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Inflation led a record high 38% of Americans to delay medical treatment due to costs last year, Gallup reported Tuesday in an annual poll.

The percentage who reported they or a family member postponed medical treatment is up from 26% at the end of 2021. It is the highest in the 22 years the polling company has surveyed the issue.

“This change came amid the highest inflation rate in the U.S. in more than 40 years, which made 2022 a challenging year for many Americans,” Gallup said.

An average of 29% of adults reported putting off medical treatment due to cost between 2001 and 2021, according to Gallup. The previous high in the trend, 33%, occurred in 2014 and again in 2019.

In 2022, Gallup found Americans more than twice as likely to report delaying treatment for a serious rather than a “nonserious” condition.

Among those responding to the latest poll, 27% said they put off medical care for a “very” or “somewhat” serious condition or illness. By comparison, 11% said it was “not very” or “not at all” serious.

Americans who are too young to receive Medicare coverage and those with less income struggled the most.

The percentage of lower-income adults who said they deferred medical treatment for “serious conditions” rose by 12 points from 2021 to 2022. It rose by 11 points among middle-income Americans and by seven among higher-income respondents.

A new high of 35% of adults aged 18 to 49 and 25% of Americans aged 50 to 64 said they or someone in their family put off care. By comparison, 13% of those aged 65 and older said the same.

Gallup conducted the randomized national telephone survey of 1,020 adults on Nov. 9-Dec. 2. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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