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As inflation goes up, people stay away from doctors’ offices

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Gallup Poll finds ‘2022 a challenging year for many Americans.’

Inflation kept patients away from physicians’ offices in 2022, according to a new poll.

A record 38% of people said they or a family member postponed medical treatment last year due to cost. The percentage was up 12 points from 2021 and a record in 22 years of polling, according to research company Gallup.

The figure also was the greatest year-on-year increase in the annual poll, and was five percentage points greater than the previous high of 33% set in 2014 and 2019, according to Gallup.

The U.S. inflation rate has been at a 40-year high, “which made 2022 a challenging year for many Americans,” the report said.

“A majority of U.S. adults have said inflation is creating at least a moderate hardship for them,” the Gallup report said. “The public continues to view the state of the U.S. economy negatively, and Americans were more likely to name inflation as the most important problem facing the U.S. in 2022 than at any time since 1984.”

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The results came from a poll conducted Nov. 9 to Dec. 2 and asked respondents about delaying health care in the past 12 months due to cost.

The latest figure followed two consecutive 26% readings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the health effects of the pandemic, those figures were the lowest since 2004, according to Gallup.

The effects were not spread evenly across demographic groups.

“Young adults, those in lower-income households and women were especially likely to say they or a family member had put off medical care,” the report said.


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