Are foreclosures making Arizonans sick?

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PHOENIX – The stress of the foreclosure crisis is making Arizonans physically ill.

Researchers from Princeton University and Georgia State looked at hospital visits in foreclosure-prone neighborhoods in Arizona, California, Florida, and Nevada.

They found correlations between zip codes with rising foreclosure rates and rising ailments.

For every rise of 100 foreclosures in a neighborhood, the study found a 7 percent rise in emergency room visits for high blood pressure, a 12 percent rise for anxiety attacks, and a 39 percent rise for suicide attempts.

"People are feeling trapped and desperate in their situations," said Lisa Watson of the EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center in Tempe.

EMPACT runs a 24/7 suicide hotline and staffers report a spike in overall calls and the number relating to financial problems like foreclosures.

"We tell them to have hope. There are other people going through this and who will also survive this," said Watson.