THURSDAY, Nov. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Participation in the national Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) reduces the risk for premature mortality among U.S. adults, according to a study published in the November issue of Health Affairs.
Colleen M. Heflin, Ph.D., from the Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University in New York, and colleagues examined the relationship between SNAP participation and premature mortality using data from the National Health Interview Survey (1997 to 2009), which was linked to data from the National Death Index (1999 to 2011).
The researchers found that participation in SNAP led to a population-wide reduction of about 1 to 2 percentage points in premature all-cause mortality. Among adults 40 to 64 years of age, there was also a reduction in specific causes of death associated with deaths of despair (i.e., death from alcoholic liver disease or cirrhosis, poisoning, or suicide).
"By looking at the incidence of premature death, we are able to help fill an important gap in the scientific literature to help policy makers weigh the benefits and costs of food nutrition programs on population health and associated impacts," Heflin said in a statement.