While the housing crash lowered property values across the nation, a new study is showing it might have also increased the blood pressure of people living next to foreclosed on properties.
A Study Linking Foreclosure and Blood Pressure
Researchers at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies in Cambridge, Mass have published the results of a study that concluded people living within about 300 feet of a foreclosed home tend to have slightly higher blood pressure than there neighbors. Researchers also found that each additional foreclosed property located in the 100-meter radius appeared to create additional increases in blood pressure. Some of these foreclosed on homes can sit vacant for months to years, quickly becoming eyesores. The researchers decided to measure the effect of foreclosures within 100 meters of a person’s house because “that’s the distance that real estate people have found has an effect on home values,” Arcaya said
Foreclosure Affecting Physiology
“This huge housing crisis is affecting our physiology,” said lead author of the study, and Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow, MarianaArcaya. “It’s getting under our skin and affecting the function of our bodies.”
Foreclosure Also Linked to Other Problems
Previous research shows that actually experiencing the foreclosure process is linked to mental and physical health problems. Arcaya also noted that the stress of having a vacant home next to your property can cause a person to overeat or drink alcohol, thus raising their other blood pressure risks. “It also could be that people are getting less physical activity because of this,” Arcaya said. “Your neighborhood may be a less aesthetically pleasing place. You may be less likely to walk your dog if you have to walk past a boarded-up house where you’re not sure what’s going on inside there.”
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