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Risk Factors for Early-onset Sporadic Colorectal Cancer in Male Veterans.

Imperiale TF, Myers LJ, Barker BC, Larson J, Stump TE, Daggy JK. Risk Factors for Early-onset Sporadic Colorectal Cancer in Male Veterans. Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.). 2023 Sep 1; 16(9):513-522.

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Identifying risk factors for early-onset colorectal cancer (EOCRC) could help reverse its rising incidence through risk factor reduction and/or early screening. We sought to identify EOCRC risk factors that could be used for decisions about early screening. Using electronic databases and medical record review, we compared male veterans ages 35 to 49 years diagnosed with sporadic EOCRC (2008-2015) matched 1:4 to clinic and colonoscopy controls without colorectal cancer, excluding those with established inflammatory bowel disease, high-risk polyposis, and nonpolyposis syndromes, prior bowel resection, and high-risk family history. We ascertained sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, family and personal medical history, physical measures, vital signs, medications, and laboratory values 6 to 18 months prior to case diagnosis. In the derivation cohort (75% of the total sample), univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to derive a full model and a more parsimonious model. Both models were tested using a validation cohort. Among 600 cases of sporadic EOCRC [mean (SD) age 45.2 (3.5) years; 66% White], 1,200 primary care clinic controls [43.4 (4.2) years; 68% White], and 1,200 colonoscopy controls [44.7 (3.8) years; 63% White], independent risk factors included age, cohabitation and employment status, body mass index (BMI), comorbidity, colorectal cancer, or other visceral cancer in a first- or second-degree relative (FDR or SDR), alcohol use, exercise, hyperlipidemia, use of statins, NSAIDs, and multivitamins. Validation c-statistics were 0.75-0.76 for the full model and 0.74-0.75 for the parsimonious model, respectively. These independent risk factors for EOCRC may identify veterans for whom colorectal cancer screening prior to age 45 or 50 years should be considered. PREVENTION RELEVANCE: Screening 45- to 49-year-olds for colorectal cancer is relatively new with uncertain uptake thus far. Furthermore, half of EOCRC occurs in persons < 45 years old. Using risk factors may help 45- to 49-year-olds accept screening and may identify younger persons for whom earlier screening should be considered. See related Spotlight, p. 479.

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