Is Our Blood Pressure Rising With the Foreclosure Rate?

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It doesn't take a scientist to conclude that going through the foreclosure process is stressful. Even the threat of being foreclosed on can make one's blood pressure rise. But science can show the very real effects that these tough economic times are having on America's health. A new study links the rise in foreclosures to more hospital visits related to diabetes and hypertension. More specifically, for every 100 foreclosures there was a 7.2 percent rise in emergency room visits, an 8.1 percent increase in diabetes cases for people aged 20 to 49, and 12 percent more hospital visits related to anxiety in the same age category.

Janet Currie, an economist at Princeton University, co-authored the study, which was published this month. Sarah Bullard Steck, a clinical social worker, has many patients who have struggled with stress and anxiety related to economic hardship.