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Am J Public Health. 2009 Oct;99(10):1833-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.161380. Epub 2009 Aug 20.

Health status of people undergoing foreclosure in the Philadelphia region.

Author information

1
Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA. cpollack@rand.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We assessed the health status of people undergoing mortgage foreclosure in the Philadelphia region to determine if there was a relationship between foreclosure and health.

METHODS:

Participants were recruited in partnership with a mortgage counseling agency. Participants' health status and health care use were compared with a community sample from the 2008 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey. We used publicly filed foreclosure records to assess response bias.

RESULTS:

Of the 250 people recruited, 36.7% met screening criteria for major depression. The foreclosure sample was significantly more likely than the community sample to not have insurance coverage (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.28; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.49, 3.48) and to not have filled a prescription because of cost in the preceding year (AOR = 3.44; 95% CI = 2.45, 4.83). Approximately 9% of the participants reported that their own or a family member's medical condition was the primary reason they were undergoing foreclosure. More than a quarter of those in foreclosure (27.7%) stated that they owed money to medical creditors.

CONCLUSIONS:

Foreclosure affects already-vulnerable populations. Public health practitioners may be able to leverage current efforts to connect homeowners with mortgage counseling agencies to improve health care access.

PMID:
19696373
PMCID:
PMC2741520
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2009.161380
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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