Everyone knows that having disagreeable neighbors can make the joys of homeownership slightly less pleasurable. Neighbors who play their music too loudly, have barking dogs, entertain visitors at all hours of the night, or poorly care for their properties, have been the bane of homeowners for decades. But, those hoping that their neighbors will just go away may want to rethink that position. According to a recent study, living near a foreclosed property can also cause significant consternation.
A new study by the American Heart Association indicates that a person’s chances of developing high blood pressure increase when living near a home in foreclosure. The study followed 1,750 Massachusetts residents for 20 years and found that those who lived within 100 meters of a foreclosed home suffered from elevated systolic blood pressure, which is top blood pressure reading. Though the increase was not considered a major health risk, it was statistically significant and indicated to researchers that the recent financial crisis went beyond affecting people’s finances, affecting people’s health as well.
According to researchers the 100 meter radius was chosen because it represents the typical length of a housing block and includes, on average, two houses on either side of a given property. Additionally, researchers cite real estate studies which show that 100 meters is the range at which a foreclosure has the greatest affect one adjacent home prices. The study controlled for several factors including age, weight, sex, alcohol consumption, and even whether or not the participants were currently taking blood pressure medications.
The study also found that foreclosures which were quickly purchased did not seem to correlate to a rise in blood pressure, only those which remained vacant seemed to have the effect.
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