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Officers can now test their level of cardiac risk through this affordable program

Officers can now test their level of cardiac risk through this affordable program

Studies show diet and exercise alone may not be enough to prevent heart disease

January 09, 2023 10:16 AM • Police1 BrandFocus Staff

Law enforcement officers choose their career paths for many reasons. Some want to serve their community while others have the desire to continue the legacy of a parent or grandparent. None of them decide to become a cop to endure higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and heart disease compared to civilians.

Yet despite all the good LEOs do, they experience an average life expectancy that’s 22 years shorter than the general public, and those who have a heart attack do so at an average age of 46. Putting themselves in dangerous situations every day doesn’t affect their mortality rates – it’s heart disease that takes the lives of many of these brave individuals.

Most officers take care of themselves as best as they can while dealing with disrupted sleep schedules, high levels of stress and eating on the go, but that isn’t enough when it comes to cardiac problems.

“You cannot correct heart disease completely with diet and exercise changes,” said Dr. Jonathan Sheinberg, a board-certified cardiologist who has also been in law enforcement for over 30 years. “Even if you’re eating well and exercising, that doesn’t mean you’re exempt from the development of heart disease.”

Unfortunately, heart disease is often uncovered too late, as some physicians do not consider someone to be at risk until after they endure cardiac issues. An officer who has not yet experienced problems can’t visit their doctor, request a full cardiac workup and expect it to be covered by insurance, explains Sheinberg.

This missing element of cardiac care led Sheinberg and his team at Sigma Tactical Wellness to develop a program for law enforcement officers to aid in proactively identifying their level of cardiac risk.

Not only does Sigma’s program help to decrease the prevalence of heart disease among law enforcement officers and increase the life expectancy of LEOs, but it can work to bring down departmental healthcare costs.

In a recently published article authored by Sheinberg, he explains that heart attacks are one of the leading medical expenses faced by law enforcement agencies.

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