Article sponsored by the American Heart Association
Over the past year, many people have missed routine exams, annual physicals, and important health screenings. Delayed checkups, combined with unhealthy habits picked up during the pandemic, can take a physical and emotional toll on your overall wellbeing.
“We understand that some may not have been able to prioritize preventative care while living through a pandemic,” explained American Heart Association San Diego Division Chair Yameeka Williams, “but primary and specialty doctor visits are an important way to protect your health – especially if you have top risk factors for severe COVID-19 complications like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or obesity.”
With that in mind, the American Heart Association, the leading voluntary organization devoted to longer, healthier lives, has launched “Doctor, It’s Been Too Long” – a campaign focused on getting San Diegans reconnected with their medical providers.
A recent survey reinforces how the pandemic may be negatively impacting people’s future health. At least 23.9% of California residents reported delaying or not getting medical care in the past four weeks because of the pandemic, according to the CDC’s latest Household Pulse Survey.
“That hesitancy is impacting our overall health, both physical and mental,” stressed Pamela Gray Payton, VP, Chief Impacts and Partnerships Officer, for The San Diego Foundation, which provided funding for the campaign.
“You need to take charge of your health,” Williams stressed. “Schedule those check-ups you may have missed and reconnect with your provider to ensure you can manage any conditions you may have like high blood pressure or diabetes.” Williams added that while you are taking charge of your health, getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from the novel coronavirus that has now killed more than half a million Americans.
Williams stressed that health care professionals have plans to keep you and medical staff safe even during a pandemic. But if you are uncomfortable or unable to visit your doctor’s office in-person, there are still ways you can connect. “Telemedicine can offer an alternative to skipping those important check-ins and check-ups. Video chats through platforms like FaceTime or Zoom can connect you and your doctor face-to-face and voice-to-voice for a personalized visit. And there are many new options for equipment that make home testing and monitoring easy and convenient to help you and your doctor track your progress.”
Learn more at heart.org/en/health-topics/doctor-its-been-too-long