Food Insecurity Among Individuals With Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiometabolic Risk Factors Across Race and Ethnicity in 1999-2018

JAMA Cardiol. 2022 Dec 1;7(12):1218-1226. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2022.3729.


Importance: Food insecurity is a risk factor for poor cardiovascular outcomes that occur disproportionately among individuals from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds who have cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cardiometabolic risk factors.

Objective: To assess long-term prevalence of food insecurity among those with CVD or cardiometabolic risk factors in the United States.

Design, setting, and participants: This serial cross-sectional study includes data for noninstitutionalized US adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-2018).

Main outcomes and measures: Food insecurity was assessed using the US Department of Agriculture Adult Food Security Survey Module. We estimated prevalence of food insecurity among adults with prior CVD (myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure) and cardiometabolic risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidemia) across racial and ethnic groups and prevalence of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation among those reporting food insecurity.

Results: In the analytic sample of 57 517 adults, 6770 individuals (11.8%) reported food insecurity, which was more prevalent among Hispanic (1938 [24.0%]) and non-Hispanic Black (1202 [18.2%]) than non-Hispanic Asian (100 [8.0%]) and non-Hispanic White adults (3221 [8.5%]). Among 57 517 adults, 4527 (7.9%) had any CVD, 2933 (5.1%) coronary artery disease, 1536 (2.7%) stroke, 1363 (2.4%) heart failure, 28 528 (49.6%) hypertension, 17 979 (33.2%) obesity, 6418 (11.2%) diabetes, and 19 178 (30.8%) dyslipidemia. All CVD and cardiometabolic diseases except coronary artery disease were more prevalent among those with food insecurity. Food insecurity increased over time and was more frequent for patients with CVD but not for cardiometabolic risk factors. From 2011 to 2018, non-Hispanic Black adults with CVD had a decrease in food insecurity prevalence (36.6%; 95% CI, 23.9%-49.4%, to 25.4%; 95% CI, 21.4%-29.3%; P = .04 for trend), whereas adults of other races and ethnicities or data based on cardiometabolic risk factors had no significant change. For individuals who had food insecurity, SNAP participation was higher among those with CVD vs without CVD (54.2%; 95% CI, 46.6%-61.8%, vs 44.3%; 95% CI, 40.5%-48.1%; P = .01).

Conclusions and relevance: The prevalence of food insecurity among patients with CVD increased over time. Although members of non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic groups had the highest food insecurity, non-Hispanic Black individuals with CVD were the only group to have a significant decrease in food insecurity since 2011. Increased recognition of food insecurity and resources for treating it are needed to address the negative consequences of food insecurity on CVD outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiometabolic Risk Factors
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / complications
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / epidemiology
  • Ethnicity
  • Food Insecurity
  • Heart Failure* / complications
  • Humans
  • Hypertension* / complications
  • Hypertension* / epidemiology
  • Minority Groups
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Stroke* / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology