Are Foreclosures Causing Health Problems?

Are Foreclosures Causing Health Problems?

Foreclosures are running rampant in today’s housing market. But are they causing more than just financial problems for people?

If you have been having chest pains, increased blood pressure and feelings of anxiety recently, one of the reasons could be due to the number of foreclosures that are on the market. According to a recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, an increase of 100 foreclosures in an area contributed to an increase of about 7.2 percent in overall visits to the emergency room as well as hospital stays for abnormally high blood pressure. The study also showed a correlation between the number of foreclosures and the increase of diabetes among people between the ages of 20 and 49. In addition, the rising rate of foreclosures was also correlated with the number of suicides in an area.

The researchers focused on some of the hardest hit states when it comes to foreclosed homes – New Jersey, Florida, California and Arizona. However, the researchers note that it may not be the actual foreclosure that is causing these health problems as the financial difficulties that lead up to the foreclosure probably have a bigger and more negative impact on the homeowners than the final result. By the time they go through a foreclosure, most homeowners are resigned to the fact that they are going to lose their home and they have made other arrangements.

This study corresponds to a recent study that showed unemployment rates are also linked to health problems. For people who do not have any pre-existing conditions, a job loss increases their chance of reporting a health problem by nearly 85 percent! Those who have recently become unemployed showed a 54 percent more likely chance of reporting that they had fair or poor health.

Surprisingly, there is some good news. While these stressful events typically affect those who are impacted directly, there are studies that show that recessions can be good for the nation’s health as a whole. One study conducted in 2000 showed that an increase of 1 percent in unemployment for a state led to a decrease of 0.6 percent in the state’s mortality rate. One of the reasons for this connection is because people reduce their bad habits like smoking, eating bad, drinking too much and other things that can cause health problems.

Are you stressed out about foreclosures and the housing market in general? Don’t let the stress get to you. If you have found yourself feeling anxious or depressed about your financial situation, seek professional help immediately. It’s not worth it to let finances negatively affect your health.

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