Risk of death among homeless women


Hwang and colleagues present the results of their study of 1981 homeless women who used homeless shelters in Toronto over a mean of 2.6 years.

The authors found that mortality rates were 515 per 100 000 person-years among homeless women aged 1844 years in Toronto and 438 per 100 000 person-years among those aged 4564. The data show that homeless women 1844 years of age were 10 times more likely to die than women in the general population in Toronto.

The authors suggest that, for younger homeless women, programs to address addictions, HIV infection and mental health issues can potentially save lives.

In a related commentary, O'Connell contends that homelessness magnifies poor health and complicates the management of chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and asthma. He notes that standard treatment plans, which includes things like diet control and regular exercise, are all but unworkable for homeless people living in shelters and subsisting on meals in soup kitchens.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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