Food insecurity + diabetes tied to more health-related missed workdays

Joshua M. Weinstein, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues assessed the associations between food insecurity, health-related missed workdays, and overnight hospitalizations among adult patients with diabetes. Analysis included pooled data from 13,116 U.S. adults (ages 18 to 65 years) with diabetes who participated in the National Health Interview Survey (2011 to 2018).

The researchers found that experiencing food insecurity was associated with increased odds of reporting any health-related missed workdays and increased odds of overnight hospitalization within the prior 12 months, compared to those who were food secure. Those with food insecurity experienced more than twice the rate of health-related missed workdays, but the association between food insecurity and the number of nights spent hospitalized was not significant.

“These findings underscore the broad impacts of food insecurity on health and wellness for working-age adults with diabetes,” the authors write. “When weighing the costs and benefits of proposed interventions to address food insecurity, policy makers should consider potential benefits related to productivity in addition to implications for health care use.”