Food Insecurity, CKD, and Subsequent ESRD in US Adults

Published:February 15, 2017DOI:


      Poor access to food among low-income adults has been recognized as a risk factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD), but there are no data for the impact of food insecurity on progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). We hypothesized that food insecurity would be independently associated with risk for ESRD among persons with and without earlier stages of CKD.

      Study Design

      Longitudinal cohort study.

      Setting & Participants

      2,320 adults (aged ≥ 20 years) with CKD and 10,448 adults with no CKD enrolled in NHANES III (1988-1994) with household income ≤ 400% of the federal poverty level linked to the Medicare ESRD Registry for a median follow-up of 12 years.


      Food insecurity, defined as an affirmative response to the food-insecurity screening question.


      Development of ESRD.


      Demographics, income, diabetes, hypertension, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and albuminuria. Dietary acid load was estimated from 24-hour dietary recall. We used a Fine-Gray competing-risk model to estimate the relative hazard (RH) for ESRD associated with food insecurity after adjusting for covariates.


      4.5% of adults with CKD were food insecure. Food-insecure individuals were more likely to be younger and have diabetes (29.9%), hypertension (73.9%), or albuminuria (90.4%) as compared with their counterparts (P < 0.05). Median dietary acid load in the food-secure versus food-insecure group was 51.2 mEq/d versus 55.6 mEq/d, respectively (P = 0.05). Food-insecure adults were more likely to develop ESRD (RH, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.08-3.10) compared with food-secure adults after adjustment for demographics, income, diabetes, hypertension, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and albuminuria. In the non-CKD group, 5.7% were food insecure. We did not find a significant association between food insecurity and ESRD (RH, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.40-1.49).


      Use of single 24-hour diet recall; lack of laboratory follow-up data and measure of changes in food insecurity over time; follow-up of cohort ended 10 years ago.


      Among adults with CKD, food insecurity was independently associated with a higher likelihood of developing ESRD. Innovative approaches to address food insecurity should be tested for their impact on CKD outcomes.

      Index Words

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      Linked Article

      • Erratum Regarding “Food Insecurity, CKD, and Subsequent ESRD in US Adults” (Am J Kidney Dis. 2017;70[1]:38-47)
        American Journal of Kidney DiseasesVol. 70Issue 5
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          In the Original Investigation entitled “Food Insecurity, CKD, and Subsequent ESRD in US Adults” that appeared in the July 2017 issue of AJKD (Banerjee et al, volume 70, issue 1, pages 38-47), there was error in the listing of individuals in the first paragraph of the Acknowledgements. The correct text of this paragraph follows: The CDC CKD Surveillance Team consists of group members led by University of California, San Francisco (Neil Powe [Principal Investigator], Tanushree Banerjee, Delphine Tuot, Chi-yuan Hsu, Charles McCulloch, Deidra Crews, Raymond Hsu, Vanessa Grubbs, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Michael Shlipak, Carmen Peralta, Anna Rubinsky, Josef Coresh, Adrienne Strait, Joanne Rodrigue); University of Michigan (Rajiv Saran [Principal Investigator], Vahakn Shahinian, Brenda Gillespie, Hal Morgenstern, Michael Heung, William Herman, William McClellan, Jennifer Bragg-Gresham, Diane Steffick, Anca Tilea, Maggie Yin, Ian Robinson, Kara Zivin, Vivian Kurtz, April Wyncott); and the CDC (Nilka Ríos Burrows [Technical Advisor], Mark Eberhardt, Linda Geiss, Juanita Mondesire, Bernice Moore, Priti Patel, Meda Pavkov, Deborah Rolka, Sharon Saydah, Sundar Shrestha, Larry Waller).
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