NORFOLK, Va. - It's time to get back to the doctor.
That's the message the American Heart Association is working to spread.
Doctors say they've seen a big decrease in people getting routine checkups as well as people waiting too long to be treated for serious issues like heart attacks or strokes.
That's led to complications that can't be reversed - or even death.
They're also concerned about how the pandemic has impacted people's behaviors. In a study just released this week, the people followed gained an average of a pound and a half a week.
"If you do the math on that, 12 months times a pound a half of weight, that's about 19 pounds of weight gain, and that will have an impact on blood sugar, on cholesterol, on blood pressure, and those will have long-term impacts on our cardiovascular health, so we need to get reengaged and get back to healthier behaviors," said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, President-Elect of the American Heart Association.
Lloyd-Jones says seeing your doctor is critical, but if you're really concerned about visiting in person, telehealth is a great alternative.