Did pandemic lockdowns cause delays in routine medical checkups and screenings?

Tuesday, January 11, 2022
By Lisa Freedland

According to CDC data, by the end of June 2020, 41% of American adults had reported "delaying or avoiding" urgent or emergency care (12%) and routine check-ups (32%) due to concerns about being infected with the coronavirus. Such behavior was particularly prevalent among certain groups, including caretakers for adults, those with other medical conditions or disabilities, and Black or Hispanic individuals.

Others, however, have simply been unable to schedule medical screenings or appointments due to pandemic-induced lockdowns. A July 2020 study by the Epic Health Research Network found that volumes of screenings for various types of cancers were 29% to 36% lower than their pre-pandemic levels. Doctors are reporting anxieties that many patients remain undiagnosed or are coming in with more severe cases.

The American Heart Association has since begun a "Don't Die of Doubt" campaign, encouraging patients to seek medical help for non-COVID-19-related conditions.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
Between 2020 and 2022, under close editorial supervision, Gigafact contracted a group of freelance writers and editors to test the concepts for fact briefs and provide inputs to our software development process. We call this effort Gigafact Foundry. Over the course of these two years, Gigafact Foundry writers published over 1500 fact briefs in response to claims they found online. Their important work forms the basis of Gigafact formats and editorial guidelines, and is available to the public on Gigafact.org. Readers should be aware that while there is still a lot of relevant information to be found, not all fact briefs produced by Gigafact Foundry reflect Gigafact's current methods and standards for fact briefs. If you come across any that you feel are out of date and need to be looked at with fresh eyes, don't hesitate to contact us at support@gigafact.org.