Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Patients Affected by Non-Communicable Diseases in Europe and in the USA

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Jun 22;18(13):6697. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18136697.


An international online patient community, Carenity, conducted a patient study in two independent waves among adults affected by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Europe and in the United States of America (USA). The study aimed to assess the real time impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the medical conditions of patients with NCDs, their access to health care, and their adaptation to daily life as well as to describe their sources of information on COVID-19 and their needs for specific information and support. During the pandemic, 50% of the patients reported a worsening of their medical condition, and 17% developed a new disease. Additionally, 26% of the respondents reported an impact of the pandemic on regular/long-term treatment intake. 54% of the patients felt very or completely socially isolated and reported a strong impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their stress level and state of mind, with higher levels observed in the USA compared to Europe. 59% of the respondents wished to have received additional information regarding the risks associated to their medical condition during the pandemic. Television was the most used source of information, whereas physicians were the most trusted one. This study describes the substantial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on NCD patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; access; behavior; health care impact; isolation; non-communicable diseases; patient experience; source of information; stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Noncommunicable Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States / epidemiology