Unhoused people face elevated dementia rates compared to general population

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Dementia successful unhoused group was 1.9 times greater than nan wide population, pinch a higher prevalence for property groups younger than 85 years, according to caller investigation from Lawson Health Research Institute and ICES.

In 1 of nan first population-based studies of its benignant and published successful The Lancet Public Health, researchers compared dementia prevalence successful group experiencing bum pinch nan wide organization and group surviving successful low-income neighbourhoods successful Ontario, Canada.

Not only did we find that dementia was much communal among unhoused individuals, but nan quality was top betwixt nan ages of 55 to 64 years."

Dr. Richard Booth, lead author, intelligence astatine ICES and Lawson Health Research Institute, and subordinate professor and Arthur Labatt Family Research Chair successful Nursing astatine Western University

"There's a beardown nexus betwixt homelessness and accelerated ageing, which whitethorn beryllium 1 of nan reasons group acquisition an earlier onset of nan disease," says Dr. Booth.

Using a prevalence ratio, nan researchers recovered that wrong nan ages of 55-74 years rates of dementia were 4 to 5 times higher than nan wide organization and 3 to 3.5 times higher than nan low-income group. There was a higher dementia prevalence successful each property groups younger than 85 years among group experiencing homelessness successful some males and females.

Unhoused group were younger connected average, little apt to beryllium female, and little apt to unrecorded successful agrarian areas compared to nan different 2 groups. They besides had higher rates of wellness conditions associated pinch dementia, specified arsenic caput trauma, neurological conditions, HIV, and intelligence wellness and substance-use disorders.

After adjusting for factors specified arsenic age, sex, residential area, and wellness conditions, nan prevalence ratio for group experiencing homelessness was 1.7 times higher compared to nan low-income group, and 1.9 times higher compared to nan wide population.

"Other investigation has outlined that nan rates of homelessness successful older adults are expected to double by 2030, which intends that nan number of group surviving pinch dementia could emergence substantially," says Dr. Booth. "Our findings propose that unhoused individuals should beryllium screened for dementia astatine younger ages, alternatively than waiting until property 65 arsenic galore guidelines suggest."

The researchers besides statement nan complexity of diagnosing dementia successful an individual experiencing multiple, chronic wellness conditions, arsenic cognitive symptoms tin overlap. Because of nan trouble successful obtaining a aesculapian history and test successful this population, nan study could person underestimated nan existent prevalence of dementia.

"We dream this activity serves to heighten nan consciousness of argumentation makers and practitioners of nan expanding prevalence of dementia among group experiencing homelessness," says study writer Salimah Shariff, unit intelligence pinch nan Populations & Public Health Research Program astatine ICES, subordinate head of investigation operations and strategical partnerships astatine ICES Western, and subordinate intelligence astatine Lawson. "As lodging is simply a halfway determinant of wellness and basal to nan sustainment of individuals' wellness and wellbeing, entree to permanent, supportive lodging structures for group experiencing homelessness is besides captious successful preventing and slowing nan progression of dementia successful this population."

This study was funded by nan Public Health Agency of Canada.

The study, "Prevalence of dementia among group experiencing homelessness successful Ontario, Canada: a population-based comparative analysis" was published successful The Lancet Public Health. 


Journal reference:

Booth, R. G., et al. (2024) Prevalence of dementia among group experiencing homelessness successful Ontario, Canada: a population-based comparative analysis. The Lancet Public Health. doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(24)00022-7.