Head injury and mortality in the homeless

McMillan, T. , Laurie, M., Oddy, M., Menzies, M., Stewart, E. and Wainman-Lefley, J. (2015) Head injury and mortality in the homeless. Journal of Neurotrauma, 32(2), pp. 116-119. (doi:10.1089/neu.2014.3387)

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Abstract

Risk factors for head injury are also risk factors for becoming homeless, but there is little research on this vulnerable group, who can be neglected by health services who specialise in acquired brain injury. This study investigates the prevalence of admissions to hospital with a head injury in the homeless and associations with later mortality. It compares homeless people with and without a record of hospitalised head injury (HHI) and the Glasgow population. <p></p> Data were obtained from a UK National Health Service strategy to enhance care of the homeless. This included development and production of local registers of homeless people. In Glasgow the initiative took place over a seven year (2004-2010) period and comprised 40 general practitioner (family practice) services in the locality of 55 homeless hostels. The register was linked to hospital admissions with head injury recorded in Scottish Medical Records and to the General Register of Scotland which records deaths.<p></p> 1590 homeless people were registered in general practitioner (family doctor) returns. The prevalence of admission to hospital with head injury in the homeless over a thirty year period (13.5%) was 5.4 times higher than in the Glasgow population. In the homeless with HHI, 33.6% died in the seven year census period, compared to 13.9% in the homeless with no hospitalised HI (NHHI). The standardised mortality ratio for HHI (4.51) was more than twice that for NHHI (2.08). The SMR for HHI aged 15-34 (17.54) was particularly high. These findings suggest that HHI is common in the homeless relative to the general population and is a risk factor for late mortality in the homeless population.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stewart, Ms Elaine and McMillan, Professor Thomas and Wainman-Lefley, Ms Jessica
Authors: McMillan, T., Laurie, M., Oddy, M., Menzies, M., Stewart, E., and Wainman-Lefley, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Journal of Neurotrauma
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
ISSN:0897-7151
ISSN (Online):1557-9042

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