Cardiovascular disease risk factors and the perception of general health among male law enforcement officers: encouraging behavioral change

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Peer Reviewed


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NLM Title Abbreviation

Aaohn J

Journal/Book/Conference Title

AAOHN journal

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DOI of Published Version


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The relationship among cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity, risk factors (including stress), and the perception of health among male law enforcement officers (LEOs) compared to men in the general population were examined in this study. Self reported prevalence of CVD and CVD risk factors among currently employed male LEOs from nine states (n = 2,818) were compared to those of other men in the same states (n = 9,650 for CVD risk factors, n = 3,147 for CVD prevalence). Perceived stress in LEOs was assessed to determine if it affected the relationship between CVD prevalence and CVD risk factors. Cross tabulated simple percentages showed CVD was less prevalent in the LEO group than among the general population. The best predictor variables for CVD were perceived stress, time in the profession, and hypertension. The LEO group had greater prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, overweight, and tobacco use than the general population. However, a greater percentage of LEOs perceived their health as "good to excellent" compared to men in the general population. Using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) it was determined that perceived stress was associated with CVD in the LEO group and three CVD risk factors (i.e., cholesterol, hypertension, physical activity) were significantly affected by perceived stress. Among susceptible officers, stress may contribute to CVD development as well as potentiate several CVD risk factors. However, an apparent lack of association exists between perception of general health and CVD risk in LEOs.


Analysis of Variance, Attitude to Health, Cardiovascular Diseases/etiology/mortality, Cross-Sectional Studies, Data Collection, Health Behavior, Humans, Male, Occupational Diseases/complications/etiology, Police, Prevalence, Risk Factors, Stress, Physiological/complications/etiology

Published Article/Book Citation

AAOHN journal, 51:5 (2003) pp.219-226.

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