Food Insecurity; Pre-hypertension; Pre-diabetes; women; chronic disease


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Being food insecure is generally defined as the limited or uncertain availability of safe and nutritious foods and is linked to poor nutrition and fully progressed diet-sensitive chronic diseases. However, little is known about the association between food insecurity and pre-clinical disease such as pre-hypertension and pre-diabetes. This study sought to examine the associations between food insecurity and pre-clinical disease among a racially/ethnically diverse population of women.


Using data from 2007-2010 NHANES, we examined associations between food security and pre-clinical disease among women 18-65 years. Chi-square tests were used to examine differences in demographic variables. Bivariate and multivariable generalized logistic regressions were used to generate odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess the magnitude of associations between the presence of pre-clinical disease, sociodemographic characteristics, and food security.


Food insecure women with very low food security (OR=2.69; 95% CI= 1.76-4.13) and low food security (OR=1.90; 95% CI= 1.20-3.02) had increased odds of having self-reported pre-hypertension. Food insecure women with very low food security (OR = 3.34; 95% CI= 1.40- 7.95), and low food security (OR = 2.81; 95% CI= 1.33- 5.93) had increased odds of pre-diabetes and pre-hypertension compared to food secure women.


Food insecurity is associated with having pre-hypertension alone or having a comorbidity of pre-hypertension and pre-diabetes among an adult female population.