Understanding Stress in Police Officers


Aspiring law enforcement officers with previous trauma may be more vulnerable to stress disorders triggered by events in the line of duty, according to a new study out of New York University.

Researchers examined patterns of stress hormones in nearly 300 police recruits. Those with the highest levels showed the most acute symptoms of post-traumatic stress in later years as a police officer. Knowledge of these stress indicators would help police departments identify officers at risk for stress disorders such as PTSD and help reduce or minimize the long-term effects of trauma exposure.

Results of the study, which was led by Dr. Charles Marmar, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center, will be published in the December 2011 issues of Biological Psychiatry.

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