Chronic disease burden predicts food insecurity among older adults.

TitleChronic disease burden predicts food insecurity among older adults.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsJih, J, Stijacic-Cenzer, I, Seligman, HK, W Boscardin, J, Nguyen, TT, Ritchie, CS
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
ISSN Number1475-2727
KeywordsChronic conditions, Comorbidity, Food insecurity

OBJECTIVE: Increased out-of-pocket health-care expenditures may exert budget pressure on low-income households that leads to food insecurity. The objective of the present study was to examine whether older adults with higher chronic disease burden are at increased risk of food insecurity.

DESIGN: Secondary analysis of the 2013 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) Health Care and Nutrition Study (HCNS) linked to the 2012 nationally representative HRS.



p>SUBJECTS: Respondents of the 2013 HRS HCNS with household incomes <300 % of the federal poverty line (n 3552). Chronic disease burden was categorized by number of concurrent chronic conditions (0-1, 2-4, ≥5 conditions), with multiple chronic conditions (MCC) defined as ≥2 conditions.

RESULTS: The prevalence of food insecurity was 27·8 %. Compared with those having 0-1 conditions, respondents with MCC were significantly more likely to report food insecurity, with the adjusted odds ratio for those with 2-4 conditions being 2·12 (95 % CI 1·45, 3·09) and for those with ≥5 conditions being 3·64 (95 % CI 2·47, 5·37).

CONCLUSIONS: A heavy chronic disease burden likely exerts substantial pressure on the household budgets of older adults, creating an increased risk for food insecurity. Given the high prevalence of food insecurity among older adults, screening those with MCC for food insecurity in the clinical setting may be warranted in order to refer to community food resources.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalPublic Health Nutr
Citation Key9512
PubMed ID29388533
PubMed Central IDPMC6204426
Grant ListR03 AG050880 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG015272 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 DK092924 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
L60 MD009289 / MD / NIMHD NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG044281 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States