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Blog
September 7th, 2011

Is a foreclosure making you sick?

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Foreclosure for SaleHigh levels of stress can lead to health problems. Knowing that, it’s no big surprise that foreclosures are putting homeowners’ health at risk.

According to WebMD, “Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.”

How sick are foreclosures making us?

Two economists have worked together to determine how foreclosures are affecting the health of homeowners in some of the hardest-hit areas of the country:

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.

Each rise of 100 foreclosures was also associated with 12% more visits related to anxiety in the same age category. And the same rise in foreclosures was associated with 39% more visits for suicide attempts among the same group, though this still represents a small number of patients, the researchers say.

It’s not just foreclosures

For years now, the economy has been mired in a recession or has remained at near-recession levels. Just as financial stress can be a leading cause for divorce, it’s also a leading cause for health problems.

Even those who haven’t been foreclosed on have experienced reduced incomes, loss of equity and retirement savings, all leading to increased levels of stress and anxiety.

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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