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Health of the Food Environment Is Associated With Heart Failure Mortality in the United States

Circ Heart Fail. 2022 Oct 25:e009651. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.122.009651. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Food environment factors contribute to cardiovascular disease, but their effect on population-level heart failure (HF) mortality is unclear.

METHODS: We utilized the National Vital Statistics System and USDA Food Environment Atlas to collect HF mortality rates (MR) and 2 county food environment indices: (1) food insecurity percentage (FI%) and (2) food environment index (FEI), a scaled index (0-10, 10 best) incorporating FI% and access to healthy food. We used linear regression to estimate the association between food environment and HF MR RESULTS: Mean county FI% and FEI were 13% and 7.8 in 2956 included counties. Counties with FI% above the national median had significantly higher HF MR (30.7 versus 26.7 per 100 000; P<0.001) compared with FI% below the national median. Counties with HF MR above the national median had higher FI%, lower FEI, lower density of grocery stores, poorer access to stores among older adults, and lower Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation rate (P<0.001 for all). Lower county FI% (β=-1.3% per 1% decrease) and higher county FEI (β=-3.6% per 1-unit increase in FEI) were significantly associated with lower HF MR after adjustment for county demographic, socioeconomic, and health factors. This association was stronger for HF MR compared with non-HF cardiovascular disease MR and all-cause MR The relationship between food environment and HF MR was stronger in counties with the highest income inequity and poverty rate.

CONCLUSIONS: Healthier food environment is significantly associated with lower HF mortality at the county level. This reinforces the role of food security on cardiovascular outcomes.

PMID:36281754 | DOI:10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.122.009651

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