Is Job-Related Stress the Link Between Cardiovascular Disease and the Law Enforcement Profession?

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Objective:To determine whether job-related stress is associated with alterations in pro- and anti-atherogenic inflammatory mediators among law enforcement officers.Methods:Markers of vascular inflammation and the self-reported stress measures of perceived stress, vital exhaustion, job strain, effort-reward imbalance, and social support were compared between officers (N = 444) and non-officers (N = 166).Results:Officers had higher levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α and lower levels of C-reactive protein and fibrinogen. No more than 4% of the variability in any of the inflammatory mediators was explained by any stress measure for either the two groups or the entire sample.Conclusions:Law enforcement officers may be at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease due to a relatively greater pro-inflammatory vascular environment. However, this increased risk cannot be attributed to either chronic stress or the work-related stress measures assessed here.

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