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Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the health effects of high home foreclosure rates in an area of the United States of America and the utility of hospital discharge data for this purpose.

Methods: We analyzed hospital discharge data from three postal zip codes using the principal diagnosis for 25 Diagnostic Related Groups associated with stress. Descriptive statistics were used to characterize hospital discharge rates for each condition by year and zip code. To test for differences across time, the Cochran-Armitage trend test was performed.

Results: Most conditions did not demonstrate a statistical change between 2005 and 2008. There was a marked spike in bipolar and depressive disorders in 2007 in all zip codes.

Conclusions: The sharp rise for bipolar and depressive disorders in 2007 coincides with the doubling of foreclosure filings nationally. There are many confounding factors affecting hospital discharge data, which limit its specificity for assessing the health effects of foreclosure.


Community-Based Research | Community Health | Health Psychology | Immune System Diseases | Place and Environment | Psychology | Public Health | Virus Diseases

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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.