Homeless people are at greater risk of dying early than people in the general population.
Researchers studied more than 750 homeless people staying in two hostels for the homeless in Copenhagen in 1991. The study subjects were interviewed about various aspects of their lives, including family background, upbringing, education and psychiatric treatment.
The study found the death rate was higher in the younger homeless people (15 to 34 years old) and among homeless women. The highest mortality rate was among homeless people who stayed only a short time at a hostel or those who stayed at a hostel more than once during the study year.
That shows this transient population is the most vulnerable and has the greatest risk of early death, the study says. Adverse childhood experiences, such as the death of a father, and alcohol and drug abuse were other predictors of early death among the homeless people.
The study suggests outreach and case-management techniques may help improve the daily living standards for homeless people. It also says the prevention of social exclusion should start early in life.