By DrBicuspid Staff

May 25, 2010 -- More than 40% of homeless U.S. adults cannot get dental care, according to a survey reported in the American Journal of Public Health (May 13, 2010).

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program analyzed data from the 2003 Health Care for the Homeless User Survey, a nationwide sample representing 436,000 homeless people in the U.S..

They found that 73% of the respondents have at least one unmet health need. Of these, 41% lacked dental care, 32% lacked surgical care, 36% lacked prescription medications, 21% lacked mental health care, and 41% lacked eyeglasses.

Having had a job at some point during the year actually worked against the health needs of the poor; they were less likely to have health insurance, presumably because they couldn't qualify for Medicaid, according to the researchers. Those without insurance were less likely to get care.

Copyright © 2010


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