidemiologist in the state at that time. She moved to the Centers for Disease Control in 1982 as an EIS Officer, was promoted to Branch Chief in 1982 and to Division Director in the Reproductive Health Division in 1988. That year she and Lynn adopted Marianna Elizabeth Rowland Hogue (Outerbridge). A leader in the Epidemiology field, Hogue served as President of both the Society for Epidemiologic Research (1988) and the American College of Epidemiology (2003).
Hogue is most widely known for using surveillance systems, developing psychosocial measurement of racial disparities, and conducting groundbreaking epidemiologic studies of perinatal outcomes. At CDC, she developed national linkage of birth and infant death surveillance. Her analyses of this system revealed that high educational attainment was not protective against the racial gap in African American infant deaths and triggered further, ongoing research into discrimination as a risk factor for maternal and infant health. Hogue also led the development of CDC’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) that provides unique data for research, governmental programming, and evaluation. Hogue’s study of the effects of induced abortion on subsequent fertility challenged accepted knowledge from case-control studies, and its methodology continues to be the gold standard to assess long-term health effects of abortion, as evidenced by the 2018 Consensus Report of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “The Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the United States.” She served as Lead Epidemiologist for the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network’s population-based case-control study of stillbirth, with major findings on the scope and causes of this understudied outcome. In 1992 Hogue was appointed to the Jules and Uldeen Terry Chair of Maternal and Child Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and established the Women’s and Children’s Center. The numerous faculty and graduate students affiliated with the Center have made significant contributions towards understanding preventable causes of racial disparities in women’s and infants’ health outcomes.
In 1988 President Reagan asked Dr. C. Everett Koop to prepare a Surgeon General’s report on the effects of abortion on women’s health. Dr. Koop assigned the CDC Division of Reproductive health to assist in its production. The draft report was published in the Congressional Record of March 17, 1989. Dr. Koop had refused to publish the completed report because he claimed that the evidence for or against psychological effects was not scientifically rigorous. However, he agreed with the expert panel that Dr. Hogue’s evidence for no effect on future fertility had long been established.