Last week a study was released which linked foreclosures with increased blood pressure readings among those who lived close to the foreclosed properties. Now, a new study is linking foreclosures to and even more serious health risk. Researchers now claim that suicide rates among those who undergo foreclosure are likely increased by the process, when compared to the rates of suicide among the general population.
According to a study titled The Home Foreclosure Crisis and Rising Suicide Rates 2005 to 2010, the suicide rate from 2005 to 2010 in the general population rose about 13%. But, in the same time period the suicide rate among those who had homes in foreclosure nearly tripled. The correlation between foreclosure and suicide was even stronger in cases where a family’s primary (real-estate-owned foreclosures) residence was the subject of foreclosure proceedings, as opposed to vacation homes or Investment Properties.
According to the study, which was conducted by Jason N. Houle of Dartmouth College and Michael T. Light of Purdue University, those between the ages of 46 and 64 were found to be the most susceptible to committing suicide while in foreclosure. For example, foreclosed home owners in that age group saw a 25% increase in suicides correlating with a relatively modest 5% increase in real-estate-owned foreclosures during the period. However, despite the high correlations between foreclosure and suicide, researchers cautioned that correlation does not necessarily mean that foreclosures caused the suicides.
Researchers continue to debate whether or not economic recessions, and all of the resulting economic hardships, cause depression and suicide. While some studies have found no link between the two, a CDC study in 2011 suggested that the suicides tend to spike during periods of tough economic conditions, and tend to recede when the economy begins to grow.
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