BMJ Open. 2022 Sep 7;12(9):e049182. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-049182.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the health-condition of military police officers and firefighters. To identify risk factors for not being medically ready for duty.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Data were extracted from medical records during annual periodic health assessments of police officers and firefighters serving with the military police in Paraná, Brazil.
PARTICIPANTS: 6621 police officers (5927 men and 694 women) and 1347 firefighters (1257 men and 90 women) who underwent health assessments between July 2018 and June 2019 were analysed. Pregnant women were excluded.
OUTCOME MEASURES: Data included variables such as sex, age, anthropometric measurements, lifestyle, comorbidities and laboratory tests. Multiple logistic regression was used to estimate the probability of not being medically ready for active duty.
RESULTS: Overall, police officers had worse health status than firefighters and greater prevalence of overweight and obesity, regardless of sex. Musculoskeletal diseases were the most commonly reported disease by police officers and firefighters of both sexes. Among men, hypertension was the second most prevalent disease, followed by psychiatric diseases and dyslipidaemia. Among women, psychiatric diseases were the second most prevalent. Male police officers ≥40 years old presented the highest probability of not being considered ready for duty (40.1%). The probability of male police officers between the ages of 31 and 40 not being ready was similar to that for male firefighters >40 years old. There was a higher chance of not being medically ready professionals with diseases such as diabetes mellitus (OR 2.95, 95% CI 1.97 to 5.03), dyslipidaemia (OR 2.65, 95% CI 1.96 to 3.58), hypertension (OR 2.29, 95% CI 1.85 to 4.70), high total cholesterol (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.93 to 2.42), and heart disease (OR 2.13, 95% CI 1.32 to 3.45).
CONCLUSIONS: There was a high prevalence of chronic diseases and modifiable cardiovascular risk factors among police officers and firefighters. Healthy protective measures should be offered frequently, particularly to police officers at an earlier age.