Navigation Links
Police work undermines cardiovascular health, comparison to general population shows
Date:6/30/2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It is well documented that police officers have a higher risk of developing heart disease: The question is why.

In the most recent results coming out of one of the few long-term studies being conducted within this tightly knit society, University at Buffalo researchers have determined that underlying the higher incidence of subclinical atherosclerosis -- arterial thickening that precedes a heart attack or stroke -- may be the stress of police work.

"We took lifestyle factors that generally are associated with atherosclerosis, such as exercise, smoking, diet, etc., into account in our comparison between citizens and the police officers," said John Violanti, Ph.D., UB associate professor of social and preventive medicine, who has been studying the police force in Buffalo, N.Y., for 10 years.

"These lifestyle factors were statistically controlled for in the analysis. This led to the conclusion that it is not the 'usual' heart-disease-related risk factors that increase the risk in police officers. It is something else. We believe that 'something else' is the occupation of policing."

Results of the study appear in the June issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Violanti and colleagues have been studying the role of cortisol, known as the "stress hormone," in these police officers to determine if stress is associated with physiological risk factors that can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In a study accepted for publication in Psychiatry Research that looked at the male-female differences in stress and signs of heart disease, Violanti found that female police officers had higher levels of cortisol when they awoke, and the levels remained high throughout the day. Cortisol normally is highest in the morning and decreases to its lowest point in the evening. The constantly high cortisol levels were associated with less arterial elasticity, a risk factor for heart disease, Violanti noted.

"When cortisol becomes dysregulated due to chronic stress, it opens a person to disease," he said. "The body becomes physiologically unbalanced, organs are attacked and the immune system is compromised as well. It's unfortunate, but that's what stress does to us."

In the current study, the researchers used carotid artery thickness to assess heart disease risk. Participants were 322 clinically healthy active-duty police officers from the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) study and 318 healthy persons from the ongoing UB Western New York Health Study matched to the officers by age.

All measurements were taken in the morning after a 12-hour fast. In addition to testing carotid thickness via ultrasound, investigators measured blood pressure, body size, cholesterol (both total and HDL) and glucose. They collected information on physical activity, symptoms of depression, alcohol consumption and smoking history. These are the factors that typically cause heart disease.

Results showed that police work was associated with increased subclinical cardiovascular disease -- there was more plaque build-up in the carotid artery -- compared to the general population that could not be explained by those conventional heart disease risk factors.

Subclinical atherosclerosis means that the disease shows progression but does not qualify yet as overt heart disease.

"In this case we examined the thickness of the carotid artery as an indicator of increasing risk for atherosclerosis," noted Violanti. "The plaque buildup was greater in police than the citizen population.

"In future work, we will measure the carotid artery thickness again to see how much it has increased. At some point in time, the thickness may reach a stage of possible blockage, which will require medical intervention and treatment. We think that police officers will likely reach that stage quicker than the general population."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lois Baker
ljbaker@buffalo.edu
716-645-5000 x1417
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Drug Detection Kits Manufactured By IDenta Corp. Shown During French Television Broadcast (at TF1) - Product Aids French Police In Bust of 600 Kilograms Of Cocaine
2. Partnership for a Drug-Free America and Colorado Springs Police Department Introduce Methamphetamine Prevention Program to Colorado Law Enforcement
3. Nurses play a key role in police custody suites, complementing the traditional role of doctors
4. Serious Injury Rare With Police Tasers
5. Partnership for a Drug-Free America and Council Bluffs Police Department Introduce Methamphetamine Prevention Program to Iowa Law Enforcement
6. Philadelphia Police Officer Helps Amputee Receive Power Wheelchair From The SCOOTER Store
7. Philadelphia Policeman Helps Amputee Receive Power Wheelchair from The Scooter Store
8. Study shows power of police and fire officers as injury-prevention messengers
9. OrthoSynetics(TM) Donates Body Armor to New Orleans Police Department
10. MedeFile International Teams with Newark Fraternal Order of Police
11. No-nose bicycle saddles improve penile sensation and erectile function in bicycling police officers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Somerset Hills is proud ... and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed event will raise funds and ... the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, November 4 (10:00 a.m. – ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh, has ... least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The Book of Revelation paints a ... centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, but Yisrayl Hawkins says that ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains ... possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to ... dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... and Dr. Cheng, are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus ... sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one ... an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal ... controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza vaccination should ... helping communities across Massachusetts , Connecticut ... shots through the end of the month. *Some exclusions apply ... ... is by the end of October, according to the Centers for Disease ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the ... by Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC ... brand, which included the unveiling of new signage at ... as well as at a few other company-owned facilities ... brand to patients, some of whom will begin to ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans ... advance the use of wearable and home sensors for ... disorders. Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on ... will provide an affordable analytical system to record and ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: