A  A  A   Print
Traumatic Brain Injury Common Among Homeless Men

Traumatic Brain Injury Common Among Homeless Men

WEDNESDAY, April 30, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Brain injuries are common among homeless men and most of those injuries occur before they lose their homes, a small study found.

Canadian researchers looked at 111 homeless men, aged 27 to 81, in Toronto and found that 45 percent of them had suffered a traumatic brain injury at some point in their lives.

Seventy percent of those brain injuries occurred when the men were children or teens, and 87 percent occurred before the men became homeless, the investigators found.

Overall, assaults caused 60 percent of the brain injuries among the men in the study, followed by sports and recreation (44 percent), and traffic crashes and falls (42 percent), according to the study published April 25 in the journal CMAJ Open.

While assaults were the most common cause of brain injury among men older than 40, falls from drug/alcohol blackouts were the most common cause of brain injury in those under 40, the findings showed.

Although the study wasn't designed to prove that brain injuries lead to homelessness, the findings suggest that a brain injury could be a risk factor for becoming homeless, said study leader Jane Topolovec-Vranic, a clinical researcher in the neuroscience research program at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

Recognizing that a brain injury could increase a person's chances of becoming homeless might challenge widely held beliefs that people make a choice to be homeless or become homeless solely as the result of mental illness or substance abuse, she explained in a hospital news release.

Topolovec-Vranic also noted that there is a connection between brain injury and mental health problems, substance abuse, seizures and general poorer physical health. Because of this link, health care providers and others who work with homeless people need to be aware of any history of brain injury.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about traumatic brain injury.

SOURCE: St. Michael's Hospital, news release, April 25, 2014

Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.