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Public Health Rev. 2001;29(1):13-33.

A review of physical and mental health in homeless persons.

Author information

  • 1W. Kahn Institute of Theoretical Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Elst (Utrecht), The Netherlands. WimmartensW@netscape.net

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To review the physical and mental status in homeless people.

DATA SOURCES:

A MEDLINE database search covering 5 decades was supplemented by tracing back through references from existing review work. Over 200 articles were extracted, and 106 were selected for review.

MAIN FINDINGS:

Homeless persons suffer frequently from physical health problems like tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis, HIV infection, and as a consequence, they run an increased risk for premature mortality. The prevalence of mental disorders among homeless individuals varies from 80-95% in the USA, Australia, Canada, Norway, and Germany to 25-33% in Ireland and Spain. The most prominent mental disorders among the homeless, which vary from country to country, are depression, affective disorders, substance abuse, psychotic disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders.

CONCLUSION:

Homelessness is a major public health problem that should have our special interest.

PMID:
11780714
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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