You are the sociologist for a medical investigation team.  The purpose of this team is to gather information on patients who have recently died prematurely at Indianapolis-area hospitals.  You have been on the team for about three months now, and the other members of the team, a pathologist, a forensic scientist, and a criminologist, are really beginning to respect and rely on your contributions to the team. This week the team is investigating the death of a high-powered sales executive, Mr. Dunn, from an apparent heart attack at his home in an exclusive area of Indianapolis.  He was 45 years old, and he was known to have diabetes.  This investigation is being made at the request of his parents upon their return to Indianapolis from a Heart Association Walkathon in Hawaii.  So far, you have uncovered several significant findings that you will use to prepare an epidemiological profile of the deceased. Mr. Dunn was recruited eight years ago by the Oxford Company, a major pharmaceutical manufacturer, and offered significant financial incentives to join them.  Company records show that he has been their top salesperson for the last six years.  Oxford lured Mr. Dunn away from Meyer and Meyer, Inc., which is also in the pharmaceutical field.  Mr. Dunn worked for them for more than ten years and was one of their top salespersons as well.  Previous to these two jobs, Mr. Dunn spent a great deal of time researching and becoming familiar with the pharmaceutical field and making contacts in the industry while making sales calls for a small assortment of other pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Dunn’s salary was based primarily on commissions.  He was on the road almost 40 weeks out of the year and was living out of a suitcase most of the time.  When he wasn’t meeting with clients, he was typing up reports and making sales projections, usually followed by visits to the hotel restaurant and bar.  He did try to stay in contact with his family and a few friends in Indianapolis, usually calling them on his cell phone while waiting in traffic. The team leader has assigned you the task of developing an epidemiological profile of the executive, i.e., listing the possible contributing factors to his death based upon the facts outlined in this scenario.  Develop a profile with at least five (5) likely characteristics of the decedent. Purchase the answer to view it


The purpose of this assignment is to develop an epidemiological profile of Mr. Dunn, a high-powered sales executive who recently died from an apparent heart attack. By examining various factors related to his lifestyle, medical history, and work environment, we can identify potential contributing factors to his premature death. This profile will help the medical investigation team in understanding the causes behind his death and provide insights for future prevention strategies.

Characteristics of the Decedent

1. Age and Medical History: Mr. Dunn was 45 years old at the time of his death and had a pre-existing medical condition, namely diabetes. Age is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks, with the risk increasing as individuals grow older. As a result, Mr. Dunn’s age and diabetes diagnosis could have played a role in his premature death.

2. Occupational Stress: Mr. Dunn held high-pressure sales positions in the pharmaceutical industry for several years. He was known to be an exceptional salesperson, constantly on the road, working long hours, and living out of a suitcase for approximately 40 weeks a year. Previous research has shown a potential link between occupational stress and increased cardiovascular risk. The demanding nature of Mr. Dunn’s job and the associated lifestyle factors may have contributed to his heart attack.

3. Sedentary Lifestyle: Mr. Dunn’s job involved extensive travel, which likely limited his opportunities for physical activity. Prolonged periods of sitting and lack of exercise have been identified as independent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The sedentary nature of Mr. Dunn’s professional life may have exacerbated his underlying health conditions and increased the likelihood of a heart attack.

4. Unhealthy Eating Habits: Given his constant travel and hotel stays, it is plausible to assume that Mr. Dunn had limited control over his dietary choices. He often dined in hotel restaurants, where unhealthy food options are frequently available. Poor dietary habits, characterized by a high consumption of processed foods, saturated fats, and added sugars, can contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Mr. Dunn’s unhealthy eating habits may have played a role in the progression of his underlying health condition.

5. Social Isolation and Lack of Support: Mr. Dunn’s job required him to spend a significant amount of time away from his family and friends in Indianapolis. The isolation and lack of social support are known risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Social relationships and support networks have been found to have a protective effect on cardiovascular health. The absence of these factors in Mr. Dunn’s life may have contributed to his vulnerability and increased the likelihood of a heart attack.


Based on the available information, the epidemiological profile of Mr. Dunn suggests several potential contributing factors to his premature death from a heart attack. These include his age and pre-existing medical condition, the occupational stress associated with his high-pressure sales career, a sedentary lifestyle due to extensive travel, unhealthy eating habits while on the road, and social isolation/lack of support. These factors collectively highlight the importance of addressing lifestyle-related risk factors and promoting health behaviors in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases among individuals in high-stress occupations.