Police officers : Stress related heart attacks

Group 152

Table of Contents

Police officers in the line of work face an overabundant amount of stress. It has been shown that police officers are at an increased risk for cardiovascular events and even emotional difficulties such as depression.

More than 400 police officers have participated in a study with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. The Science Daily Reports more than 400 police officers have participated in the study to date, with the researchers aiming for 500. Results from the study shows, among other findings, that officers over age 40 had a higher 10-year risk of a coronary event compared to average national standards; 72 percent of female officers and 43 percent of male officers, had higher-than-recommended cholesterol levels; and police officers as a group had higher-than-average pulse rates and diastolic blood pressure.

Cortisol, also known as a stress hormone, can be harmful to the body when released during stress. When Cortisol is released into the body from stress it opens a person to coronary disease.

If a police officer suffers a heart attack, the police officer may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Under Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law, there is a statutory presumption of the causal relationship of work stress and heart attacks suffered by police officers. In order to invoke this presumption the following must occur

  1. the police officer at the time of employment must have had a legitimate physical examination that negatived any evidence of heart disease; and
  2. the medical report must have been filed with the police department.

A police officer who is rendered unable to do any work because of a severe heart impairment can also qualify for Social Security disability benefits.