Background: Diabetes mellitus and hypertension (HT) are common diseases in adulthood, pre-disposing to many cardiovascular complications, posing a major public health challenge. Few studies have reported increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors and type 2 diabetes in policemen. Hence, this study aims to assess the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, HT, smoking, alcohol intake, and obesity among policemen. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2008-2009 among 256 policemen in Puducherry, South India. Policemen were selected by simple random sampling. Socio-demographic details and some of the risk factors such as alcohol intake and smoking history were obtained using a pretested, structured questionnaire. Presence of stress was measured using the professional life stress score questionnaire. Blood pressure, waist circumference, and hip circumference were measured by standard methods. Fasting blood sugar was estimated using a glucometer. Serum cholesterol was also measured. Lipid profile was measured for a randomly chosen subgroup of 50 participants. Results: Mean age of study participants was 40.9 years (SD ± 10.9). Out of the study subjects, 23% (n = 60) were known diabetic and 16.8% (n = 43) were known hypertensive. Prevalence of diabetes among study participants was 33.6% (CI: 27.8%-39.6%). Prevalence of HT among study participants was 30.5% (CI: 24.9%-36.5%). Seventy percent (n = 178) had at least moderate range of stress in their life related to their profession and 4% (n = 11) had stress as a “problem” in their life. Conclusions: Burden of cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes and HT was high among police personnel of Puducherry.
Key words: Cardiovascular risk factors, Diabetes, Hypertension, Policemen.