Publication Abstract

Authors: Schonberg MA, Breslau ES, Hamel MB, Bellizzi KM, McCarthy EP

Title: Colon cancer screening in U.S. adults aged 65 and older according to life expectancy and age.

Journal: J Am Geriatr Soc 63(4):750-6

Date: 2015 Apr

Abstract: OBJECTIVES: To examine receipt of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening according to age and life expectancy (LE) in adults aged 65 and older. DESIGN: Population-based survey. SETTING: United States. PARTICIPANTS: Community dwelling adults aged 65 and older who participated in the 2008 or 2010 National Health Interview Survey (N = 7,747). MEASUREMENTS: Receipt of CRC screening (e.g., colonoscopy within 10 years) was examined according to age and LE (≥10 and <10 years), adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and survey year. Frequency of CRC screening was also examined according to age and LE at time of screening (e.g., age at colonoscopy rather than at interview). Participants screened when they were aged 75 and older or had less than a 10-year LE were considered to have received screening inconsistent with guidelines. RESULTS: Overall, 38.5% of participants had less than a 10-year LE; 40.2% were aged 75 and older, and 56.3% had received recent CRC screening (90.1% by colonoscopy). CRC screening was higher in 2010 (58.9%) than 2008 (53.7%, P <.001) and was associated with longer LE and younger age, although 51.1% of adults aged 75 and older reported receiving CRC screening, as did 50.9% of adults with less than a 10-year LE. Based on age and LE at time of screening (rather than at interview), 28.4% of CRC screening of adults aged 65 and older was targeted to those aged 75 and older and those with less than a 10-year LE. Of adults aged 65 to 75 with a 10-year LE or more (adults recommended for screening by guidelines), 39.2% had not recently been screened. CONCLUSION: Older adults with little chance of benefit because of limited LE commonly undergo CRC screening, whereas many adults aged 65 to 75 with a 10-year LE or greater are not screened.