Effects of Proximate Foreclosed Properties on Individuals' Systolic Blood Pressure in Massachusetts, 1987-2008
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).
Methods and Results—We used geocoded 6,590 observations collected from 1,740 participants in the Framingham Offspring Cohort across five 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 (REOs), 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 meters 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 BMI helped explain the foreclosure activity-SBP relationship. Each additional REO located within 100 meters of a participant's home was associated with an increase in SBP of 1.71 mm/hg (p=.03; 95%CI = 0.18 - 3.24) after adjusting 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 nor with hypertension. BMI and alcohol consumption attenuated the effect of living near REOs 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.
- Revision received February 28, 2014.
- Accepted March 7, 2014.