142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Death on the Street: 12-year prospective study of mortality of a rough sleeper population in Boston MA 2000-2011

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014

Jill Roncarati, PA-C, MPH , Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA

A dearth of literature exists to document the number and causes of deaths among chronically homeless rough sleepers, homeless individuals who sleep outside despite access to shelter. We assessed the mortality in a cohort of rough sleepers followed by the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program<font >

A 12-year prospective study was used to determine the number and causes of deaths among a cohort of 445 chronically homeless rough sleepers identified in January 2000. The cohort includes 119 <font >

There are 119 high-risk and 326 non high-risk individuals. Of the 445, 321 are male and 124 are female. Race includes: 301 White, 92 Black, 21 Native American, 19 Hispanic, 3 Asian, and 9 unreported. After 12 years, at least 137 patients are deceased. Deaths occurred equally in every season and were not concentrated in the colder months. The most common causes of death included cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cirrhosis. More work is currently being completed to determine the all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates of this cohort and to determine if the high-risk criteria predicts mortality.

Mortality is very high among those living on the streets of Boston. The streets are equally dangerous during the warm and cold months of the year. This cohort of street persons had very high utilization of emergency rooms, hospitals, and detoxification units. Improvement in the identification of those at risk and improved coordination of care may help reduce mortality in this vulnerable population.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss number and causes of death for a rough sleeper population in Boston, MA Explain all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates for a rough sleeper population in Boston, MA Determine if high-risk for mortality criteria predicts mortality in a rough sleeper population

Keyword(s): Mortality, Homelessness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student at HSPH and the study for which I am submitting an abstract is my doctoral thesis which has been approved by my research committee and university.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.