Latino Police Officers in the United States: An Examination of Emerging Trends and Issues
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Women in Law Enforcement, An examination of police use of force utilizing police training and neighborhood contextual factors: A multilevel analysis. For the remaining studies, age was reported by categories and the mean age for these studies was calculated using a weighted average. The upper age limit of 75 was assumed for data from the Current Population Survey. For the BCOPS Study participants, daily payroll records were obtained from to date of examination between and and used to calculate the shift most frequently worked day, afternoon, midnight. A detailed description of the methods used to determine the most frequently worked shift has been reported Ma et al.
Shift type was determined for the employed comparison population using questions from the U. For this study, a cutoff score of 16 or higher was used to identify officers with depression Radloff, For both groups, smoking status was derived from self-reported questionnaires and participants were classified as never smokers, former smokers, or current smokers. Cardiometabolic risk factors i. Body mass index BMI was used to define the percent of participants who were overweight or obese; a BMI between 25 and Resting systolic blood pressure was measured three times with a standard sphygmomanometer and reported values are the average of the second and third readings.
MetSyn was considered present in individuals with 3 or more of the following components: hypertension, reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol, abdominal obesity, glucose intolerance or hypertriglyceridemia. Common carotid intima media thickness IMT measurements were obtained via ultrasound scans using standardized protocols. Details of the scan have been previously reported Fujishiro et al. Briefly, standardized longitudinal images were acquired of the near and far walls of the distal 10 mm portion of the common carotid artery CCA on both the right and left sides.
There was considerable variation in the mean age for the comparison study participants. The weighted mean age ranged from A slightly higher percent of officers were current smokers compared to the employed population Police officers were four times more likely to sleep less than six hours in a hour period than the employed population The percentage of officers who were overweight was similar to the employed population Mean serum total cholesterol levels were slightly higher for officers compared to the employed population The percent of police officers who were glucose intolerant was lower than the general population The mean common carotid intima media thickness for the police officers was 0.
This discrepancy was consistent throughout each of the comparisons of the variables of interest. National Center for Women and Policing, Ethnicity also varied between the two groups. Policing is a hour occupation and shift work is a necessity. However, night shift work can have considerable consequences on health and safety. Shift work has been associated with CVD, obesity, MetSyn, diabetes, and mood and anxiety disorders, most likely as a result of circadian rhythm disruption Shift work and sleep, One-third of police officers reported sleeping less than six hours in a hour period; this finding was four times higher than employed workers completing the National Health Interview Survey.
Sleep loss can be a consequence of shift work, and has been associated with higher levels of perceived stress in male police officers and among those with higher police ranks and greater workloads Charles et al. Chronic sleep loss can lead to excessive fatigue and impaired alertness. These outcomes can have immediate consequences for police officers as the nature of their job requires them to function in a hypervigilant state Shift work and sleep, The prevalence of depression was nearly twice as high for the police officers as the general population.
This finding is somewhat surprising given that the comparison study sample was not restricted to employed adults, included a higher percentage of women, and possibly included a higher percentage of persons who have chronic medical conditions and those who are unemployed. Department of Health and Human Services, However, age is also a significant risk factor for depression.
And as previously indicated, policing itself is considered to be a high stress occupation Gershon et al. Relying solely on systolic blood pressure levels may represent an underestimation of hypertension as successful treatment for hypertension should reduce levels of systolic blood pressure. The percentage of officers currently smoking was 3. These values for the police officers fall well short of the U. The higher values are not entirely attributable to age as the mean age of the police officers is notably 15 years younger than the employed comparison study participants.
One possible explanation for these differences is that police officers spend a considerable amount of on-duty time being relatively inactive Kales et al.
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Women typically have lower carotid IMT than men Howard et al. In the current study, we compared police officers with reported results from studies including mostly employed adults. Our findings are consistent with those previously reported: a higher percentage of police officers were obese and had the MetSyn. In addition to these more traditional CVD risk factors, we found a higher prevalence of depression, and a higher percentage of police officers who work a non-day shift and sleep less than six hours a night compared to other employed adults.
This pathway may be supported by the findings in the current study. This study has several noteworthy limitations. First, variables were selected based on their availability in published findings. Information on other key demographic variables, lifestyle variables, and CVD risk factors would be beneficial in providing a more comprehensive understanding of the health disparities of police officers. Second, there may be key differences in the demographic profile of the BCOPS Study participants and each of the comparison groups.
Percentage of women and mean age actual or calculated from weighted averages were reported and, where appropriate, were considered as a potential explanation for differences between the two groups. Third, CVD risk factors may differ by demographic characteristics. For example, in our previous findings, male police officers were found to have a higher prevalence of MetSyn than female police officers Hartley et al. Yet, in the current study we were not able to stratify the analyses by key demographic characteristics, such as sex and age. Finally, several of the variables used in the comparison were derived from different measures.
Strengths of this study include the use of clinical measurements versus self-report. In the current study, all six of the cardio-metabolic risk factors were obtained via standardized anthropometric and clinical protocols for both the BCOPS Study participants and the respective comparison groups, thus eliminating concerns about reporting bias. In the current study we found that police officers have higher levels of traditional and non-traditional CVD risk factors than other employed adults. To our knowledge this is the first comparison of key CVD risk factors between a sample of police officers and the general U.
Future studies should reexamine this comparison with additional traditional and non-traditional CVD risk factors and should be expanded to other occupational groups.
This work was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health contract number Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Tara A. Cecil M. Michael E. John M. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Int J Emerg Ment Health. Author manuscript; available in PMC Feb 1. Hartley , Cecil M. Burchfiel , Desta Fekedulegn , Michael E. Andrew , and John M. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer.
Correspondence regarding this article should be directed to Tara A. Copyright notice. See other articles in PMC that cite the published article. Abstract Police officers have one of the poorest cardiovascular disease CVD health profiles of any occupation. Keywords: law enforcement, cardiovascular disease, risk factors, health disparity, epidemiology. Table 1 Origin of general population estimates for key comparison characteristics. Open in a separate window.
Shift Type For the BCOPS Study participants, daily payroll records were obtained from to date of examination between and and used to calculate the shift most frequently worked day, afternoon, midnight. Lifestyle Behaviors For both groups, smoking status was derived from self-reported questionnaires and participants were classified as never smokers, former smokers, or current smokers.
Cardiometabolic Risk Factors Cardiometabolic risk factors i. Acknowledgments This work was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health contract number Footnotes Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Contributor Information Tara A. United States life tables, National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. The role of psychosocial stress at work for the development of cardiovascular diseases: A systematic review. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. Stress, inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Journal of Psychosomatic Research.
Major depressive episodes and work stress: Results from a national population survey. American Journal of Public Health.