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Risk Factors Identified for Early-Onset Sporadic Colorectal Cancer

Independent risk factors include age, body mass index, comorbidity, first- or second-degree relative with CRC, alcohol use

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 3, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Risk factors for early-onset colorectal cancer (EOCRC) have been identified in a study published online June 6 in Cancer Prevention Research.

Thomas F. Imperiale, M.D., from the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, and colleagues compared male veterans ages 35 to 49 years diagnosed with sporadic EOCRC matched 1:4 to clinic and colonoscopy controls without colorectal cancer. Sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, family and personal medical history, physical measures, vital signs, medication, and laboratory values six to 18 months prior to case diagnosis were ascertained. A full model and more parsimonious model were derived in the derivation cohort (75 percent of the total sample) and tested in the validation cohort. Data were included for 600 cases of sporadic EOCRC, 1,200 primary care clinic controls, and 1,200 colonoscopy controls.

The researchers found that age, cohabitation and employment status, body mass index, comorbidity, colorectal cancer or other visceral cancer in a first- or second-degree relative, alcohol use, exercise, hyperlipidemia, and use of statins, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and multivitamins were included as independent risk factors. For the full and parsimonious models, validation C-statistics were 0.75 to 0.76 and 0.74 to 0.75, respectively.

“This study is important because it puts whether, and possibly how, to screen people who are younger than age 45 — below the age for recommended colorectal cancer screening and have some of the risk factors we identify — on the table for consideration for screening,” Imperiale said in a statement.

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