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Study shows colorectal cancer screening rates high in patients with multiple health problems
Date:3/20/2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A study by University of Kentucky researchers showed that in Appalachia, colorectal cancer screening rates were higher in the population with multiple morbidities or diseases compared to those who had no morbidities at all.

Published in the Southern Medical Journal, the study used data based on a survey of 1,153 Appalachian men and women aged 50-76. Respondents were given four sets of questions designed to gather information on demographics; the presence of co-mordibities such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and various types of cancer; adherence to colorectal cancer screening guidelines; and barriers to and facilitators of colorectal cancer screening behavior.

Researchers found a dose-response relationship between the number of morbidities and the prevalence of colon cancer screening in the Appalachian population. Of those who reported two to three morbidities, 61.6 percent had received a colonoscopy; 65.7 percent had received a guideline-concordant colorectal screening. For patients with six or more morbidities, the rates rose to 69.6 percent and 79.6 percent, respectively.

In contrast, just 50 percent of those who reported no morbidities had undergone a colonoscopy, and only 56.5 percent had received any guideline-concordant colorectal screening.

The high screening rates in the multimorbid population were surprising, but it's a strong indication that the efforts to raise awareness about the importance of colonoscopies and other screening methods is working, says Nancy Schoenberg, Marion Pearsall Professor of Behavioral Science at the UK College of Medicine and principal investigator of the study.

"Over the past 10 years, there has been increasing coverage of the importance of colorectal cancer screening," Schoenberg said. "We are probably at about the same screening rate for colorectal cancer now that we were for cervical cancer and breast cancer several decades ago. We hope that color
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Contact: Allison Perry
allison.perry@uky.edu
859-323-2399
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert

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