Despite the vast distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, a challenge is still occurring within our healthcare system. Individuals with preventable chronic health conditions continue to be a growing concern.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60% of adults have one chronic condition and 40% of adults have two or more chronic diseases.
What’s interesting is majority of these chronic diseases can be avoided or reversed through things like adjusting lifestyle factors such as quitting smoking, getting your an annual exam, physical activity, proper nutrition, etc.
As we know, the effects of COVID-19 caused individuals to cancel non-emergency care services for months. This has caused signs of chronic disease to advance due to a lack of addressment in an earlier time frame. In fact, the CDC reported, 32% of adults, since last June, have reported that they avoided medical care due to COVID-19 and an additional 12% delayed going to urgent care.
To help combat this, providers have made the switch to integrating remote tools like telehealth, monitoring, and phone apps to help manage chronic diseases from home. Nevertheless, more developments are occurring to meet the needs of the individuals who are suffering. Specifically, the chronic conditions to watch out for are from individuals engaging in behaviors like overeating, being sedentary, drug or alcohol use, and smoking. Stress and anxiety levels can also play into an increase of symptoms.
With the surge finally beginning to subside, healthcare professionals highly recommend individuals get back to their scheduled visits. Especially since some conditions like diabetes and hypertension require continuous care and should not be delayed or symptoms will get progressively worse.
For more information about the chronic disease wave looming post-pandemic, please view this post.