Objective: To determine whether law enforcement officer (LEO) status and perceived stress are longitudinal predictors of traditional and inflammatory cardiovascular (CV) risk factors.
Method: Linear hierarchical regression was employed to investigate the longitudinal (more than 7 years) relationship between occupational category (LEO vs non-LEO) and perceived stress scale scores, and traditional and inflammatory CV risk factors in an all-male sample of 105 LEOs and 65 non-LEOs.
Results: The occupational status of LEOs, compared with that of non-LEOs, predicted higher levels of C-reactive protein, systolic blood pressure, body mass index, and waist circumference. Perceived stress across occupational categories was directly associated with diastolic blood pressure and waist circumference and inversely with fibrinogen. Perceived stress did not interact with occupational category to predict any risk factor.
Conclusion: Traditional and inflammatory risk factors, but not perceived stress, appear to contribute to elevated CV risk among LEOs.