Datapoints: Trends in Mortality Among Homeless VA Patients With Severe Mental Illness
Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) (Impact Factor: 2.41). 07/2013; 64(7):608. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300026
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ABSTRACT: Objectives: This study evaluates the prevalence of Multiple Comorbid Chronic Disease (MCCD) within homeless and non-homeless Veterans and the association between MCCD and inpatient medical care. Methods: All individuals seen in the VA North Texas Health Care System between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2010 (n = 102,034) were evaluated. Homelessness during the year and the number of common chronic diseases were evaluated for an association with likelihood of medical and psychiatric hospitalizations, bed days of care, inpatient substance treatment, rehabilitation admissions, and emergency department visits. Results: Homeless Veterans had higher all-cause mortality rates and rates of use of almost all resources after controlling for chronic disease burden using the Charlson Comorbidity Index, psychiatric illnesses, substance use disorders, and demographic variables. Conclusions: Homelessness Veterans are vulnerable to a high use of resources and mortality, independent of medical and psychiatric conditions. This finding should focus additional attention on reducing homelessness.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose: The aims of this project were to document all-cause and suicide mortality among Veteran Healthcare Administration (VHA) utilizers with The International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnosis consistent with transgender status. Methods: The study population consisted of VHA patients identified as having any one of four diagnosis codes indicating transgender status (n=5,117) gathered from the VA National Patient Care Database. Mortality data were gathered from the National Death Index from 2000-2009 for 1,277 veterans with transgender-related ICD-9-CM diagnoses. The remaining 3,840 were not searched because they had VHA utilization after 2009 (indicating they were alive). Person-time at risk (person-years) for crude rates were calculated based on the time from an individual's index diagnosis to either death or the end of FY 2009. Causes of death were categorized using ICD-10 code groups. Results: Approximately 9.3% (n=309) veterans with transgender-related ICD-9-CM diagnoses died across the study period. Although diseases of the circulatory system and neoplasms were the first and second leading causes of death, respectively, the other ranked causes of mortality differed somewhat from patterns for the US during the same time span. The crude suicide rate among veterans with transgender-related ICD-9-CM diagnoses across the 10-year period was approximately 82/100,000 person-years, which approximated the crude suicide death rates for other serious mental illness in VHA (e.g., depression, schizophrenia). The average age of suicide decedents was 49.4 years. Conclusion: The crude suicide rate among veterans with transgender-related ICD-9-CM diagnoses is higher than in the general population, and they may be dying by suicide at younger ages than their veteran peers without transgender-related ICD-9-CM diagnoses. Future research, such as age-adjusted rates or accounting for psychiatric co-morbidities, will help to better clarify if the all-cause and suicide mortality rates are elevated for veterans with transgender-related ICD-9-CM diagnoses.