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J Human Stress. 1986 Summer;12(2):77-91.

The effect of recent life events stress, life assets, and temperament pattern on cardiovascular risk factors for Akron City police officers.


Police officers, as a group, experience many occupational demands with physiological and psychological effects that could be harmful to their health. A primary objective of this study was to analyze specific behavioral and physiological risk factors that could lead to hypertension and accelerated coronary artery disease. Three hundred thirty-one male Akron City police officers participated in the study. A group of volunteer males (n = 48) who worked in city clerical jobs were used as controls. Questionnaires were administered in order to measure such behavioral variables as recent life change, life assets, and temperament pattern. Blood chemistry and physiological variables were also measured. The police officers had higher diastolic blood pressure (DBP), norepinephrine (NE) levels, and recent life change unit (LCU) scores than the control group. Increased hostility and depression scores were associated with higher DBP and recent LCU scores and lower life asset unit (LAU) scores. Individuals with higher "dominant" scores and moderate to high recent LCU scores had higher cardiovascular risk factors than those with moderate to high recent LCU scores who were ranked as "subordinate." Rotating shift workers had abnormally elevated NE levels, which, if not controlled, may lead to higher cardiovascular risk. Behavioral intervention programs have been introduced with the goals of reducing stress, increasing life assets, and teaching relaxation techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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