Foreclosures Cause Wave of Poor Health, Study Says

October 25, 2011

More studies are pointing to how foreclosures can hurt home owner’s health. 

In the most recent study, home owners aged 50 and older who were unable to make their mortgage payments were found to have high rates of depression and a “higher likelihood of making unhealthy financial trade offs regarding food and needed prescription drugs,” according to the study, recently published inthe American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers found that nearly one-third of the home owners aged 50 or older who were delinquent on their mortgage reported fair or poor health, compared to 19 percent who were not delinquent.

"More than a quarter of people in mortgage default or foreclosure are over 50," says Dawn E. Alley, the study's principle investigator. "For an older person with chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension, the types of health problems we saw are short-term consequences of falling behind on a mortgage that could have long-run implications for that person's health." 

An earlier study released this year, conducted by Princeton University and Georgia State University researchers, found that the higher the foreclosure rates, the more risks to your community’s health. Researchers had found that a higher number of foreclosures in Arizona, California, Florida, and New Jersey were found to coincide with a rise of stress-related health problems in those states, including an increase in the number of hospital visits for preventable conditions and increase in emergency room visits and hospitalizations for hypertension. 

Source: “A Health Crisis Follows Foreclosure Crisis,” Los Angeles Times (Oct. 25, 2011)

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Foreclosures Hurt Your Health, Study Says