Table of Contents
ISRN Public Health
Volume 2012, Article ID 740731, 5 pages
Research Article

Health Effects Associated with Foreclosure: A Secondary Analysis of Hospital Discharge Data

1School of Nursing, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 South Maryland Parkway, P.O. Box 453018, Las Vegas, NV 89154-3018, USA
2School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV 89154-3063, USA

Received 10 September 2011; Accepted 5 October 2011

Academic Editor: D. M. Ivanovic

Copyright © 2012 Nancy N. Menzel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.