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Law Enforcement Officer Versus Non–Law Enforcement Officer Status as a Longitudinal Predictor of Traditional and Emerging Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Wright, Bruce R. MD; Barbosa-Leiker, Celestina PhD; Hoekstra, Trynke MSc

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2011 - Volume 53 - Issue 7 - p 730–734
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318220c2da
ORIGINAL ARTICLES: CME Available for this Article at

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.

From the Health & Wellness Services (Dr Wright) and College of Nursing (Dr Barbosa-Leiker), Washington State University, Pullman, Wash; and Department of Health Sciences (Ms Hoekstra), Vrije University, The Netherlands.

Address correspondence to: Bruce Wright, MD, Health & Wellness Services, Washington State University, PO Box 642302, Pullman, WA 99164-2302 (

Funding sources for the Spokane Heart Study have included the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, Washington State University, Providence Medical Research Center, and Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Authors Bruce Wright, Celestina Barbosa-Leiker, and Trynke Hoekstra received funding from E.L. Wiegand Foundation, Washington State University, Providence Medical Research Center, and Sacred Heart Medical Center.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine