Mortality Risk Factors for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness in Catalonia (Spain): A 10-Year Retrospective Cohort Study

Background: Current evidence suggests that mortality is considerably higher in individuals experiencing homelessness. The aim of this study was to analyze the mortality rate and the mortality risk factors in a sample of individuals experiencing homelessness in the city of Girona over a ten-year period. (2) Methods: We retrospectively examined the outcomes of 475 people experiencing homelessness with the available clinical and social data. Our sample was comprised of 84.4% men and 51.8% foreign-born people. Cox’s proportional hazard models were used to identify mortality risk factors between origin groups. (3) Results: 60 people died during the ten-year period. The average age of death was 49.1 years. After adjusting for demographic characteristics and the duration of homelessness, the risk factors for mortality were origin (people born in Spain) (HR = 4.34; 95% CI = 1.89–10.0), type 2 diabetes (HR = 2.9; 95% CI = 1.62–5.30), alcohol use disorder (HR = 1.9; 95% CI = 1.12–3.29), and infectious diseases (HR = 1.6; 95% CI = 1.09–2.39). Our results show a high prevalence of infectious and chronic diseases. Type 2 diabetes emerges as an important risk factor in homelessness. The average age of death of individuals experiencing homelessness was significantly lower than the average age of death in the general population (which is greater than 80 years) (4). Conclusions: Foreign-born homeless people were generally younger and healthier than Spanish-born homeless people. Chronic diseases were controlled better in Spanish-born people, but this group showed an increased risk of mortality ​
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