A new study tries to show just how deadly homelessness can be

The Boston Globe

Homeless people living on the street in Boston had a death rate nearly three times higher than those living in shelters and almost 10 times higher than the general Massachusetts population, a new study has found.

The study, published Monday online in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, looked at 445 unsheltered homeless adults who were “sleeping rough” in 2000 and followed what happened to them over 10 years. One hundred and thirty-four of them died.

“Mortality rates for unsheltered homeless adults in this study were higher than those for the Massachusetts adult population and a sheltered adult homeless cohort with equivalent services. This study suggests that this distinct subpopulation of homeless people merits special attention to meet their unique clinical and psychosocial needs,” said the study, whose lead author was Jill S. Roncarati, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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