Food Insecurity in the Elective Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Colorectal Surgical Population: Prevalence and Implications for Surgical Outcomes.
The American surgeon
BACKGROUND: Food insecurity is defined as having limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate food. Approximately 10.5% of U.S. households are food-insecure. Our study aimed to determine the prevalence and postoperative implications of food insecurity in a diverse group of colorectal surgery patients admitted to a hospital in an area with a higher-than-average median income.
METHODS: The 6-question Household Food Security Survey was added to the colorectal surgery ERAS program preoperative paperwork. Patient demographics, comorbidities, operative parameters, length of stay, and postoperative outcomes were collected by review of electronic medical records.
RESULTS: A total of 294 ERAS patients (88.8%) completed the survey over an 11-month period. Thirty-three patients (11.2%) were identified as food-insecure. Food-insecure patients were more likely to be non-white (
DISCUSSION: Food insecurity was found to occur in patients that lived in communities deemed both affluent and distressed. These patients had longer hospital stays and higher mortality. A food insecurity questionnaire can easily identify patients at risk. Further investigations to mitigate these complications are warranted.
Tolkacz M, Reilly D, Studzinski DM, Callahan RE, DeMare A, Kawak S, et al [Ziegler M] Food insecurity in the elective enhanced recovery after surgery colorectal surgical population: prevalence and implications for surgical outcomes. Am Surg. 2023 Sep 13:31348231198122. doi: 10.1177/00031348231198122. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37703552.