Socioeconomic inequalities in interval colorectal cancer are explained by differences in faecal haemoglobin concentration and age: a register-based cohort study

Ulrik Deding, Morten Kobaek-Larsen, Henrik Bøggild, Lasse Kaalby, Marianne Kirstine Thygesen, Gunnar Baatrup

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Abstract

Objective To estimate the risk of interval colorectal cancer (CRC) in faecal immunochemical test (FIT) negative screening participants according to socioeconomic status. Design In this register-based study, first round FIT negative (<20 μg hb/g faeces) screening participants (biennial FIT, citizens aged 50-74) were followed to estimate interval CRC risk. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression models estimated HRs based on socioeconomic status defined by educational level and income. Models were adjusted for age, sex and FIT concentration. Results We identified 829 (0.7‰) interval CRC in 1 160 902 individuals. Interval CRC was more common in lower socioeconomic strata with 0.7‰ for medium-long higher education compared with 1.0‰ for elementary school and 0.4‰ in the highest income quartile compared with 1.2‰ in the lowest. These differences did not translate into significant differences in HR in the multivariate analysis, as they were explained by FIT concentration and age. HR for interval CRC was 7.09 (95% CI) for FIT concentrations 11.9-19.8 μg hb/g faeces, and 3.37 (95% CI) for FIT between 7.2 and 11.8 compared with those <7.2. The HR rose with increasing age ranging from 2.06 (95% CI 1.45 to 2.93) to 7.60 (95% CI 5.63 to 10.25) compared with those under 55 years. Conclusion Interval CRC risk increased with decreasing income, heavily influenced by lower income individuals more often being older and having increased FIT concentrations. Individualising screening interval based on age and FIT result, may decrease interval CRC rates, reduce the social gradient and thereby increase the screening efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001113
JournalBMJ Open Gastroenterology
Volume10
Issue number1
ISSN2054-4774
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2023

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Keywords

  • Cohort Studies
  • Colorectal Neoplasms/diagnosis
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Feces/chemistry
  • Hemoglobins/analysis
  • Humans
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • COLONIC NEOPLASMS
  • COLORECTAL CANCER
  • SCREENING
  • CANCER
  • EPIDEMIOLOGY

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