UK street youth death rate 40 times general population's FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sat, 5 Sep 1998 14:21:39 -0700 (PDT)


--two related forwarded articles--

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_159000/159664.stm
FWD  BBC News - Health - Thursday, August 27, 1998


     YOUNG HOMELESS MEN 40 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO DIE


Young men sleeping rough on the streets of London have a risk of dying 40
times that of the general population, research has revealed.

Although it was no surprise that death rates were higher among the
homeless, the extent of the difference was "startling", researchers said.

Homeless people were found to be more at risk from accidents, suicide,
alcohol and drug related illness, liver disease and respiratory infections
such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and bronchitis.

A team from Bristol University used data from the homeless person's charity
Crisis to calculate the death rates for men living on London's streets
compared with the general population.

They showed that young men aged 16 to 29 had a death risk 40 times the
national average. For men aged 16 to 64 years, the risk was estimated to be
25 times greater.

An earlier study of street youth in Montreal showed they had almost 12
times more chance of dying than the average Canadian.

Danger of street life

Writing in the Lancet medical journal, researchers Dr Mary Shaw and Danny
Dorling acknowledged that calculating death rates for such a shifting
population was difficult.

But the figures were the first to offer an insight into the danger of
street life.

They said: "Although it is not surprising that rough sleepers have higher
death rates than the general housed population, the magnitude of the
difference noted here is startling.

"In the light of the fact that homelessness seems to be becoming a
permanent feature of society, this high rate is a cause for grave concern."

Dr Shaw said: "The mortality rate reflects the economic, social and
psychological problems of homelessness.

"Homeless people live in abject poverty, and their life is very difficult
in many ways."

Dr Shaw said top priority should be to ensure that homeless people had
better access to health care.

Permanent cold

Director of Communications for the homeless persons' charity Shelter, Olly
Grender, said the high death rate was no surprise to anybody who worked
with homeless people.

She said: "What is a surprise is that society is still prepared to allow it
to happen.

"Once somebody is living on the street they age very rapidly. They are
exposed to the elements, and tend to have a permanent cold or 'flu.

"Alcohol or drug abuse can exacerbate the problem, and most homeless people
do not have a GP.

"Under those conditions even the smallest illness, which for most people
would be insignificant, becomes more and more significant."



http://www.foxnews.com/js_index.sml?content=/health/wires2/0828/h_rt_0828_5.sml
FWD  SOURCE: The Lancet 1998;352:743.  August 28, 1998


     HIGH DEATH RATE AMONG UK STREET YOUTH


NEW YORK, Aug 28 - The death rate among young men living on the streets of
London, or "sleeping rough,'' is 40 times higher than that found in the
general population, a recent analysis of death statistics shows.

"Although it is not surprising that rough sleepers have higher death rates
than the general housed population, the magnitude of the difference noted
here is startling,'' write the researchers who analyzed the data, Mary Shaw
and Danny Dorling of the University of Bristol, UK. They report their
findings in a letter published in the August 29th issue of The Lancet.

Shaw and Dorling also found that among homeless men 16 to 64 years old, the
death rate was 25 times greater than for the general population. The
researchers do not report causes of death among the homeless men.

Shaw and Dorling's findings parallel those of another group of researchers
who estimated death rates among homeless youth living on the streets of
Montreal, Canada. Those researchers found that death rates among street
youth in that city were 12 times higher than those of the general
population.

"In light of the fact that homelessness seems to be becoming a permanent
feature of society, this high rate is cause for grave concern,'' Shaw and
Dorling conclude. The researchers estimate that close to 9,000 men live in
London's streets.

END FORWARDS

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page
ARCHIVES  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN
TO JOIN  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <wgcp@earthlink.net>