Homeless die 30 years before the average person

 

Homeless people can expect to die 30 years before the average person, research has found.

A study showed that homeless men are dying at an average of 47 years and homeless women at 43, in stark contrast to the average age of death for the general population, 77 years.

The research, carried out by Sheffield University on behalf of homelessness charity Crisis, found that drug and alcohol abuse counts for just over a third of all deaths among homeless people.

Suicide is also nine times more likely among people living rough than the general population.

Meanwhile it found that deaths as a result of traffic accidents are three times as likely, infections twice as likely and falls are more than three times as likely to result in death.

The study, Homelessness: A silent killer, showed that as expected, the causes of death for homeless people differ from those of the wider population, where disease is the biggest killer.

The links between drug and alcohol abuse and homelessness are well established and drugs and alcohol are known to be both a cause and consequence of living on the streets, it said.

Previous research has found that four out of five people start using at least one new drug after becoming homeless.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: "It is shocking, but not surprising, that homeless people are dying much younger than the general population.

"Life on the streets is harsh and the stress of being homeless is clearly taking its toll.

"This report paints a bleak picture of the consequences homelessness has on people's health and wellbeing.

"Ultimately, it shows that homelessness is killing people."

The research by Dr Bethan Thomas at the University of Sheffield estimates the average age of death not just for rough sleepers, but for the wider homeless population including those who reside in night shelters, homeless hostels and use day centres.

Dr Thomas said: "The size of the gap in average age of death between homeless people and the general population is shocking.

"It is appalling that in 21st century England people are dying in early middle age because they do not have a home."

Seyi Obakin, chief executive of youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, said: "This research highlights why the 80,000 young people a year who suffer homelessness need help now.

"In these increasingly tough times for young people the Government and local councils must not lose sight of the need to support homeless young people.

"By dealing effectively with the health, housing and educational problems of homeless young people first time round they can live successful lives and fulfil their potential."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "We know that many homeless people have acute and often multiple health needs. That is why we have established the Inclusion Health programme, which focuses on improving access to healthcare, and the results it achieves, for vulnerable groups such as rough sleepers.

"The National Inclusion Health Board is working closely with Ministers, charities, the NHS, and other experts in the causes of homelessness, to ensure that we do better in the future addressing the health needs of homeless people - for example making sure that nobody is discharged from hospital without a bed to sleep in that night."

Housing Minister Grant Shapps added: "The plight of homeless people should be on our minds all year round - not just at Christmas.

"We're fortunate to have some of the toughest laws in the world to prevent people from ending up on our streets and while homelessness remains lower than in 28 of the last 30 years I'm always anxious to do more.

"That's why today I'm announcing £20 million of new funding which for the first time will specifically help single homeless people, who all too often slip through the safety net. This money will be used to help prevent homelessness at an earlier stage."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world