Lack of access to healthy food may increase the risk of death from heart failure

Lack of access to healthy food may increase the risk of death from heart failure

Research Highlights:

  • A study that reviewed data from nearly 3,000 US counties found an association between not getting healthy food and increased death rates from heart failure.
  • Living in a community with access to more groceries and local and healthy food resources was significantly associated with lower death rates from heart failure.
  • The researchers found that lower levels of food insecurity by county were associated with lower death rates from heart failure.

Banned Until 4AM ET / 5AM ET Oct 25, 2022

DALLAS, October 25, 2022 — A study reviewing data from nearly 3,000 counties in the United States found that living in a community with easy access to groceries and healthy, affordable foods is associated with lower rates of death from heart failure, according to a report new. Research published today in Rotation: heart failurea journal of the American Heart Association.

Food insecurity occurs when healthy food is not readily available on a daily basis, due to poverty or socio-economic challenges, causing people to go hungry or eat food of low quality, variety or desire. While previous research has confirmed that food insecurity is associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes, little research is available on the local food environment and its possible relationship to death from heart failure. 2019 paper published in Journal of the American Heart Association It found that at the county level in the United States, poverty was the strongest socioeconomic factor associated with heart failure and coronary heart disease, and the association was stronger for heart failure than coronary heart disease.

Study lead author Keerthi T said: “The death rate from heart failure is rising among populations living in socioeconomic deprivation, and most importantly, we believe that nutrition plays a role in deaths from heart failure, and food insecurity may be particularly harmful in this population group. Gundy, MD, is a resident physician at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “We know that there are important relationships between food access, affordability and heart health. This will need to be addressed in order to make changes to the cardiovascular disease burden in populations living in socioeconomic deprivation going forward.”

This study is one of the first analyzes to investigate the relationship between local food environments and mortality from heart failure. heart failure It is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle becomes so weak that it can no longer pump blood as it should. According to Gundy, he and colleagues examined heart failure mortality because it is a consistent measure reported across all US counties, providing the ability to comprehensively assess heart failure outcomes at the population level. In 2019, death from heart failure caused nearly 86,000 deaths in the United States, according to to the Association Heart disease and stroke statistics update for 2022.

The researchers sought to determine whether food environment by county level is associated with mortality rates from heart failure. They reviewed 2018 data from the National Vital Statistics System – a database of all births and deaths in the United States – and examined the potential for associations between heart failure death rates in each county with the 2018 Food Insecurity Index score and Food Environment Index score. .

The researchers combined each county’s Food Insecurity Percentage Score – the percentage of the population that lacks adequate and consistent access to healthy food – and the Food Environment Index score – an index ranked from 0 (worst) to 10 (best) based on a range of measures. Including affordability of nutritious food, food insecurity, grocery store proximity, transportation, and socioeconomic factors—from the USDA’s Food Environment Atlas and Robert Woods Johnson County Health Ratings. The Food Environment Atlas collects statistics on food environment indicators and provides a spatial overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food.

Assessed together, the FIVII and Food Environment Index provide a clear picture of the population’s food environment.

Of the 2,956 counties in the study, the analysis found:

  • The average food insecurity rate was 13% for all counties, and the mean Food Environment Index score was 7.8.
  • Counties with a percentage of food insecurity above the national average of 13.7% had a higher CHF than counties with a below average food insecurity (30.7 vs 26.7 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively) ).
  • After adjusting for a range of socioeconomic and health factors—including poverty rate, income inequality, rural versus urban locations, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and smoking—a 1% decrease in the proportion of food insecurity by county was associated with a 1.3% decrease in undersufficiency mortality. the heart. Similarly, a one-unit increase in the Food Environment Index score by county was associated with a 3.6% decrease in heart failure mortality.
  • At the county level, decreases in the food environment index and increases in food insecurity were found to have a stronger association with mortality from heart failure than with mortality for other subtypes of cardiovascular disease, as well as with all. The cause of death rate.
  • The strongest association between food environment and heart failure mortality was found in the counties with the highest income inequality and the highest poverty rate.

The results of this study are unfortunate but not surprising. These findings are consistent with previous studies that have shown an association of cardiovascular disease and food insecurity,” said Ann Thorndike, MD, MPH, FAHA, who was not involved in this study, director of the Cardiovascular Lifestyle Program at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston., Past Chair of the AARP Nutrition Committee and Member of the AARP Lifestyle Council “This study provides a robust assessment of the dietary environment by US counties and shows that characteristics of the dietary environment are closely associated with death from heart failure.”

One limitation of the study is that it only captures data from one year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore, may have limited generalizability at this time. More studies are needed to examine these associations over a longer period of time.

The study also revealed that counties with higher death rates from heart failure also had fewer food stores, lower access to healthy foods for adults over 65 and a lower participation rate in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP is the U.S. government program that supplements food budgets to help reduce food insecurity for families and individuals with an annual income level at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty standards (for a family of three, those with an annual income of less than $29,940). American (pop, explode).

According to the association Life Basics 8Dietary intake, which is influenced by food insecurity, is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease risk, and the low prevalence of the ideal diet leads to the overall low prevalence of optimal cardiovascular health in the United States. Better cardiovascular health helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other major health problems.

“Food insecurity and a lack of healthy food are major contributors to poor diet quality and what is referred to as ‘food insecurity,’” Thorndike said. “The American Heart Association and others now acknowledge that to help Americans achieve optimal cardiovascular health, Especially the ideal diet, we need to expand our efforts to address the psychosocial determinants of our health behaviors and well-being. These efforts must include policies, health care, and community interventions that improve access to nutritious food for people at every stage of life.”

Co-authors are John Larson, MD; Aaron Sifuentes, MD; Neil b. Alexander, MD, MA; Matthew C. Konerman, MD; Callie S. Thomas, Ph.D., MA; and Scott L. Hamill, MD authors disclosures are included in the manuscript.

The authors did not mention any funding sources for this study.

Statements and conclusions of studies published in the scientific journals of the American Heart Association are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The Society makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; Foundations and corporations (including drug companies, device manufacturers, and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from affecting scientific content. Revenue from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers, and the association’s general financial information is available over here.

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