Study: Foreclosure can harm your health
It is undisputed that foreclosure can wreak havoc on your finances, your living situation, and many other areas of your life. But did you know that a foreclosure can also cause significant damage to your health?
A recent series of surveys has uncovered the not-often discussed impacts of foreclosure on the physical and mental health of homeowners. According to a 2008 survey of 250 people currently undergoing foreclosure, more than 30 percent reported that they had recently missed doctor’s appointments, and 48 percent stated that they had let prescriptions go unfilled while entangled in the foreclosure process.
While foreclosure is forcing preventative health care to the wayside, it may also be placing homeowners at risk of more serious illnesses. Last month, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) reported that more than one-third of homeowners in a recent study had symptoms of major depression. These symptoms were more prevalent in Georgia and other states with statistically higher rates of foreclosure.
The NBER study also revealed that, for every 100 foreclosures in a neighborhood, city or metro area, there was a 7 percent and an 8 percent increase in emergency room visits due to hypertension-related illnesses and diabetes, respectively, among adults between the age of 20 and 49. Anxiety-related emergency room visits also increased by 12 percent for every 100 foreclosures.
In addition, researchers believe that foreclosure disrupts social ties to neighbors, neighborhoods, schools, jobs, friends, family and health care providers. Because having solid social connections has been proven beneficial to an individual’s health, the loss of these connections could cause additional lasting damage.
Source: MinnPost, “Foreclosures damage health as well as finances,” Susan Perry, Oct. 3, 2011