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Gut. 2007 Nov;56(11):1585-9. Epub 2007 Jun 25.

Risk of progression of advanced adenomas to colorectal cancer by age and sex: estimates based on 840,149 screening colonoscopies.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Cancer Research Center, Bergheimer Str. 20, D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany.



To derive age and sex specific estimates of transition rates from advanced adenomas to colorectal cancer by combining data of a nationwide screening colonoscopy registry and national data on colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence.


Registry based study.


National screening colonoscopy programme in Germany.


Participants of screening colonoscopy in 2003 and 2004 (n = 840,149).


Advanced adenoma prevalence, colorectal cancer incidence, annual and 10 year cumulative risk of developing CRC among carriers of advanced adenomas according to sex and age (range 55-80+ years)


The age gradient is much stronger for CRC incidence than for advanced adenoma prevalence. As a result, projected annual transition rates from advanced adenomas to CRC strongly increase with age (from 2.6% in age group 55-59 years to 5.6% in age group >or=80 years among women, and from 2.6% in age group 55-59 years to 5.1% in age group >or=80 years among men). Projections of 10 year cumulative risk increase from 25.4% at age 55 years to 42.9% at age 80 years in women, and from 25.2% at age 55 years to 39.7% at age 80 years in men.


Advanced adenoma transition rates are similar in both sexes, but there is a strong age gradient for both sexes. Our estimates of transition rates in older age groups are in line with previous estimates derived from small case series in the pre-colonoscopy era independent of age. However, our projections for younger age groups are considerably lower. These findings may have important implications for the design of CRC screening programmes.

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