Association of Screening Lower Endoscopy with Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Adults Older Than 75 Years

Wenjie Ma, Kai Wang, Long H. Nguyen, Amit Joshi, Yin Cao, Reiko Nishihara, Kana Wu, Shuji Ogino, Edward L. Giovannucci, Mingyang Song, Andrew T. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Importance: Evidence indicates that screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) beginning at 50 years of age can detect early-stage CRC and premalignant neoplasms (eg, adenomas) and thus prevent CRC-related mortality. At present, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends continuing CRC screening until 75 years of age and individualized decision-making for adults older than 75 years, while accounting for a patient's overall health and screening history. However, scant data exist to support these recommendations. Objective: To examine the association of lower gastrointestinal tract screening endoscopy with the risk of CRC incidence and CRC-related mortality in older US adults. Design, Setting, and Participants: This prospective cohort study of health care professionals in the US included data from the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) from January 1, 1988, through January 31, 2016, for the HPFS and June 30, 2016, for the NHS. Data were analyzed from May 8, 2019, to July 9, 2020. Exposures: History of screening sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy (routine/average risk or positive family history) to 75 years of age and after 75 years of age, assessed every 2 years. Main Outcomes and Measures: Incidence of CRC and CRC-related mortality confirmed by National Death Index, medical records, and pathology reports. Results: Among 56374 participants who reached 75 years of age during follow-up (36.8% men and 63.2% women), 661 incident CRC cases and 323 CRC-related deaths were documented. Screening endoscopy after 75 years of age was associated with reduced risk of CRC incidence (multivariable hazard ratio [HR], 0.61; 95% CI, 0.51-0.74) and CRC-related mortality (HR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.46-0.78), regardless of screening history. The HR comparing screening with nonscreening after 75 years of age was 0.67 (95% CI, 0.50-0.89) for CRC incidence and 0.58 (95% CI, 0.38-0.87) for CRC-related mortality among participants who underwent screening endoscopy before 75 years of age, and 0.51 (95% CI, 0.37-0.70) for CRC incidence and 0.63 (95% CI, 0.43-0.93) for CRC-related mortality among participants without a screening history. However, screening endoscopy after 75 years of age was not associated with risk reduction in CRC death among participants with cardiovascular disease (HR, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.59-2.35) or significant comorbidities (HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.57-2.43). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, endoscopy among individuals older than 75 years was associated with lower risk of CRC incidence and CRC-related mortality. These data support continuation of screening after 75 years of age among individuals without significant comorbidities..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-992
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA oncology
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

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