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Foreclosures have surprising impact on neighbors’ blood pressure

Lana Bandoim's picture
Foreclosures and blood pressure

A new study reveals that foreclosures have a surprising impact on the neighbors’ blood pressure. The research, published in Circulation, mentions that stress affects the neighbors and can lead to high blood pressure. The foreclosed homes were within 328 feet of the houses owned by the people in the study, and scientists noticed a direct influence on their health.

Foreclosures create health problems

The financial impact of foreclosures on neighborhoods has been studied in depth, but the impact on the health of the residents is an area has often been ignored. Now, a new study shows how the stress of living near a foreclosed home can have a negative effect on health. Researchers mention that the home owners left behind and surrounded by foreclosed properties have higher blood pressure.

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Scientists controlled for other factors that can lead to high blood pressure such as obesity and diet. The results point to a link between foreclosures and high blood pressure, and they believe this is caused by the additional stress of having to worry about property values falling and abandoned homes in the area.

Dealing with foreclosures

Researchers recommend that medical professionals recognize the impact of living in foreclosed areas on the health of their patients and ask them about their stress levels. High blood pressure can be dangerous and can lead to other issues if it is ignored. It is also important for patients to pay attention to their own stress levels and discuss any health problems with their doctors before they become more serious.

Although home owners usually cannot stop foreclosures in their neighborhoods, they can change how they react to being surrounded by the homes. An attitude adjustment can influence stress and help them avoid high blood pressure. Researchers state the housing crisis should not be turning into a health crisis, so more must be done to help home owners.

Image: respres/Wikimedia Commons