Study Reveals More Dementia in Homeless Population

dementiaThe Lancet Public Health published a study funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, comparing rates of dementia in individuals experiencing homelessness with the general population and with people living in low-income communities in Ontario, Canada. Statistics indicated unhoused people exhibited dementia more commonly, and especially in the 55 to 64 year age range.

According to lead author, Dr. Richard Booth, "There's a strong link between homelessness and accelerated ageing, which may be one of the reasons people experience an earlier onset of the disease." In fact, for those between 55 and 74 years of age, rates of dementia increased between four and five times compared to the general population, and more than three times higher than for those in the low-income group. Researchers recognize the complications in diagnosing dementia in individuals experiencing various chronic health conditions, not to mention the difficulty in getting either a medical history or diagnosis among this population, which probably means that the numbers could severely underrepresent the true prevalence of dementia.

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