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South Med J. 2010 Jan;103(1):18-24. doi: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e3181c46f79.

Episodic illness, chronic disease, and health care use among homeless persons in Metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, 2007.

Author information

  • 1Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA. petra.wiersma@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Homeless persons are at higher risk for morbidity and mortality from both chronic and episodic illness than the general population. Few data are available on the prevalence of these conditions and uptake of vaccination for prevention.

METHODS:

In March 2007, we administered a cross-sectional survey to a convenience sample of homeless persons in Atlanta.

RESULTS:

Approximately half (46.2%) of the survey participants reported at least one chronic medical condition. Acute respiratory symptoms within the previous 30 days were reported by up to 57.7% of survey participants. Receipt of influenza vaccination was reported by 31.9% of survey participants, receipt of pneumococcal vaccine by 18.7%. Vaccination rates varied by age and risk group.

DISCUSSION:

The survey demonstrated high rates of morbidity in this population. Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates were suboptimal. Culturally appropriate interventions must be developed to prevent respiratory and other diseases in this important group.

Comment in

PMID:
19996848
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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