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N C Med J. 2005 Nov-Dec;66(6):420-6.

Trends in up-to-date status in colorectal cancer screening, North Carolina, 1998-2002.

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Department of Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, USA.



Rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening are rising nationwide. Our purpose was to determine the proportion of North Carolina adults who were up-to-date with CRC screening in 1998-2002 and analyze trends by socio-demographic subgroups.


We examined data from the North Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. For 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2002, we determined the proportion of respondents 50 years old and older who were up-to-date, defined as a home fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the past 12 months and/or a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy in the past five years. We examined trends in up-to-date status in all respondents and in selected socio-demographic subgroups. We also examined the characteristics of respondents who were up-to-date in 2001-2002.


From 1998-2002, the percentage of respondents 50 years old or older who were up-to-date with CRC screening increased from 46.1% to 54.0% (test for trend, p < 0.0001). The proportion who were up-to-date increased among those 50-74 years old, those with a high school or college education, and those with incomes less than dollar 25,000. Proportions that were up-to-date did not significantly increase among African Americans and respondents with less than a high school education. In 2001-2002, we found low percentages that were up-to-date among adults 50-54 years old Hispanics, and the uninsured


The proportion of North Carolina adults who are up-to-date with CRC screening is increasing but not across all socio-demographic groups. These results indicate that there are subgroups that need to be reached with screening programs. Efforts to educate the public and providers about CRC screening should continue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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