New diagnoses of common chronic diseases and cancers plummeted during COVID-19 pandemic

doctor visit
Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

New diagnoses of common chronic conditions have dramatically declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study. Researchers in Spain analyzed annual incidence rates of the main cardiovascular risk factors, chronic diseases, and some cancers in 2020, compared with data from 2017-2019. They found a reduction in newly reported diagnoses ranging from a 36% decline for high cholesterol diagnoses to a 50% decline in the diagnosis of pulmonary diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Additionally, the rate of diagnosis of anxiety disorders increased by 16% while the diagnoses of alcohol use disorder decreased by 46%.

The authors note that the decline is not reflective of improved health outcomes but suggests that people are not receiving appropriate and timely health screenings that would diagnose these conditions early, when there is a greater chance of effective treatment and good .

They write that returning to the level of detection and control of before the pandemic will require a substantial increase in and nurses; a return to face-to-face visits; a reorganization of telehealth; and the promotion of proactive care in patients who have the greatest comorbidities.


Explore further

Health care utilization highest in first 30 days after COVID-19 diagnosis

More information: Antoni Sisó-Almirall et al, Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Primary Health Care Disease Incidence Rates: 2017 to 2020, The Annals of Family Medicine (2021). DOI: 10.1370/afm.2731
Journal information: Annals of Family Medicine

Citation: New diagnoses of common chronic diseases and cancers plummeted during COVID-19 pandemic (2022, January 26) retrieved 24 May 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-01-common-chronic-diseases-cancers-plummeted.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
8 shares

Feedback to editors