Community Health Behaviors and Geographic Variation in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer Survival Among Women

Andreana N. Holowatyj, Marvin E. Langston, Yunan Han, Richard Viskochil, Jose Perea, Yin Cao, Charles R. Rogers, Christopher H. Lieu, Justin X. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Despite overall reductions in colorectal cancer (CRC) morbidity and mortality, survival disparities by sex persist among young patients (age <50 years). Our study sought to quantify variance in early-onset CRC survival accounted for by individual/community-level characteristics among a population-based cohort of US women. METHODS: Geographic hot spots-counties with high early-onset CRC mortality rates among women-were derived using 3 geospatial autocorrelation approaches with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national mortality data. We identified women (age: 15-49 years) diagnosed with CRC from 1999 to 2016 in the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. Patterns of community health behaviors by hot spot classification were assessed by Spearman correlation (ρ). Generalized R values were used to evaluate variance in survival attributed to individual/community-level features. RESULTS: Approximately 1 in every 16 contiguous US counties identified as hot spots (191 of 3,108), and 52.9% of hot spot counties (n = 101) were located in the South. Among 28,790 women with early-onset CRC, 13.7% of cases (n = 3,954) resided in hot spot counties. Physical inactivity and fertility were community health behaviors that modestly correlated with hot spot residence among women with early-onset CRC (ρ = 0.21 and ρ = -0.23, respectively; P < 0.01). Together, individual/community-level features accounted for distinct variance patterns in early-onset CRC survival among women (hot spot counties: 33.8%; non-hot spot counties: 34.1%). DISCUSSION: Individual/community-level features accounted for approximately one-third of variation in early-onset CRC survival among women and differed between hot spot vs non-hot spot counties. Understanding the impact of community health behaviors-particularly in regions with high early-onset CRC mortality rates-is critical for tailoring strategies to reduce early-onset CRC disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e00266
JournalClinical and Translational Gastroenterology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


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