Year: 2023 Source: Journal of Surgical Research. (2023). 284, 213-220. SIEC No: 20231050
Introduction This study aims to characterize suicide and associated disparities among persons experiencing homelessness (PEH). Materials and methods We reviewed suicide victims in the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) from 2003 to 2018 and compared factors surrounding suicides of PEH to factors of housed victims. We also utilized the Point-in-Time (PIT) survey (2010-2018), and census population estimates, to estimate suicide rates among PEH and the wider population. Results 1.1% of suicide victims were described as experiencing homelessness at the time of their deaths, a value that is disproportional given the overall homeless rates of 0.2% in the past decade. Compared to nonhomeless victims, PEH were more likely to be younger, Black, male, and nonveterans. PEH were significantly more likely to have an identified alcohol/substance use disorder. PEH were half as likely to die via firearm and were more likely to die in natural areas, motels, and the streets. PEH were significantly more likely to have a history of suicidal thoughts, a history of suicide attempts, and a history of disclosure of intent, particularly to health care workers. Conclusions PEH are disproportionately overrepresented among all suicide victims, but the circumstances surrounding their deaths create opportunity for targeted interventions.