Abstract [from journal]
Background: Elevated blood phosphorus levels are common and associated with a greater risk of death for patients receiving chronic dialysis. Phosphorus-rich foods are prevalent in the American diet, and low-phosphorus foods, including fruits and vegetables, are often less available in areas with more poverty. The relative contributions of neighborhood food availability and socioeconomic status to phosphorus control in patients receiving dialysis are unknown.
Methods: Using longitudinal data from a national dialysis provider, we constructed hierarchical, linear mixed-effects models to evaluate the relationships between neighborhood food environment or socioeconomic status and serum phosphorus level among patients receiving incident dialysis.
Results: Our cohort included 258,510 patients receiving chronic hemodialysis in 2005-2013. Median age at dialysis initiation was 64 years, 45% were female, 32% were Black, and 15% were Hispanic. Within their residential zip code, patients had a median of 25 "less-healthy" food outlets (interquartile range, 11-40) available to them compared with a median of four "healthy" food outlets (interquartile range, 2-6). Living in a neighborhood with better availability of healthy food was not associated with a lower phosphorus level. Neighborhood income also was not associated with differences in phosphorus. Patient age, race, cause of ESKD, and mean monthly dialysis duration were most closely associated with phosphorus level.
Conclusions: Neither neighborhood availability of healthy food options nor neighborhood income was associated with phosphorus levels in patients receiving chronic dialysis. Modifying factors, such as nutrition literacy, individual-level financial resources, and adherence to diet restrictions and medications, may be more powerful contributors than food environment to elevated phosphorus.