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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Neighborhood crime has been found to have negative health effects on residents living in high-crime areas, but now researchers are saying it can also affect the health of those living in safe neighborhoods.
Researchers at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions looked at data collected from 53,402 Chicago residents. They used information from the Chicago Police Data Portal and matched violent crime rates to home addresses of patients from nearby outpatient clinics.
Researchers found people living in low-crime areas experienced significant increases in blood pressure that corresponded with spikes in violent crime in dangerous neighborhoods.
Overall, researchers say, low-crime communities had lower rates of high blood pressure (22.5 percent) compared with high-crime communities (36.5 percent).
According to Philadelphia police statistics, there were 351 murders in the city last year, making it the most since 2007.