Pandemic led to cancellation, postponement of 30 percent of health-care visits – The Washington Post

Share Article

In 2021, 30 percent of health-care appointments held by older adults were postponed or canceled for pandemic-related reasons, according to research by Michigan Medicine’s National Poll on Healthy Aging. The disruptions included scheduled checkups with a primary care doctor or dentist as well as appointments for a variety of medical tests, procedures and operations.
Based on data from a nationally representative sample of 1,011 adults 50 and older, the researchers found that, as of January, most people have either received the care that had been postponed or have rescheduled their appointment (50 percent for dental care, 72 percent for tests and procedures, 76 percent for primary care visits). But, they expressed concern about the number of people who had not yet rescheduled or did not intend to (for dental care: 37 percent; for tests and procedures: 26 percent; for doctor visits: 22 percent).
After a year of pandemic-delayed medical treatments, doctors are seeing more cases of advanced illnesses
In all areas, rescheduling was much more probable among vaccinated people than unvaccinated (64 percent vs. 30 percent for dental care; 81 percent vs. 44 percent for tests and procedures; 85 percent vs. 53 percent for doctor visits).
Not getting needed care comes with an array of potential health and wellness consequences. For instance, tooth decay that needs a simple filling but is not treated could progress to requiring a root canal, which is more complicated and more expensive; the cause of a pain cannot be diagnosed and could become chronic without a doctor’s examination; cancer may not be detected and could advance because of a missed screening.
How to make the most of your first doctor’s appointment in a while
One researcher said that although appointments had been derailed by the pandemic, people should remember that “covid-19 is not the only risk to health.”

The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning.
By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


You might also like

Surviving 2nd wave of corona

Surviving The 2nd Wave of Corona

‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort