Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title
Leung CW, Kullgren JT, Malani PN, Singer DC, Kirch M, Solway E, Wolfson JA. Food insecurity is associated with multiple chronic conditions and physical health status among older US adults. Preventive medicine reports. 2020 Dec 1; 20:101211.
In the past two decades, food insecurity has increased by 45% among older adults but its relationship to health outcomes has not been extensively studied. The objective of this study was to examine the associations between food insecurity, multiple chronic conditions, and self-reported health status among a nationally representative sample of older U.S. adults. Data came from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, a national cross-sectional survey conducted in December 2019 among 2,048 individuals aged 50-80 years. Food insecurity was assessed using the six-item short form of the USDA Food Security Survey Module. The primary outcomes of interest were the number of self-reported chronic conditions and self-reported physical health status. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between food security status and the outcomes of interest, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. The overall prevalence of food insecurity among older adults was 14%. After adjustment for sociodemographic characteristics, food insecurity was positively associated with multiple chronic conditions (RRR 1.60, 95% CI 1.08, 2.36, for 2-3 conditions vs. 0-1; RRR 2.59, 95% CI 1.55, 4.33 for 4-10 chronic conditions vs. 0-1). Food insecurity was also associated with lower self-reported health status (RRR 1.84, 95% CI 1.16, 2.93 for good vs. excellent/ very good health; RRR 5.13, 95% CI 3.08, 8.52 for fair/poor vs. excellent/very good health). Food insecurity is an important social determinant of health among older adults. These findings can contribute to clinical and public health efforts to simultaneously alleviate food insecurity and promote health behaviors among older adults.