Home » Health »

Even poor families who eat clean have more heart trouble

 
  • A study from Emory University has found that low-income people have higher chances of developing cardiovascular disease even if they eat clean
  • Researchers determined that access to healthy food does not influence the health of low-income individuals
  • However, people in low-income communities with relatively high incomes are less likely to have heart trouble
  • The study concluded that income – more so than diet – influences a person’s heart health

Maggie O’Neill For Dailymail.com

32

View
comments

Fatal heart conditions plague poor people more than anyone else even if they have access to nutritious foods, a study has revealed.

The new report, from Emory University School of Medicine, found that people who live in low-income communities are more likely to experience cardiovascular disease whether or not they live in a food desert.

But it also found that people with high incomes living in low-income areas are not as likely to develop cardiovascular disease as their neighbors.

Researchers have concluded income – not access to nutritious foods – contributes to a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, bringing into question the effectiveness of fresh food markets in impoverished communities.

And experts are urging doctors to remember that a low-income person’s risk of heart trouble is greater even if they maintain a healthy diet.

A new study from Emory University School of Medicine has found that even if a low-income person has access to healthy food, they still have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (file photo)

A new study from Emory University School of Medicine has found that even if a low-income person has access to healthy food, they still have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (file photo)

A new study from Emory University School of Medicine has found that even if a low-income person has access to healthy food, they still have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (file photo)

Emory University researchers analyzed data from 1,421 subjects for the study. The average age of the participants was a little over 49 years old, and 38.5 percent of them were male. Additionally, 36.6 percent were black.

The participants were checked for early signs of cardiovascular disease, including inflammation and stiffness of the arteries.

The study’s researchers found that people living in food deserts smoked more, had high blood pressure more often and had higher BMIs.

Additionally, their arteries were stiffer than those of people living outside of food deserts.

The USDA has said that ‘food deserts’ are defined as areas where residents generally do not have access to healthy food or high incomes.

Low access to healthy food is defined differently for people in rural and urban areas. In sparsely populated places, this means that a significant number of people do not live within 10 miles of a supermarket, supercenter or large grocery store.

In urban areas, ‘low access’ means people live more than a mile away from any of those resources.

The USDA estimates 23.5 million people live in food deserts across the country.

The team from Emory University wanted to figure out if having access to healthy food changes a low-income community member’s chances of developing cardiovascular disease, and they determined it did not.

There were no significant differences between people living in low-income areas in food deserts and people living in low-income areas that had access to healthy food.

HOW EDUCATION CAN LEAD TO BETTER HEART HEALTH FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES 

A 2013 USDA report studied the impact of educating low-income children on how to make healthy food choices.

It found that children exposed to food education programs ate a quarter- to a third-cup more vegetables and fruits at home.

They were also more likely to choose low-fat or fat-free milk.

A third of children aged six to 19 in the US are obese or overweight.

The study explained environmental hurdles keeping economically disadvantaged people from fresh food, such as safety concerns, high prices, food availability and store upkeep.

But researchers also found that a person with a high individual income living in a low-income area is less likely than their neighbors to develop cardiovascular illnesses.

Therefore, a person’s income was more influential in lowering their chances of having heart trouble than their level of access to healthy foods.

Study author Professor Arshed Quyyumi said: ‘This study shows that low personal income and low socioeconomic status matter when it comes to cardiovascular disease risk.’

And he urged clinicians to take this into consideration when evaluating patients, saying: ‘Physicians need to be aware that these social determinants increase disease risk and that perhaps more attention needs to be paid to patients who fall into this category.’

According to the study’s researchers, one of the study’s limitations is that it only measured risk factors for cardiovascular disease and early blood vessel disease.

In order to confirm that a person’s low-income status contributes to their higher risk of heart disease, a study with a larger number of participants and a much longer follow-up needs to be conducted, researchers said. 

The study’s findings were published in an American Heart Association journal called Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Comments 32

Share what you think

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Close

Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.

 

Close

Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual

We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.

You can choose on each post whether you would like it to be posted to Facebook. Your details from Facebook will be used to provide you with tailored content, marketing and ads in line with our Privacy Policy.

 

Related Posts

  • No Related Posts