Food Security and 10-Year Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among U.S. Adults

Kelsey A. Vercammen, Alyssa Moran, Amanda C. McClain, Anne N. Thorndike, Aarohee P. Fulay, Eric B. Rimm

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Introduction: Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of mortality in the U.S. Although the risk of cardiovascular disease can be mitigated substantially by following a healthy lifestyle, adhering to a healthy diet and other healthy behaviors are limited by reduced food security. This study aims to determine the association between food security and cardiovascular disease risk. Methods: Three samples from the 2007–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were examined: (1) 7,340 non-fasting adults (aged 40–79 years); (2) 13,518 non-fasting adults (aged 20–64 years); and (3) 6,494 fasting adults (aged 20–64 years). Food security was assessed using the U.S. Household Food Security Survey Module, with households categorized as having full, marginal, low, or very low food security. Regressions were conducted in 2018 to test the associations between food security status and odds of ≥20% 10-year cardiovascular disease risk among middle-aged to older adults (OR, 95% CI) and cardiovascular disease risk factors among all adults (β 95% CI). Results: Compared with adults with full food security, those with very low food security had higher odds of ≥20% 10-year cardiovascular disease risk (OR=2.36, 95% CI=1.25, 4.46), whereas those with marginal food security had higher systolic blood pressure (β=0.94 mmHg, 95% CI=0.09, 1.80). Compared with adults with full food security, adults with different levels of food security had higher BMIs (marginal: 0.76, 95% CI=0.26, 1.26; low: 0.97, 95% CI=0.34, 1.60; and very low: 1.03, 95% CI=0.44, 1.63) and higher odds of current smoking (marginal: OR=1.43, 95% CI=1.17, 1.75; low: OR=1.47, 95% CI=1.22, 1.77; and very low: OR=1.95, 95% CI=1.60, 2.37). Conclusions: Adults with food insecurity have elevated cardiovascular disease risk factors and excess predicted 10-year cardiovascular disease risk. Substantially improving food security may be an important public health intervention to reduce future cardiovascular disease in the U.S. population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican journal of preventive medicine
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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