Effects of Proximate Foreclosed Properties on Individuals’ Systolic Blood Pressure in Massachusetts, 1987 to 2008CLINICAL PERSPECTIVE
Background—No studies have examined the effects of local foreclosure activity on neighbors’ blood pressure, despite the fact that spillover effects of nearby foreclosures include many known risk factors for increased blood pressure. We assessed the extent to which living near foreclosed properties is associated with subsequent systolic blood pressure (SBP) measurements.
Methods and Results—We used 6590 geocoded observations collected from 1740 participants in the Framingham Offspring Cohort across 5 waves (1987–2008) of the Framingham Heart Study to create a longitudinal record of exposure to nearby foreclosure activity. We distinguished between real estate–owned foreclosures, which typically sit vacant, and foreclosures purchased by third-party buyers, which are generally put into productive use. Counts of lender-owned foreclosed properties within 100 m of participants’ homes were used to predict measured SBP and odds of being hypertensive. We assessed whether self-reported alcoholic drinks per week and measured body mass index helped to explain the relationship between foreclosure activity and SBP. Each additional real estate–owned foreclosure located within 100 m of a participant’s home was associated with an increase in SBP of 1.71 mm Hg (P=0.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.18–3.24) after adjustment for individual- and area-level confounders but not with odds of hypertension. The presence of foreclosures purchased by third-party buyers was not associated with SBP or with hypertension. Body mass index and alcohol consumption attenuated the effect of living near real estate–owned foreclosures on SBP in fully adjusted models.
Conclusions—Real estate–owned foreclosed properties may put nearby neighbors at risk for increased SBP, with higher alcohol consumption and body mass index partially mediating this relationship.
- Received September 10, 2013.
- Accepted March 7, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.