Background: The rate of homeless mortality is known to be significantly below the national average, with mortality rates varying geographically. This study aims to look at the rates and causes of homeless mortality within East London.
Question: To characterise homeless mortality of patients registered in two specialist homeless practices, between 2001 and 2016 in the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney, by age at death and cause of death.
Study Design: A retrospective study of general practice electronic patient records.
Methods: Electronic patient records across two general practice surgeries specialising in care for the homeless in East London were examined and their mortality data extracted.
Results: Two hundred and three deaths recorded in the two general practice surgeries were examined. The average age at death was 47 years, with the highest numbers of deaths being attributed to substance misuse, liver disease and cardiac-related deaths. Those dying of cardiac-related causes died at an average of 51, those dying of liver-related causes died at an average age of 49 years and those dying from substance misuse died at an average age of 38.
Conclusions: Those dying of substance misuse-related causes died much younger than the average homeless patient did.