Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between self-reported food security and kidney stone formation. Methods: Data were collected from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a database representative of the United States population. Food security status was assessed using the US Household Food Security Survey Module: Six-Item Short Form. Characteristics of patients were compared using the Chi-square test and the student t-test. Multivariate logistic regression was performed using a multi-model approach. Results: We analyzed 6,800 NHANES survey respondents. 37.2% of respondents were categorized as having “low food security” (scores 2–4) and 24.0% having “very low food security” (scores 5–6). 8.4% of respondents had a history of kidney stones. We found that people with very low food security had a 42% increased likelihood of developing kidney stones compared to those with high or marginal food security, after controlling for race, age, and comorbidities (OR 1.42; 95% CI 1.01–1.99). Between the different food security groups, no significant differences were observed in age, race/ethnicity, body mass index, gout history, osteoporosis history, or coronary artery disease history. Lower food security was associated with slightly younger age (< 1 year difference, p = 0.001), higher poverty-income ratio (p = 0.001), and many comorbidities, including kidney stones (p = 0.007). Conclusion: Our study provides evidence for an association between food access and the risk of kidney stone disease. Given these findings, food insecurity should be investigated as a modifiable risk factor for the development of kidney stone disease.
- Food access
- Food insecurity
- Health disparities
- Social determinants of health
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