Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Study: Foreclosure Crisis Affecting Americans' Health

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 2:55 PM

While it's long been folk wisdom that the stress of the housing market isn't good for people's health, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a new study shows that foreclosures may be responsible for a nearly 10 percent increase in hypertension and diabetes in normally healthy age groups.

From the article:

New research by Janet Currie of Princeton University and Erdal Tekin of Georgia State University shows a direct correlation between foreclosure rates and the health of residents in Arizona, California, Florida and New Jersey. The economists concluded in a paper published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research that an increase of 100 foreclosures corresponded to a 7.2% rise in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for hypertension, and an 8.1% increase for diabetes, among people aged 20 to 49.

The study also reported a whopping 39 percent increase in suicide attempts among the same group, though the authors acknowledge it is a small sample size.

What the study found most alarming was that similar patterns were not found in non-stress-related ailments such as cancer, indicating a strong likelihood that foreclosure is a contributing causative factor.

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