More than 40% of US adults skipped medical care since COVID-19
As of June 30, 40.9% of U.S. adults had delayed or avoided medical care due to concerns about COVID-19, according to a survey in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Mark É. Czeisler, of the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University in Australia, and colleagues analyzed 4,975 responses to a web-based survey administered to a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults from June 24 through June 30. They found that 31.5% of adults had avoided routine care and 12% had avoided urgent or emergency care due to COVID-19.
Among those who eluded any type of medical care:
- 54.7% had two or more selected underlying medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, high BP, CVD and cancer;
- 55.5% were Hispanic;
- 57.2% were aged 18 to 24 years;
- 60.3% had disabilities;
- 64.3% were unpaid caregivers for adults; and
- 50.3% were students.
Among those who avoided only urgent or emergency care:
- 22.7% had two or more selected underlying conditions;
- 24.6% were Hispanic;
- 30.9% were aged 18 to 24 years;
- 22.8% had disabilities;
- 29.8% were unpaid caregivers for adults; and
- 22.7% were students.
The researchers found that non-Hispanic Black adults (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 1.6) and Hispanic or Latino adults (aPR = 1.5) were significantly more likely than white adults to avoid urgent or emergency care. Czeisler and colleagues wrote that the increased prevalence of Black and Hispanic patients avoiding urgent or emergency care in tandem with the increased COVID-19-associated mortality among these groups was “especially concerning.”
Noting the important role of routine care in preventing disease and chronic disease management, the researchers suggested offering telehealth and in-home care to assuage concerns among anxious patients.