Navigation Links
Foreclosure Crisis Threatening Americans' Health: Study
Date:10/20/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- A new study finds that falling behind on your mortgage payments hurts more than just your finances, as the stress and financial strain that come with the struggle can also harm your physical and psychological health.

Researchers examined data collected in 2006 and 2008 on nearly 2,500 Americans who took part in the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative sample of Americans older than age 50. The data included questions about overall health, psychological health, income and whether they had fallen two months or more behind on their mortgage payment.

People who reported that they had fallen behind on their mortgage between 2006 and 2008 reported more depressive symptoms, more food insecurity and were more likely to say they weren't taking prescription medications as prescribed because of cost.

"People are making unhealthy trade-offs when they're trying to make their mortgage," said study author Dawn Alley, an assistant professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "We think it's a very serious issue."

The study is published in the Oct. 20 online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

In the past few years, the number of foreclosures began to rise with the collapse of the housing bubble and the financial crisis. By 2009, 2.2 percent of all U.S. homes, or more than 2.8 million properties, were in some stage of delinquency, according to background information in the study. People over age 50 made up about one-quarter of defaults and foreclosures, Alley said.

In the study, researchers controlled for demographic factors, health behaviors, chronic diseases, debt and income.

Among the 68 participants who were delinquent on their mortgage, 22 percent developed elevated depressive symptoms over the two-year period compared to 3 percent of the non-delinquent, the investigators found.

About 28 percent of those who were behind on their mortgage payments reported food insecurity, meaning that they worried about not having enough food, compared to 4 percent in the non-delinquent group.

About 32 percent of those who were behind on their mortgage said they didn't take medications as prescribed because of costs, compared to 5 percent of those who were able to make their mortgage payments.

"Depression, not taking medications and not spending enough money on nutritious food can exacerbate conditions you already have," Alley said.

Some states were hit harder than others, including California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida, which made up 51 percent of all foreclosure filings in 2008, according to another new study about the impact of foreclosure on health that will be published in Nursing Outlook.

In that study, University of Pennsylvania researchers surveyed 800 residents of those states and found that homeowners in default or foreclosure had poorer mental health and more symptoms of poor health than renters and homeowners not in arrears.

While much of the focus has been on what foreclosure does to a family's financial health, said Rebecca Cohen, a senior research associate at the Center for Housing Policy, a nonprofit research organization, more attention needs to be paid to the impact of impending foreclosure on mental and overall health.

"Their findings absolutely corroborate everything that we have been learning about in terms of the impacts that housing affordability challenges and instability have on people's health, both mental and physical," Cohen said. "It's an issue of lack of resources and the choices people make in allocating scarce budgetary resources. If you are having a hard time paying your mortgage, you may have a hard time paying for your medications or buying healthy food."

The research found that people with a low income and minorities were more likely to be delinquent. For some, losing a home means the threat of becoming homeless, Cohen said.

"A lot of people will end up doubling up with other family members or friends for a few months if they have nowhere else to go, which is not an easy situation," she said. "The next step is living in a car or a shelter and trying to grapple with what that means. Figuring out how to prepare for the workday in that environment, figuring out how to get kids to school and not disrupting children's education."

Though the research was about people who were over age 50 (as of 2004), the researchers said they'd expect younger people to face similar stress and health impacts.

More information

The Center for Housing Policy has information on preventing foreclosure and resources for people facing foreclosure.

You can also try the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

SOURCES: Dawn Alley, Ph.D., assistant professor, epidemiology and public health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore; Rebecca Cohen, senior research associate, Center for Housing Policy, Washington, D.C.; Oct. 20, 2011, American Journal of Public Health, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Harvard Medical School launches major initiative to address crisis in drug development
2. UBC journalism project documents global pain crisis
3. Medical and patient communities call for urgent action to prevent stroke crisis in Latin America
4. Single moms entering midlife may lead to public health crisis
5. Nitric oxide impacts source of sickle cell pain crisis
6. Leading experts call for urgent action to avoid stroke crisis across Asia-Pacific region
7. New online crisis management and evaluation tool introduced by researchers
8. Stanford research casts sober light on Russias mortality crisis
9. Medical Surrogates May Pay Emotional Price for Crisis Decisions
10. Income inequalities are increasing the occurence of depression during financial crisis
11. ACP says Congress must find common ground to address crisis in our health care system
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Foreclosure Crisis Threatening Americans' Health: Study
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Ongoing news of the ... Care Association™ (ALCA) to conduct a survey that takes a closer look at cases ... illustrates the prevalence and causes of TBI among the aging population, and identifies the ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 10, 2016 , ... AxoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AXGN), a leading medical technology company ... and full year ended December 31, 2015 on Monday, February 29, 2016 after the ... investment community following the release at 4:30 PM ET. Investors interested in participating by ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... For additional information contact Phyllis Strupp 480-488-5858 , Brain improves ... The Ultimate Guide to Brain Training" by award-winning author Phyllis Strupp explains ... is March 16, 2016. A free review copy is available to the media ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... IDEX Health & Science, LLC ... steel (PLS) columns combine the strength of traditional stainless steel with the chemical ... samples while operating at ultra-high pressures of 20,000 psi. The higher operating pressures ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , ... February 10, 2016 , ... The recreational use ... enthusiasts in the state still face a lot of restrictions as to where they ... intended for private, personal use” and that cannabis “may not be consumed openly or ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... SAN DIEGO , Feb. 10, 2016 ... viral gene therapy manufacturing, and Renova™ Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical ... and other chronic diseases, have entered into a Manufacturing ... produce cGMP-grade RT-100 (Ad5.hAC6) Drug Product for use in ... --> This relationship will leverage Lonza,s ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 10, 2016  Rich Pharmaceuticals, ... today announced a 1-for-100 reverse split of its issued ... opening of trading on Thursday, February 11, 2016. The ... under new CUSIP number 76303T308 and temporary ticker symbol ... commence trading under the ticker symbol (RCHA).  ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  The ALS Association, in partnership ... Grand Challenge to generate a biomarker to track TDP43 aggregation. ... up to a $1 million investment. ... disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the ... initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: