Associations between police officer stress and the metabolic syndrome

Int J Emerg Ment Health. 2011;13(4):243-56.


The purpose of this study was to examine the association of police officer stress with metabolic syndrome (MetSyn) and its individual components. Participants included 288 men and 102 women from the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) Study. Police stress was measured using the Spielberger police stress survey. MetSyn was defined using 2005 guidelines. Results were stratified by gender ANCOVA was used to describe differences in number of MetSyn components across police stress categories after adjusting for age and smoking status. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios for having each MetSyn component by increased police stress levels. The multivariate-adjusted number of MetSyn components increased significantly in women across tertiles of the three perceived stress subscales, and administrative and organizational pressure and lack of support indices for the previous month. No association was found among male officers. Abdominal obesity and reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were consistently associated with police stress in women. Police stress, particularly organizational pressure and lack of support, was associated with MetSyn among female but not male police officers. Given the stress of policing and the adverse cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors prevalent among police officers, exploring the association between specific types of police stress and subclinical CVD is important.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Police*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*