New Study Explores Mortality Patterns for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness in Boston

A study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, which explored the mortality patterns for adults experiencing homelessness who primarily sleep outdoors, found that people sleeping on the street in Boston were 10 times more likely to die than the general public of Massachusetts. The 10-year cohort study of 445 adults experiencing homelessness revealed that the most common causes of death were noncommunicable diseases (cancer and heart disease), alcohol use disorder and chronic liver disease. Altogether, the findings underscore not only the need for a wide array of housing solutions for the unsheltered population, but also for robust wrap-around support services to meet their complex needs, including access to behavioral health services and street outreach.

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