217242 Stress and Obesity in Public Safety Employees

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sandra Ramey, PhD, RN , College of Nursing and College of Public Health, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Aims: Police experience stress from incidents encountered on the job and from organizational stressors innate within the agencies. Higher rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease in police are not explained by conventional risk factors. This study 1) explored the relationships among organizational and critical incident stressors, measured by the Job Strain Scale (JSS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), Vital Exhaustion (VE), Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI), and Impact of Events Scale (IES), salivary cortisol, emotional eating patterns and body composition (measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) and 2) identified effective measures of stress and related factors. Methods: Public safety employees (n=95), age 21-65, participated. Multiple linear regression models were created and analyzed using the study variables. Results: Correlation among all the stress instruments was found supporting the importance of obtaining multiple measures of stress simultaneously. The gender and age-adjusted association of log CRP with stress and percent fat showed a positive association of PSS (p=0.025) with CRP. The regression of percent fat with the stress variables showed a significant positive association with ERI (regression coefficient B=9.92, SE=4.7, p=0.037). Those who ate much more under negative emotional conditions had significantly greater stress scores for PSS (25 vs. 18; p=0.016), VE (20 vs. 15; p=0.009), and ERI (1.02 vs. 0.87; p=0.024) than those who ate the same (n=67). Conclusions: Data support potential relationships among organizational stress, cortisol, eating patterns, fat accumulation, and the inflammatory marker, CRP. Study findings will guide methods for measurement of key variables in interventions to improve the health of public safety workers.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify 2 relationships among stress varibles and biological outcome measures. Describe 2 effective measures of stress and related factors.

Keywords: Health Promotion, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I do research that includes health promotion and disease prevention in public safety employees.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.