Is a foreclosure making you sick?by Tim Manni
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.