Previous epidemiological research indicates that police officers have an elevated risk of death relative to the general population overall and for several specific causes. Despite the increased risk for mortality found in previous research, controversy still exists over the life expectancy of police officers. The goal of the present study was to compare life expectancy of male police officers from Buffalo New York with the U.S. general male population utilizing an abridged life table method. On average, the life expectancy of Buffalo police officers in our sample was significantly lower than the U.S. population (mean difference in life expectancy =21.9 years; 95% CI: 14.5-29.3; p<0.0001). Life expectancy of police officers was shorter and differences were more pronounced in younger age categories. Additionally, police officers had a significantly higher average probability of death than did males in the general population (mean difference= 0.40; 95% CI: 0.26,-0.54; p<0.0001). The years of potential life lost (YPLL) for police officers was 21 times larger than that of the general population (Buffalo male officers vs. U.S. males = 21.7, 95% CI: 5.8-37.7). Possible reasons for shorter life expectancy among police are discussed, including stress, shift work, obesity, and hazardous environmental work exposures.
Law-enforcement; Law-enforcement-workers; Police-officers; Emergency-responders; Humans; Men; Demographic-characteristics; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Mortality-surveys; Mental-stress; Psychological-stress; Weight-factors; Shift-work; Shift-workers;
Author Keywords: Police; mortality; life expectancy; years of potential life lost
John M. Violanti, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, The State University of New York, Buffalo, NY
Issue of Publication
International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience
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