Federal Housing Assistance and Chronic Disease Among US Adults, 2005–2018
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Federal Housing Assistance and Chronic Disease Among US Adults, 2005–2018

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Housing insecurity is associated with poor health outcomes. Characterization of chronic disease outcomes among adults with and without housing assistance would enable housing programs to better understand their population’s health care needs.


    We used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2005 through 2018 linked to US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administrative records to estimate the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension and to assess the independent associations between housing assistance and chronic conditions among adults receiving HUD assistance and HUD-assistance–eligible adults not receiving HUD assistance at the time of their NHANES examination. We estimated propensity scores to adjust for potential confounders among linkage-eligible adults who had an income-to-poverty ratio less than 2 and were not receiving HUD assistance. Sensitivity analysis used 2013–2018 NHANES cycles to account for disability status.


    Adults not receiving HUD assistance had a significantly lower adjusted prevalence of obesity (42.1%; 95% CI, 40.4%–43.8%) compared with adults receiving HUD assistance (47.5%; 95% CI, 44.8%–50.3%), but we found no differences for diabetes and hypertension. We found significant associations between housing assistance and obesity (adjusted odds ratio = 1.29; 95% CI, 1.12–1.47), but these were not significant in the sensitivity analysis with and without controlling for disability status. We found no significant associations between housing assistance and diabetes or hypertension.


    Based on data from a cross-sectional survey, we observed a higher prevalence of obesity among adults with HUD assistance compared with HUD-assistance–eligible adults without HUD assistance. Results from this study can help inform research on understanding the prevalence of chronic disease among adults with HUD assistance.

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