It remains uncertain if law enforcement officers experience an elevated cardiovascular disease morbidity and, if so, whether their profession contributes to this incidence. Consequently, the self-reported incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) (coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, angioplasty) and CVD risk factors (age, diabetes, elevated body mass index (≥ 27.8 kg · m-2), hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, tobacco use) in 232 male retirees, ≥ 55 years of age, from the Iowa Department of Public Safety were compared with 817 male Iowans of similar age. CVD incidence was higher in the law enforcement officers than the general population (31.5% vs 18.4%, P < 0.001). Using multiple logistic regression, factors found to be associated with CVD included the law enforcement profession (odds ratio [OR]= 2.34; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.5-3.6), hypercholesterolemia (OR= 2.37; 95% CI = 1.7-3.3); diabetes (OR = 2.22; 95% CI = 1.4-3.6), hypertension (OR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.3-2.5), tobacco use (OR = 1.67; 95% CI = 1.07-2.6), and age (OR = 1.06; 95% CI = 1.03-1.08). These results suggest that employment as a law enforcement officer is associated with an increased cardiovascular disease morbidity and this relationship persists after considering several conventional risk factors.
From the Department of Health and Human Performance (Dr Franke, Ms Collins) and the Department of Statistics (Dr Hinz), Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Address correspondence to: Warren D. Franke, PhD, 247 Forker Building, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.