Foreclosures cause health problems

August 31, 2011 01:26PM

Losing a home through foreclosure is not just stressful financially,
but it can also severely impact homeowners’ health, the Wall Street
Journal reported. In a study, two economists showed a direct
correlation between foreclosure rates in Florida, New Jersey,
California and Arizona and the health of residents in those areas. In
their paper, the researchers noted that an increase of 100
foreclosures corresponded to a 7.2 percent rise in emergency room visits and
hospitalizations for hypertension, and an 8.1 percent  increase for diabetes,
among people aged 20 to 49. Since the economists didn’t find any
connection to diseases such as cancer or elective surgeries such as
hip replacement, they concluded that areas with high foreclosures are
seeing mostly an increase of stress-related ailments.

A 51 year old Staten Island resident, Patricia Graci, said she
canceled A Recent Court appearance related to the foreclosure on her
house because she couldn’t get out of bed. After she and her husband
relied on their savings to pay their mortgage for two years, she said
she got very anxious and depressed. “Everything was going downhill,” she said.
“My savings were going down to nothing.” At the local
hospital in Homestead, Fla., emergency visits in 2010
more than doubled from 10 years earlier to about 67,000. Homestead
also has the highest rate of mortgage delinquencies in the U.S.– in
June, 41 percent of mortgage holders in the hardest-hit ZIP Code of
Homestead were 90 days or more past due on payments, according to
real-estate data firm CoreLogic Inc. [WSJ]