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Many Older Adults Still Have Not Received Care Delayed by COVID-19

Stark difference seen in rescheduling of missed test, procedure, or operation by vaccination status

THURSDAY, March 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The pandemic disrupted health care for around 30 percent of older adults, according to the results of the latest University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Jeffrey Kullgren, M.D., from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted phone interviews with 1,011 adults (aged 50 years or older) in January 2022.

According to the results of the survey, 14 percent of respondents said they postponed, rescheduled, or canceled a procedure, operation, or test in the past year, and another 8 percent said their provider had done so. Roughly one in seven older adults (15 percent) said they had postponed, rescheduled, or canceled a visit to their primary care provider for a COVID-19-related reason in the past year, while 11 percent said their provider had done so. While most respondents said they had made up the missed test, procedure, or operation delayed due to COVID-19 in 2021, there were differences in rescheduling by vaccination status, with 44 percent of unvaccinated older adults rescheduling versus 81 percent of vaccinated and boosted older adults.

“Even as the pandemic continues, it’s important for everyone to remember that COVID-19 is not the only risk to health,” poll director Preeti Malani, M.D., said in a statement. “It’s important to make sure we are taking care of all the health needs of older adults, including care that may have been disrupted.”

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