Food Access, Chronic Kidney Disease, and Hypertension in the U.S.

Jonathan J. Suarez, Tamara Isakova, Cheryl A.M. Anderson, L. Ebony Boulware, Myles Wolf, Julia J. Scialla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Introduction Greater distance to full-service supermarkets and low income may impair access to healthy diets and contribute to chronic kidney disease (CKD) and hypertension. The study aim was to determine relationships among residence in a "food desert," low income, CKD, and blood pressure. Methods Adults in the 2003-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N=22,173) were linked to food desert data ( by Census Tracts. Food deserts have low median income and are further from a supermarket or large grocery store (>1 mile in urban areas, >10 miles in rural areas). Weighted regression was used to determine the association of residence in a food desert and family income with dietary intake; systolic blood pressure (SBP); and odds of CKD. Data analysis was performed in 2014-2015. Results Compared with those not in food deserts, participants residing in food deserts had lower levels of serum carotenoids (p<0.01), a biomarker of fruit and vegetable intake, and higher SBP (1.53 mmHg higher, 95% CI=0.41, 2.66) after adjustment for demographics and income. Residence in a food desert was not associated with odds of CKD (OR=1.20, 95% CI=0.96, 1.49). Lower, versus higher, income was associated with lower serum carotenoids (p<0.01) and higher SBP (2.00 mmHg higher for income-poverty ratio ≤1 vs >3, 95% CI=1.12, 2.89), but also greater odds of CKD (OR=1.76 for income-poverty ratio ≤1 vs >3, 95% CI=1.48, 2.10). Conclusions Limited access to healthy food due to geographic or financial barriers could be targeted for prevention of CKD and hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)912-920
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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