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Comparative Study
. 2012 Aug;19(6):324-31.
doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2012.02.012. Epub 2012 Apr 6.

Health-care Issues and Health-Care Use Among Detainees in Police Custody

Comparative Study

Health-care Issues and Health-Care Use Among Detainees in Police Custody

Manon Ceelen et al. J Forensic Leg Med. .


Epidemiological research on the physical health status of police detainees is scarce. The present study fills this gap by first studying the somatic reasons for consultation (n = 4396) and related prescriptions (n = 4912) as assessed by the forensic medical service during police detainment. Secondly, a health interview survey was conducted among randomly selected police detainees (n = 264) to collect information regarding their recent disease history and use of health care. Somatic health problems, medical consumption and health risk measures of the detainees were compared with those seen in the general population using general practitioner records and community health survey data. The study showed that, in police detainment, several chronic health conditions more often were the reason for consultation than in the general practice setting. In addition, the health interview survey data demonstrated that after adjustment for age and gender, the police detainees were 1.6 times more likely to suffer from one or more of the studied chronic diseases than the members from the general population. Furthermore, differences in several health risk measures, including body mass index, smoking and alcohol habits and health-care use were observed between the interviewed police detainees and the general population. These results provide insight into the variety of physical health problems of police detainees and are essential to develop optimal treatment strategies in police custody.

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