Association of County-Level Food Deserts and Food Swamps with Hepatopancreatobiliary Cancer Outcomes

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan


Background: Malnutrition has been linked to the development of hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) cancer. We sought to examine the association between food swamps and food deserts on surgical outcomes of patients with HPB cancer.
Methods: Patients who underwent surgery for HPB cancer between 2014 and 2020 were identified from the Medicare Standard Analytic Files. Patient-level data were linked to the United States Department of Agriculture data on food swamps and deserts. Multivariable regression was performed to examine the association between the food environment and outcomes.
Results: Among 53,426 patients, patients from the worse food environment were more likely to be Black, have a higher Charlson Comorbidity Index, and reside in areas with high social vulnerability. Following surgery, the overall incidence of textbook outcome (TO) was 41.6% (n = 22,220). Patients residing in the worse food environments less often achieved a TO versus individuals residing in the healthiest food environments (food swamp: 39.4% vs. 43.9%; food desert: 38.5% vs 42.2%; p < 0.05). On multivariable analysis, individuals residing in the poorest food environments were associated with lower odds of achieving TO compared with individuals living in healthiest food environments (food swamp: OR 0.83, 95%CI 0.75-0.92, food desert: OR 0.86, 95%CI 0.76-0.97; both p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The surrounding food environment of patients may serve as a modifiable socio-demographic risk factor that contributes to disparities in surgical outcomes of HPB cancer.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery