As the number of foreclosed homes continue to pile up
, and as housing prices remain depressed, the personal health of those affected could be cause for concern.
The damaging mental-health effects of the fragile economy have been a subject of study since the throes of the Great Recession
, and with the economy now settling into a state of near-inertia, those same health consequences appear likely to continue to afflict Americans who view their financial position as precarious. Of particular concern is the foreclosure crisis, which has already been linked to a wave of major depression
and is believed to exacerbate compulsive behaviors like alcoholism and gambling
. Now, increases in foreclosure activity appear to correlate with an uptick in hypertension, anxiety, diabetes and suicide attempts
, according to researchers at Princeton and Georgia State University.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation, and it's possible that a common factor -- like insolvency -- underlies both the rise in regional foreclosures observed in the study and the rise in hospitalization rates for stress-related ailments
in those same regions.
But if foreclosure rates can be taken as even a loose barometer of health concerns, it's likely that the spate of stress-related medical consequences will get worse before it gets better.
Read the full story
at The Huffington Post
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