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Anemia, Hematochezia, and Risk for Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Friday, July 24, 2020

Diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia or hematochezia may be associated with an increased risk of young-onset colorectal cancer in patients younger than age 50, according to a population-based study of almost 900,000 people published in the journal of Gastroenterology and presented as part of the 2020 virtual Digestive Disease Week (DDW; Abstract Tu1806). These findings suggest earlier colonoscopy in young adults with these two conditions may be warranted, according to Samir Gupta, MD, MDCS, AGAF, of the VA San Diego Healthcare System and the University of California at San Diego, and colleagues.

From 1999 to 2016, patients with iron deficiency anemia and hematochezia were enrolled in the study. Each patient was matched to four patients without such anemia (n = 240,650) and hematochezia (n = 653,740), based on demographic information including sex, birth year, and date of the first visit. All patients were between 18 and 49 years of age and were U.S. veterans. Dr. Gupta and colleagues aimed to investigate the cumulative incidence and risk difference of young-onset colorectal cancer in each analytic cohort.

The investigators found a cumulative incidence of young-onset colorectal cancer of 0.43% in patients with iron deficiency anemia and 0.33% in patients with hematochezia. The risk difference for patients with anemia was more common for 0.78% of men and for 0.52% of patients between 40 and 49 years of age. In patients with hematochezia, the risk difference was more common for 0.31% of men and for 0.43% of patients between 40 and 49 years of age. These findings provide additional strategies to identify young-onset colorectal cancer in younger patients.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the authors, visit ddw.apprisor.org.



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