Police Work and Subclinical Atherosclerosis

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Employment as an urban police officer was hypothesized to be associated with increased structural subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD), measured by carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT).


The sample of men and women consisted of police officers (n = 312) and the general population (n = 318), free of clinical CVD.


Officers had elevated levels of age-adjusted CVD risk factors (blood pressure, total cholesterol, smoking prevalence) compared with the population sample. In age-, gender-, and traditional risk factor-adjusted models, police officers exhibited increased mean common carotid IMT (police = 0.67 mm, population = 0.64 mm; P = 0.03) and mean maximum carotid IMT (police = 0.99 mm, population = 0.95 mm; P = 0.13).


Police officers have increased levels of atherosclerosis compared with a general population sample, which was not fully explained by elevated CVD risk factors; thereby potentially implicating other mechanisms whereby law enforcement work may increase CVD risk.

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