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Food Insecurity Tied to Poor Glycemic Control in Diabetes

But living in an area with low physical access to food is not associated with higher HbA1c

FRIDAY, March 23, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Limited food access owing to cost (food insecurity) is associated with increased hemoglobin A1c (HbA1C) among patients with diabetes, according to a study published online March 19 in Diabetes Care.

Seth A. Berkowitz, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation between food insecurity, low physical food access, and glycemic control in a random sample of patients with diabetes in a primary care network. A total of 391 participants were followed for a mean of 37 months.

The researchers found that 20 and 31 percent of respondents reported food insecurity and lived in an area of low physical food access, respectively. Food insecurity was correlated with increased HbA1c (difference, 0.6 percent) in adjusted models, which did not improve over time. Living in an area with low physical food access was not linked to a difference in HbA1c or with change over time.

“Food insecurity is associated with higher HbA1c, but living in an area with low physical food access is not,” the authors write. “Food insecurity screening and interventions may help improve glycemic control for vulnerable patients.”

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