Alcoholism and somatic comorbidity among homeless people in Mannheim, Germany

Salize, H. J., Dillmann-Lange, C., Stern, G., Kentner-Figura, B., Stamm, K., Rossler, W., Henn, F. (December 2002) Alcoholism and somatic comorbidity among homeless people in Mannheim, Germany. Addiction, 97 (12). pp. 1593-600. ISSN 0965-2140 (Print)0965-2140 (Linking)

DOI: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2002.00235.x


AIMS: To assess the prevalence of alcoholism and somatic codisorders of homeless people. DESIGN: Epidemiological cross-sectional field study in a sample of the homeless in the area. SETTING: The study was conducted from 1997 to 1999 in the inner-city area of Mannheim, Germany (approximately 320 000 inhabitants). PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and two single homeless people (15-16% of the estimated total population of single homeless people in the city). MEASUREMENT: Alcoholism, substance abuse and mental disorders were diagnosed with the SCID. Medical examinations were performed by an experienced physician. Blood samples were taken and urine samples collected. Further assessments were conducted for factors potentially correlating with mental or physical state. FINDINGS: Of the study probands, 63.7% presented with the alcohol dependence syndrome or harmful use, 61.7% had current somatic problems or disorders. Probands with alcohol dependence had significantly more frequent somatic disorders in total, more cerebral degeneration, liver disease or alcoholic polyneuropathies. Multiple stepwise regression identified alcoholism, life-satisfaction, duration of homelessness and lacking social support as significant explanatory factors for having a somatic disorder. Alcoholism increased the risk of physical ill-health more than fourfold. CONCLUSION: Alcoholism is a major contributor to the physical ill-health of homeless people. Treatment or rehabilitation of addictive behaviour among the homeless should be of major concern for adequate service planning or provision.

Item Type: Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alcoholism/complications/ epidemiology Comorbidity Cross-Sectional Studies Female Germany/epidemiology Homeless Persons/ statistics & numerical data Humans Male Mental Disorders/complications/ epidemiology Prevalence
Subjects: diseases & disorders
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Henn lab
Depositing User: Matt Covey
Date: December 2002
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2013 16:12
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2013 16:12
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