What talk I've heard about deaths caused by prolonged lockdowns has focused on behavioral issues such as suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse, and domestic violence. What I want to know is, are there any estimates of how many will die or have seriously impaired health as a result of skipping or postponing "inessential" health care such as elective procedures, routine checkups, tests, and screenings? How many will die or suffer because they aren't getting colonoscopies, mammograms, lipids tests, dental cleanings, eye exams?

Prior research: I searched this site with such keywords as "lockdown", "shutdown", "quarantine", "social distancing"; didn't find anything relevant. By the way I'm a layman, no scientific training, have taken an elementary class in statistics.

  • Have you done any prior research? Apr 16 '20 at 4:33
  • But what research have you done outside this site?
    – Carey Gregory
    Apr 16 '20 at 13:57
  • @CareyGregory Research? I don't have the training or resources to conduct my own scientific research program. My question is based on the expectation, or hope, that the research has already been done. I lack the access and knowledgeability to search the scientific literature myself, and might be hard pressed to understand or evaluate anything I might find. So I came to a question and answer site populated by experts. But I think you are hinting that any dummy should have been able to find the answer for himself.
    – bof
    Apr 17 '20 at 3:06
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    With regard to prior research, in fairness to the OP, there are numerous reports in the media and through public mental health campaigns of increases in reports of domestic violence, depression, anxiety and suicide. This is a valid question in my view, bearing in mind that the question highlights the fact that there can only be estimates at this present time in relation to covid lockdowns. The only problem I can see, as @Brian points out, is that this question is extremely broad given the scope of research required to provide such an estimate based on the wide range of health factors included. Apr 17 '20 at 10:18
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    @bof No, I was absolutely not "hinting that any dummy should have been able to find the answer for himself." The reason we have a prior research requirement is to weed out trivial "google this for me" questions that would be easily answered by a simple web search. You might be surprised how common those questions are. I would recommend that you take a cue from Chris Rogers' comment and google some of the things he mentioned, and then edit your question and add what you found,
    – Carey Gregory
    Apr 18 '20 at 23:11

Your question is very broad but I can provide some insight into obesity and vaccinations.

One concern is that childhood obesity (and potentially adult obesity) will worsen during this lockdown. In a recent editorial, the author argues that children's physical activity will likely decrease during this lockdown and, with decreased access to school food, households will likely stock up on non-perishable foods that are dense in calories. In addition, they cite previous research showing that children tend to gain weight during summer breaks, and the lockdown may worsen this phenomenon.

Another concern in primary care is the inability for people to access routine vaccinations. In particular, millions of children are missing out on the measles vaccine. In recent years there have already been outbreaks of measles due to decreased rates of vaccination, and so there is high risk for more outbreaks. One can generalize that adults may also be missing out on key vaccines such as pneumococcal pneumonia or shingles -- perhaps there will be increased rates of pneumonia or shingles as a result.

Of course, increases in both obesity and vaccine-preventable diseases can increase health risks and increase the risk of death.

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