Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

“Food Deserts” & Hospitalization in Patients with HF

Am J Cardiol; ePub 2018 Oct 18; Morris, et al

Patients living in a “food desert” (FD) have a greater risk of repeat all-cause and heart failure (HF)-specific hospitalization, a recent study found. FDs are defined as low-income areas with low-access to healthful foods. FD status was assessed in 457 HF patients (mean age 55.9 ± 12.5 years; 50% black) and researchers examined the association of living in FD with risk of repeat hospitalization. They found:

  • Patients living in a FD were younger, more likely to be black, less educated, and less likely to have commercial insurance.
  • Death occurred in 60 (13.1%) individuals and hospitalizations in 262 (57.3%), during a median follow-up of 827 days.
  • The overall frequency of all-cause and HF-specific hospitalizations was higher in those who lived in a FD.
  • After adjustment for covariates, living in a FD was associated with an increased risk of repeat all-cause (HR, 1.39) and HF-specific (HR, 1.30) hospitalizations.


Morris AA, McAllister P, Grant A, et al. Relation of living in a “food desert” to recurrent hospitalizations in patients with heart failure. [Published online ahead of print October 18, 2018]. Am J Cardiol. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.10.004.