How Common is Food Insecurity Among Medicare Enrollees? 

JAMA Internal Medicine


Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Jeanne M. Madden, Ph.D., email Shannon Nargi at The full study is linked to this news release.

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Bottom Line: Nearly 1 in 10 Medicare enrollees age 65 and over and 4 in 10 enrollees younger than 65 with long-term disabilities experience food insecurity. This study provides national estimates of how common it is for Medicare enrollees to be unable to get the food they need because they lack money. Study authors used data from a 2016 survey of Medicare beneficiaries with six questions about food insecurity. The nearly 9,700 people interviewed represented 50.7 million Medicare enrollees living in community settings. Analysis of risk factors found that lower incomes, reporting four or more chronic condition diagnoses, and having symptoms of depression or anxiety were each independently associated with food insecurity in both age groups. A limitation of this observational study is that it cannot determine causality.

Authors: Jeanne M. Madden, Ph.D., of Northeastern University, Boston, and coauthors



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