Men generally have a lower life expectancy and higher mortality than women in nearly all age groups. Military police, whose main activity in Brazil is the maintenance of public order and the prevention of crimes and transgressions of the laws, is mostly composed of men; it is also a risky and stressful profession generally related to poor quality of life. Considering that risk factors for disease and death from cardiovascular causes--including the multiple risk factor metabolic syndrome-are mostly related to lifestyle and associated with impaired quality of life, this study aims to provide a theoretical basis for other studies about the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among police officers. In a theoretical study, the authors present an interdisciplinary review based on studies on the health and quality of life of men in general and policemen in their specificity; published studies were selected according to the key words: men, health, quality of life, police, metabolic syndrome; they should also have been published in the past 15 years and available in the Scientific Electronic Library Online--SciELO--and in the Public Medline--PubMed. In conclusion, military policemen have a risky profession, whose conditions may contribute to low quality of life, illness, and mortality from cardiovascular causes; these conditions indicate a need for the characterization of metabolic syndrome in this population as an important element for promotion of health. Studying these conditions may contribute to the adoption of comprehensive and continuing care for military policemen's integral health.
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