Preventative Care Disrupted By the Pandemic: What Long-Term Costs Can Be Expected? — Part II

 

Many people neglected preventative care long before the COVID era, but the pandemic has clearly accelerated the problem. We’ve already highlighted a few of the most problematic personal issues prompted by COVID-sparked delays. Next, we’ll take on a broader approach, looking at problems incurred throughout the health care system and in society at large:

Increased Death Rate from Non-COVID Causes

Evidence suggests that 40 percent of all deaths in the United States can be blamed on behavioral concerns such as diet, exercise, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Unfortunately, unhealthy coping mechanisms appear to be on the rise as people of all ages deal with the stress of the pandemic.

A concerning study from MDVIP and Ipsos reveals that nearly half of adults between the ages of 35 and 49 have acquired unhealthy habits during the pandemic. These issues may be difficult to address even after COVID subsides.

On a long-term basis, unhealthy behaviors initiated during the pandemic may lead to more deaths due to cancer or heart disease. Further suffering can be expected if patients or their children neglect to seek vaccines or other essential treatments.

Greater Strain on the Health Care System And Economy

As more adults develop chronic health care conditions, the already struggling health care system may suffer even greater strain, both in terms of finances and the ability to properly treat patients.

An inability to prevent and manage chronic conditions may also prompt long-term economic damage. Prior to the pandemic, the CDC estimated that the failure to address avoidable conditions costs the economy a whopping $260 billion dollars per year. With even fewer people receiving adequate care, these costs are certain to increase.

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