Foreclosures prompt more health woes for U.S. residents
Princeton University and Georgia State University economists have identified a direct link between foreclosure rates and health problems in Arizona, California, Florida, and New Jersey.
According to their findings—which were published this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research—an increase of 100 foreclosures in a region correlated to a 7.2% rise in ED visits and hospitalizations related to hypertension for adults aged 20 to 49. They also saw an 8.1% increase in diabetes visits, a 12% jump in anxiety-related visits, and a 39% increase in visits for suicide attempts for that age group.
"You see foreclosures having a general effect on the neighborhood," one of the study's authors says, noting, "Everybody's stressed out. There is a connection between people's economic well being and their physical well being."
However, the Wall Street Journal notes that it is difficult to distinguish cause and effect, adding that a correlation does not necessarily mean foreclosures caused adverse health effects (Kalita, Journal, 8/31).