Physical Health

In a study of men using homeless shelters in Toronto, homeless men's mortality rate was 8.3 times the mortality rate of the general male population in the same city in the 18-24 year old age group, 3.7 in the 25-44 year old group, and 2.3 times the 45-64 year old group (Hwang, 2000). The rates of traumatic disorders, skin and blood vessel disorders, respiratory diseases, and chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are higher in the homeless population than in the general population (Institute for Medicine, 1988). Of great concern are homeless individuals with infectious tuberculosis who sleep in crowded shelters and are not able to adhere to their medication regimen.

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