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Stressful law enforcement duties are associated with a risk of sudden cardiac death that is markedly higher than the risk during routine/non-emergency duties, and restraints/altercations and pursuits are associated with the greatest risk, according to a study in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal). “Evidence indicates that the prevalence of traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease among the police is high (often higher than the general population),” the study authors wrote.
The study assessed data from the deaths of more than 4,500 U.S. police officers provided by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and the Officer Down Memorial Page from 1984 to 2010.
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