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Can a neighborhood foreclosure lead to high blood pressure?

Many Ohio real estate specialists will tell you that having a foreclosure in your neighborhood can drive down the selling price of the rest of the homes on your block. But the effect may be more than financial.

A recent study published by a journal of the American Heart Association found that having foreclosures in your neighborhood can also increase your chances of developing high blood pressure. 

The study followed approximately 1,700 families from 1987 to 2008, concluding that residents with foreclosed properties within 100-meter distances from their own homes experienced a rise in their systolic blood pressure.

The researchers believe that this might be due to concerns about their own home’s value and concern for the ongoing safety of their neighborhood, though none of these claims were proven with conclusive data. 

The author of the study admitted that the risk to the health of homeowners may not be enough to cause significant concern in the medical community. But the point of the study was to prove that foreclosures not only affect the economy but can also affect other quality of life issues including anxiety-induced health concerns. 

While these studies can be interesting, they should often be taken with a grain of salt. It shouldn’t be a surprise that those affected negatively by the economy will be under more stress than other people, and it follows that witnessing neighbors, family and friends go through financial challenges may also have a negative psychological or physiological effect.

While going through a foreclosure or trying to prevent foreclosure is understandably a stressful time, having a professional to assist you through the process may alleviate some of the stress.

An attorney with experience in the areas of bankruptcy and helping debtors with other financial challenges can likely help you to better understand your situation and protect your rights.

Source: The Washington Post, "Foreclosures may raise neighbor's blood pressure, study finds," Dina Elboghdady, May 12, 2014

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