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Americans Worry Doctor Visits Raise COVID-19 Risk
Well-Being

Americans Worry Doctor Visits Raise COVID-19 Risk

Americans Worry Doctor Visits Raise COVID-19 Risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- More than four in five Americans consider visits to medical facilities risky right now given the potential of being exposed to COVID-19. When asked how they would feel if they needed medical treatment, 42% of U.S. adults interviewed last week said they would be "very concerned" about being exposed to the novel coronavirus at a doctor's office or hospital, and another 41% said they would be "moderately concerned." Just 17% would be "not too concerned" or "not concerned at all."

Americans' Concern About Exposure to COVID-19 at Doctor's Office or Hospital
If you needed medical treatment right now, how concerned would you be about being exposed to coronavirus at a doctor's office or hospital?
U.S. adults
%
Very concerned 42
Moderately concerned 41
Not too concerned 13
Not concerned at all 4
Gallup Panel, March 28-April 2, 2020

These findings are based on an online, probability-based Gallup Panel survey conducted March 28-April 2.

A separate Gallup question (asked via Gallup Panel March 13-April 2) finds Americans less concerned about their general risk of exposure to COVID-19. Twenty-six percent are "very worried" and another 48% are "somewhat worried" that they or a family member will be exposed.

Adults With Immune Problems, Kidney Disease Most Concerned

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19." These conditions include chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, diabetes, kidney or liver disease, severe obesity and various conditions that can cause a person to be immune compromised.

Despite these warnings, the latest Gallup Panel study finds that adults aged 65 and older are not more concerned than younger adults about visiting a medical office, as evidenced by the percentages "very concerned."

Americans' Concern About Exposure to COVID-19 at Doctor's Office or Hospital, by Age
If you needed medical treatment right now, how concerned would you be about being exposed to coronavirus at a doctor's office or hospital?
Very concerned Moderately concerned Not too concerned Not concerned at all
% % % %
U.S. adults 42 41 13 4
18-29 36 48 11 5
30-49 47 39 10 3
50-64 37 42 16 4
65+ 42 40 15 3
Gallup Panel, March 28-April 2, 2020

By contrast, there are significant differences by health status. Adults who have ever been diagnosed as immune compromised (56%) or as having kidney disease (56%) express especially high concern about their risk of COVID-19 exposure at medical offices.

Others expressing above-average concern include those with COPD, asthma or heart disease. However, the percentage "very concerned" is not elevated among those with diabetes, with hypertension or who have ever been diagnosed with cancer.

Americans' Concern About Exposure to COVID-19 at Doctor's Office or Hospital, by Health Condition
If you needed medical treatment right now, how concerned would you be about being exposed to coronavirus at a doctor's office or hospital?
Very concerned Moderately concerned Not too concerned Not concerned at all
% % % %
U.S. adults 42 41 13 4
Immune compromised 56 36 7 0
Kidney disease 56 30 12 3
COPD 51 35 8 6
Asthma 49 38 10 3
Heart disease 48 38 10 4
Diabetes 43 37 17 2
Hypertension/High blood pressure 43 40 14 3
Cancer 39 50 9 3
Health conditions question: Have you ever been told by a physician or nurse that you have any of the following? (% Yes)
Gallup Panel, March 28-April 2, 2020

Fear of Medical Office Exposure Varies by Gender, Education, Party ID

Women, adults in their 30s and 40s, and college graduates are more likely than their counterparts to be highly worried about COVID-19 exposure in medical settings. Additionally, as seen with other measures of concern about the novel coronavirus, Democrats (with 51% "very concerned") are more worried than are Republicans (31%), while independents' concern (42%) is about midway between the two major party groups.

Americans' Concern About Exposure to COVID-19 at Doctor's Office or Hospital, by Demographics
If you needed medical treatment right now, how concerned would you be about being exposed to coronavirus at a doctor's office or hospital?
Very concerned Moderately concerned Not too concerned Not concerned at all
% % % %
U.S. adults 42 41 13 4
Gender
Men 35 43 17 5
Women 49 39 9 2
Education
College graduate 47 42 10 2
Not college graduate 40 41 15 5
Party ID
Democrats 51 40 8 1
Independents 42 39 14 4
Republicans 31 44 18 7
Size of community
City 43 43 11 3
Suburb 47 39 11 4
Small town/Rural 38 42 16 4
Gallup Panel, March 28-April 2, 2020

Learn more about how the Gallup Panel works.


Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/307640/americans-worry-doctor-visits-raise-covid-risk.aspx
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