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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Touro California: Cardiovascular Disease and Access to Nutritious Food for Safety Net Patients

Dr. Miranda Weinstraub’s article on “Cardiovascular Disease and Access to Nutritious Food for Safety Net Patients” was accepted in Obesity Medicine.

Dr. Miranda Weintraub
[Photo: Dr. Miranda Weinstraub]

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the second leading cause of death in Alameda County, CA. Poor quality diet has been identified as an important contributor.

This study assessed the association between the neighborhood modified retail food environment index (mRFEI), an indicator of patients’ access to nutritious foods,  and CVD diagnosis in Alameda County using data of patients seen at Highland Hospital between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014, (n=39,533). Patient addresses were linked to neighborhood-level data (e.g. education level, median household income) and mRFEI. CVD diagnosis was based on ICD-9 principal diagnosis codes given on initial hospital visit.

The results showed logistic regressions modeled the CVD-mRFEI association, considering covariates. CVD-diagnosed patients were more likely to reside in neighborhoods with a lower ratio of healthy to unhealthy food options (adjusted OR=0.97; 95% CI: 0.96 – 0.99).

The  findings suggest nutritious food availability may play a role in the distribution of CVD.

The study has been published in Obesity Medicine. Co-authors of the study include Ms. Elizabeth A. Kelley, Dr. Irene H. Yen, and Mr. Matthew Bozdech.