Widespread Avoidance of Medical Care Found Due to COVID-19 Concerns
Prevalence of care avoidance higher for caregivers, those with underlying conditions, disabilities
THURSDAY, Sept. 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- There was widespread reporting of avoidance of medical care due to COVID-19-related concerns in June 2020, according to research published in the Sept. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Mark É. Czeisler, from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues administered a web-based survey to a nationwide representative sample of U.S. adults during June 24 to 30, 2020, to examine delay or avoidance of urgent or emergency and routine medical care because of concerns about COVID-19.
The researchers found that due to concerns about COVID-19, an estimated 40.9 percent of U.S. adults avoided medical care during the pandemic, including 12.0 and 31.5 percent who avoided urgent or emergency care and avoided routine care, respectively. Groups that had a significantly higher estimated prevalence of urgent or emergency care avoidance included unpaid caregivers for adults versus noncaregivers (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR], 2.9); persons with two or more selected underlying medical conditions versus those without (aPR, 1.9); persons with health insurance versus those without (aPR, 1.8); non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic or Latino adults versus non-Hispanic Whites (aPRs, 1.6 and 1.5, respectively); adults aged 18 to 24 versus 25 to 44 years (aPR, 1.5); and those with versus those without disabilities (aPR, 1.3).
"Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, persons experiencing a medical emergency should seek and be provided care without delay," the authors write.