Rates of Prevalent Colorectal Cancer Occurrence in Persons 75 Years of Age and Older: A Population-Based National Study.

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Digestive diseases and sciences


Adolescent; Adult; Age Distribution; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Child; Colorectal Neoplasms; Comorbidity; Databases, Factual; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Prevalence; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Time Factors; United States; Young Adult; Colorectal cancer; Elderly; Epidemiology; Prevalence; Screening guidelines


BACKGROUND/AIMS: There is a lack of studies describing the epidemiology of colorectal cancer (CRC) in patients aged 75 years and older (elderly). Current guidelines recommend against routine screening colonoscopies in this population. We sought to describe the epidemiology of CRC in the elderly, utilizing a large, population-based database as this may impact screening guidelines in this population.

METHODS: Utilizing a commercial database (Explorys Inc, Cleveland, OH), we identified a cohort of patients with a first-ever diagnosis of CRC between 2012 and 2017 based on the Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine-Clinical Terms. We calculated the rate of first-ever CRC occurrence in the elderly, described age, race, and gender-based rates of new CRC diagnoses, and identified associated conditions for new CRC in the elderly.

RESULTS: The rate of first-ever CRC in the elderly (aged 75 and above) was 102.6/100,000 persons. The rate of new CRC was higher in males than females and in African Americans than Caucasians and Asians. There was a higher prevalence of right than left colon cancer. The rate of new CRC was higher in elderly with certain comorbidities.

CONCLUSION: The rate of new CRC diagnosis in the elderly was substantially greater compared to the overall population. Screening would be justified especially if a patient's life expectancy warrants it particularly if the patient has specific associated conditions that increase the risk for CRC.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Digestive Health