The more foreclosures there are in your home state, the more your community's health is at risk, says a new study.
New research carried out by Princeton University's Janet Currie and Georgia State University's Erdal Tekin has shown that the rising number of foreclosures in states like Florida, California, Arizona and New Jersey appears to be linked to an increase in the number of health problems related to stress.
The study, which examined foreclosure rates throughout the nation and compared them with the number of hospital visits in the same area, discovered that those places that are in the top 20% for foreclosures in the US saw approximately double the number of hospital visits compared to those places that showed the least foreclosure activity. Only visits to hospital for preventable conditions - conditions that don't normally lead to hospitalization - were counted in the study.
According to the research, just 100 extra foreclosures in a given area would result in 7.2% rise in the number of visits to emergency rooms for treatment of hypertension in the same area. Additionally, the research also showed an 8.1% increase in diabetes cases in adults aged between 20 and 49 years in the same areas.
Growing numbers of foreclosures in a community were also linked to a 12% rise in the number of people visiting the hospital for anxiety problems, and a staggering 40% rise in the number of suicide attempts that resulted in hospitalization, although these figures are still very low overall.
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Janet Currie said that "Foreclosures are having a big effect on neighborhoods, causing everyone to be more stressed out."
"There is clearly a connection between people's physical and their economic well being," she added.