Volume 56 | Number 5 | October 2021

Abstract List

Layla G. Booshehri PhD


To examine the health effects of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and the differential impact of SNAP across race/ethnicity among older adults.

Data Source/Study Setting

2008‐2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a nationally representative population‐based complex sample survey.

Study Design

A difference‐in‐regression‐discontinuity (DRD) design is used to assess the impacts of SNAP on diet‐related disease morbidity. The primary outcomes were the prevalence rate of hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. We also conducted supplemental analysis to examine potential co‐occurring trends in medical utilization.

Data Collection/Extraction Methods

Data are publicly available.

Principal Findings

In the full sample, SNAP eligibility was associated with a significant decline in diabetes (−3.71 percentage points [pp];  < .05). Non‐Hispanic (NH) White respondents reported trends similar to the full sample; however, NH Black respondents reported large declines in hypertension (−13.95 pp;  < .01) and Hispanic respondents reported declines in the prevalence of angina (−6.94 pp;  < .05) and stroke (−4.48 pp;  < .05).


Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program eligibility was associated with the reduced prevalence of diet‐related disease among older adults. These observed declines in the prevalence of diet‐related disease do not appear to be attributable to increased medical visits or spending on medical services and prescriptions.