Bharti Garg


July 2013

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Public Health and Preventive Medicine


Oregon Health & Science University


Background: Law enforcement officers (LEOs) have a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome, as defined by the clinical signs of increased waist circumference, elevated blood pressure and triglycerides, decreased HDL cholesterol and increased fasting glucose. The factors leading to this syndrome are not well understood. Objective: To test the association between physical activity and metabolic syndrome among LEO’s. Methods: Physical measures (height/weight, blood pressure), blood biomarkers (triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and glucose), self-reported physical activity, and stress were obtained from 309 police officers (242 males and 67 females) at entry into a randomized controlled trial. The presence of metabolic syndrome was classified according to NCEP/ATP III guidelines. Logistic regression was used to test the association between physical activity and metabolic syndrome, adjusted for potential confounders. Results: Among the participants, 34.3% had metabolic syndrome. The presence of metabolic syndrome was inversely associated with self-reported physical activity (r = -0.26, p < 0.0001). After controlling for age, gender, race, sleep, healthy eating, smoking and alcohol consumption, the odds of metabolic syndrome in low physically active LEOs was 3.05 (95% CI: 1.62, 5.76; p = 0.001) times that in high physically active LEOs. Conclusion: The strong association of physical activity with risk of metabolic syndrome suggests that this modifiable risk factor can be targeted to prevent metabolic syndrome and its co-morbidities among law enforcement professionals.




School of Medicine



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