Associations among food insecurity, dietary sodium and potassium intake levels, and hypertension: a cross-sectional study based on NHANES 2007-2010 data

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Background: Food insecure persons may have diet patterns that include excessive sodium and inadequate potassium. These patterns contribute to greater risks of hypertension. Objective: Evaluate levels of association among food insecurity, dietary sodium and potassium intake levels and hypertension among NHANES 2007-2010 adult participants. Methods: Compared mean usual sodium and potassium intakes as well as mean usual sodium-potassium ratios for food secure and food insecure subpopulations. Developed regression models to predict intake levels and hypertension risk. Results: Mean usual

sodium intake is not significantly different for food secure and food insecure participants. Mean usual potassium intake is significantly lower and mean usual sodium-potassium ratio is significantly higher for the food insecure subgroup. Controlling for age and household size, food insecure persons are 43% more likely to be hypertensive than food secure persons. Conclusion: Public health measures to decrease cardiovascular disease risk should include interventions designed for this vulnerable subpopulation.