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Relationship of cardiovascular disease to stress and vital exhaustion in an urban, midwestern police department.

This study explored risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among 336 officers of a Midwestern police force. Instruments used included the Perceived Stress Scale, the Maastricht Questionnaire (measuring vital exhaustion), and a general Health Risk Appraisal. Rates of CVD, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia were 3%, 28%, and 43%, respectively. The relative risk of hypercholesterolemia for male officers, compared to female officers, was 1.98 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10 to 3.56). The officers' average body mass index was 28.6 (SD = 4.9), with 80% being overweight or obese. The average vital exhaustion score was higher for female officers than male officers (p < .05). Bivariate relationships of CVD with perceived stress, vital exhaustion, and age were statistically significant (p < .05). When controlling for age, odds ratios were 1.20 (95% CI, 1.03 to 1.39; p < .05) for perceived stress and 1.31 (95% CI, 1.12 to 1.53; p < .01) for vital exhaustion.

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