There is considerable interest in the association between food insecurity (FIS) and various cardiovascular risk factors such as dyslipidemia. Although the association between FIS and dyslipidemia has been studied across various methodologies and populations, there is no comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis of these data.
A systematic literature search was conducted. Cross-sectional peer-review studies assessing the association between FIS and dyslipidemia were identified. Data extracted included population characteristics, study sizes, covariates explored, and laboratory assessments of dyslipidemia. Effect sizes were extracted or calculated, then synthesized across studies using a random effect model, and the heterogeneity, publication bias, and subgroup dependence for each meta-analysis were assessed.
For adults, meta-analysis demonstrated no significantly elevated odds for FIS individuals to have a concomitant abnormal lipid measurement. Covariate-unadjusted analysis of standardized mean differences showed no significant differences in lipid measurements between food-insecure and food-secure individuals. In contrast to quantitative laboratory results, food-insecure patients were more likely to self-report previous diagnoses of dyslipidemia.
Although current data do not suggest an association between FIS and dyslipidemia, more longitudinal studies and studies targeting women, children, the elderly, and patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes are needed to further address this issue.