Food Insecurity, CKD, and Subsequent ESRD in US Adults

Tanushree Banerjee, Deidra C. Crews, Donald E. Wesson, Sai Dharmarajan, Rajiv Saran, Nilka Ríos Burrows, Sharon Saydah, Neil R. Powe, Chi yuan Hsu, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Charles McCulloch, Vanessa Grubbs, Carmen Peralta, Michael Shlipak, Anna Rubinsky, Raymond Hsu, Josef Coresh, Delphine Tuot, Diane Steffick, Brenda GillespieWilliam Herman, Friedrich Port, Bruce Robinson, Vahakn Shahinian, Jerry Yee, Eric Young, William McClellan, Ann O'Hare, Melissa Fava, Anca Tilea, Desmond Williams, Mark Eberhardt, Nicole Flowers, Linda Geiss, Regina Jordan, Juanita Mondesire, Bernice Moore, Gary Myers, Meda Pavkov, Deborah Rolka, Anton Schoolwerth, Rodolfo Valdez, Larry Waller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Poor access to food among low-income adults has been recognized as a risk factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD), but there are no data for the impact of food insecurity on progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). We hypothesized that food insecurity would be independently associated with risk for ESRD among persons with and without earlier stages of CKD. Study Design Longitudinal cohort study. Setting & Participants 2,320 adults (aged ≥ 20 years) with CKD and 10,448 adults with no CKD enrolled in NHANES III (1988-1994) with household income ≤ 400% of the federal poverty level linked to the Medicare ESRD Registry for a median follow-up of 12 years. Predictor Food insecurity, defined as an affirmative response to the food-insecurity screening question. Outcome Development of ESRD. Measurements Demographics, income, diabetes, hypertension, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and albuminuria. Dietary acid load was estimated from 24-hour dietary recall. We used a Fine-Gray competing-risk model to estimate the relative hazard (RH) for ESRD associated with food insecurity after adjusting for covariates. Results 4.5% of adults with CKD were food insecure. Food-insecure individuals were more likely to be younger and have diabetes (29.9%), hypertension (73.9%), or albuminuria (90.4%) as compared with their counterparts (P < 0.05). Median dietary acid load in the food-secure versus food-insecure group was 51.2 mEq/d versus 55.6 mEq/d, respectively (P = 0.05). Food-insecure adults were more likely to develop ESRD (RH, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.08-3.10) compared with food-secure adults after adjustment for demographics, income, diabetes, hypertension, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and albuminuria. In the non-CKD group, 5.7% were food insecure. We did not find a significant association between food insecurity and ESRD (RH, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.40-1.49). Limitations Use of single 24-hour diet recall; lack of laboratory follow-up data and measure of changes in food insecurity over time; follow-up of cohort ended 10 years ago. Conclusions Among adults with CKD, food insecurity was independently associated with a higher likelihood of developing ESRD. Innovative approaches to address food insecurity should be tested for their impact on CKD outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Food insecurity
  • chronic kidney disease (CKD)
  • dietary acid load (DAL)
  • dietary patterns
  • disease trajectory
  • end-stage renal disease (ESRD)
  • food deserts
  • health disparities
  • incident ESRD
  • kidney disease progression
  • modifiable risk factor
  • nutrient intake
  • poverty
  • socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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