New York, May 13 IANS | 3 months ago

Are you living next to a property that is caught in legal tangles? Go get your blood pressure checked as living near foreclosed property may increase your risk of higher blood pressure, an alarming research indicates.


Foreclosures are legal courses of action that are taken against people who can not make house payments.

Neighbourhood environment is an important social determinant of cardiovascular health, including blood pressure, researchers said.

"The increases in blood pressure observed could be due in part to unhealthy stress from residents' perception that their own properties are less valuable, their streets less attractive or safe and their neighbourhoods less stable," explained Mariana Arcaya, Yerby post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard Centre for Population and Development Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Safety could also be a concern that affects their ability to exercise in these neighbourhoods.

Researchers reviewed data from 1,740 participants. They distinguished between real-estate-owned foreclosures and foreclosures purchased by third-party buyers.

Researchers found each additional foreclosed property within 100 metres of participants' homes was associated with an average increase of 1.71 mm Hg in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading).

The association only applied to properties that were real-estate owned and there was no effect from foreclosed properties more than 100 metres from participants' homes.

Other risk factors include genetics, advanced age, poor nutrition and excessive body weight and alcohol consumption.

Stress and other factors may also contribute to high blood pressure, said the study published in American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

(Posted on 13-05-2014)