skip to page content
Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Factors Associated With Mortality Among Homeless Older Adults in California: The HOPE HOME Study.

Brown RT, Evans JL, Valle K, Guzman D, Chen YH, Kushel MB. Factors Associated With Mortality Among Homeless Older Adults in California: The HOPE HOME Study. JAMA internal medicine. 2022 Oct 1; 182(10):1052-1060.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


IMPORTANCE: The population of homeless older adults is growing and experiences premature mortality. Little is known about factors associated with mortality among homeless older adults. OBJECTIVE: To identify the prevalence and factors associated with mortality in a cohort of homeless adults 50 years and older. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: In this prospective cohort study (Health Outcomes in People Experiencing Homelessness in Older Middle Age [HOPE HOME]), 450 adults 50 years and older who were homeless at baseline were recruited via venue-based sampling in Oakland, California. Enrollment occurred in 2 phases, from July 2013 to June 2014 and from August 2017 to July 2018, and participants were interviewed at 6-month intervals. EXPOSURES: Baseline and time-varying characteristics, including sociodemographic factors, social support, housing status, incarceration history, chronic medical conditions, substance use, and mental health problems. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Mortality through December 31, 2021, based on state and local vital records information from contacts and death certificates. All-cause mortality rates were compared with those in the general population from 2014 to 2019 using age-specific standardized mortality ratios with 95% CIs. RESULTS: Of the 450 included participants, median (IQR) age at baseline was 58.1 (54.5-61.6) years, 107 (24%) were women, and 360 (80%) were Black. Over a median (IQR) follow-up of 55 (38-93) months, 117 (26%) participants died. Median (IQR) age at death was 64.6 (60.3-67.5) years. In multivariable analyses, characteristics associated with mortality included a first episode of homelessness at 50 years and older (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.62; 95% CI, 1.13-2.32), homelessness (aHR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.23-2.68) or institutionalization (aHR, 6.36; 95% CI, 3.42-11.82) at any follow-up compared with being housed, fair or poor self-rated health (aHR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.13-2.40), and diabetes (aHR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.06-2.26). Demographic characteristics, substance use problems, and mental health problems were not independently associated. All-cause standardized mortality was 3.5 times higher (95% CI, 2.5-4.4) compared with adults in Oakland. The most common causes of death were heart disease (n? = 17 [14.5%]), cancer (n? = 17 [14.5%]), and drug overdose (n? = 14 [12.0%]). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The cohort study found that premature mortality was common among homeless older adults and associated factors included late-life homelessness and ongoing homelessness. There is an urgent need for policy approaches to prevent and end homelessness among older adults in the US.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.