Screening guidelines for colorectal cancer include colonoscopy starting at age 50 years based on the prevalence of adenomas and the incidence of colon cancer at that age.
However, only 1 prior study has investigated the prevalence of colorectal neoplasia with colonoscopic screening in asymptomatic average-risk individuals ages 40 to 49 years in the United States.
|In the 40 to 49 years age group, 14% of patients had 1 adenoma or more|
Dr Alfred Neugut and colleagues from New York, USA analyzed the results of screening colonoscopies offered to patients of a health care provider.
The health care provider offers screening services as part of an employer-provided wellness program.
The primary end points were prevalence of adenomas and cancers for those aged 40 to 49 years vs those 50 to 59 years.
The team analyzed 553 screening colonoscopies for patients ages 40 to 49 years, and 352 screening colonoscopies for patients ages 50 to 59 years.
In the 40 to 49 years age group, 14% of patients had 1 or more adenomas, and 2% had an advanced neoplasm.
In the 50 to 59 years age group, 16% of patients had 1 or more adenomas detected.
The team noted that 4% of patients screened had an advanced neoplasm, and less than 1% had an adenocarcinoma detected.
Dr Neugut's team concluded, "We found on colonoscopic screening that the prevalence of total adenomas was similar in individuals ages 40 to 49 years."
"The prevalence of advanced neoplasia in the 50 to 59 years age group may be higher than that in the 40 to 49 years age group."