Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Daniel C. Robinson

Second Advisor

Warren D. Franke


It remains uncertain whether law enforcement officers (LEOs) have an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and, if so, the extent to which stress affects this relationship. To redress this observation, the self-reported incidence of CVD and CVD risk factors among 2,818 currently employed male LEOs was compared to 9,650 male respondents. Perceived stress among the LEOs also was determined. The percentage for CVD incidence was lower in the LEO group than among the general population [2.3 (SD = .15) vs. 5.6 (SD = .23); p = .001]. The best predictor variables for CVD in the combined group were: physical inactivity (p = .011), hypertension (p = .001), and hypercholesterolemia ( p = .001). In the LEO group, the best predictor variables for CVD were: perceived stress (p = .032), time in the profession (p = .001), and hypertension (p = .001). The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia (33.2 percent), weight (82.6 percent; BMI > 25.0), and tobacco use (10.1 percent) in the LEO group exceeded those found in the general population. Stress was significantly associated with CVD (p = .008). Three CVD risk factors were significantly affected by stress: cholesterol (p = .001), hypertension (p = .001), and physical activity (p = .001). Perceived stress was affected by duration of time in the profession ( p = .004) after adjusting forage (p = .353). These results suggest that stress may contribute to CVD among LEOs through potentiating several CVD risk factors.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Sandra L. Ramey



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File Size

103 pages