Journal Article
Invited commentary: foreclosures and health in a neighborhood context

Recent systematic reviews link foreclosure to worse health at both the individual and population levels. In this issue of the Journal, Downing et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2017;185(6):429–435) add to what is known about foreclosure and health by examining annual measures of glycemic control in relation to local foreclosure activity. They provided evidence that between 2007 and 2010, glycemic control was not associated with rates of completed foreclosure among a continuously insured managed-care population of persons with type 2 diabetes living in 9 California counties. In this commentary, I consider 5 possible interpretations of the null results: 1) foreclosures do not affect health in general, 2) glycated hemoglobin is insensitive to local foreclosure activity, 3) the presence of real estate owned foreclosures (rather than the competed foreclosure rate) affects health, 4) an integrated health-care delivery system buffers patients from the effects of the foreclosure crisis, and 5) community conditions and responses to the foreclosure crisis buffer patients from the effects of the foreclosure crisis. I close by arguing that research on the contextual effects of foreclosure on health should continue despite the ongoing recovery of the housing market.

Title
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsArcaya M
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume185
Issue6
Pagination436-439
Date Published02/2017
Abstract

Recent systematic reviews link foreclosure to worse health at both the individual and population levels. In this issue of the Journal, Downing et al. (Am J Epidemiol. 2017;185(6):429–435) add to what is known about foreclosure and health by examining annual measures of glycemic control in relation to local foreclosure activity. They provided evidence that between 2007 and 2010, glycemic control was not associated with rates of completed foreclosure among a continuously insured managed-care population of persons with type 2 diabetes living in 9 California counties. In this commentary, I consider 5 possible interpretations of the null results: 1) foreclosures do not affect health in general, 2) glycated hemoglobin is insensitive to local foreclosure activity, 3) the presence of real estate owned foreclosures (rather than the competed foreclosure rate) affects health, 4) an integrated health-care delivery system buffers patients from the effects of the foreclosure crisis, and 5) community conditions and responses to the foreclosure crisis buffer patients from the effects of the foreclosure crisis. I close by arguing that research on the contextual effects of foreclosure on health should continue despite the ongoing recovery of the housing market.

URLhttps://academic.oup.com/aje/article/185/6/436/2982001/Invited-Commentary-Foreclosures-and-Health-in-a