|Title||Rural-urban differences in food insecurity and associated cognitive impairment among older adults: findings from a nationally representative survey.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2022|
|Authors||Srivastava, S, Muhammad, T|
|Keywords||Aged, Cognitive Dysfunction, COVID-19, Cross-Sectional Studies, Food insecurity, Food Supply, Humans, Pandemics|
INTRODUCTION: Due to rapid urbanization, Covid-19 pandemic and increasing food prices, a higher rate of food insecurity has been observed in recent years in India. Thus, we aim to study the prevalence of food insecurity among older Indian adults and the association of food insecurity as a modifiable risk factor with late-life cognitive impairment.
METHOD: Data for this study were obtained from the recent release of the Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (2017-18). The total sample size for the study was 31,464 older adults aged 60 years and above. Cognitive functioning was measured through five broad domains (memory, orientation, arithmetic function, executive function, and object naming) adapted from the cognitive module of the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Descriptive statistics along with cross-tabulation were presented in the study. Additionally, multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to fulfil the objectives of the study.
RESULTS: It was found that 7.7% of older adults in rural areas reduced their size of meals due to unavailability (urban, 3.2%), 41.2% of them did not eat enough food of their choice (urban, 38.3%), 6.9% were hungry but did not eat food (urban, 2.6%), 5.0% did not eat for whole day (urban, 2.2%), and 6.9% lost weight due to lack of food in their household (urban, 2.9%). It was found that older adults who did not have enough food of their choice had significantly higher odds [AOR: 1.24; CI: 1.14, 1.35] of suffering from cognitive impairment in reference to their counterparts. Similarly, the older adults who were hungry but did not eat were 30% [AOR: 1.30; CI: 1.02, 1.73] more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment in reference to their counterparts. Interaction model revealed that older adults who had food insecurity in rural areas had higher odds of cognitive impairment than older adults who had food insecurity in urban areas.
CONCLUSION: The findings of the study highlight that the food security status in older adults may bring about greater challenges due to their limited economic resources. Interventions focusing on food security may have unintended positive impacts on late-life mental wellbeing as the older age is associated with higher cognitive deficits.
|PubMed Central ID||PMC8985064|